Colby Shelton figures to play key role for Florida

Colby Shelton established himself as a legitimate hitter in the Southeastern Conference as a freshman at Alabama last season. He displayed confidence at the plate to excel against premium college pitching.

His performance in his first year was noteworthy. It also resulted in him being a highly sought-after transfer once he entered the transfer portal in the offseason due to Alabama’s coaching change.

Shelton, a Florida native, committed to the Florida Gators due to the program’s winning track record and player development system. He enters this spring as a must-watch player and figures to play a vital role for a talented Florida team.

The talented infielder is accustomed to the expectations. He was a well-regarded prospect in high school after receiving his first Division I scholarship offer from Clemson as an eighth grader. His prospect status has continued to trend upwards as he has matured. Scouts rave about Shelton’s potential and consider him a potential early-round pick in July’s MLB draft.

“I just think it’s very cool to follow along on the journey I’ve been on since eighth grade,” Shelton said. “Just to see how much I’ve grown as a baseball player and person since high school with my maturity is really cool.”

Last year, Shelton was one of the top newcomers in college baseball. He batted .301 with 10 doubles, 25 home runs and 51 RBIs in 203 at-bats.

Shelton’s success in the SEC makes him an intriguing addition to a talented Florida roster this spring. Shelton is a 6-foot, 200-pound left-handed hitting shortstop with a simple swing built for hitting line drives. He shows a notable feel to barrel up the baseball and hit for power, especially to the pull side.

As he prepares for his sophomore season, Shelton has focused on improving his consistency at the plate. Last season, he recorded 61 strikeouts and 33 walks. Shelton believes his experience and focus on having a consistent approach will result in him showing continued growth with his plate discipline.

“I can hit for average and power,” Shelton said. “As I’ve gotten older with a year of college baseball under my belt, everything just has improved a little bit at a time. My plate discipline has gotten better, and my consistency has gotten better.”

Colby Shelton
Photo of Colby Shelton courtesy of UAA Communications via Maddie Washburn.

Defensively, Shelton played third base for Alabama last season. After one season at the hot corner, Shelton is transitioning back to shortstop, where he played throughout high school.

Shelton has worked with assistant coach Chuck Jeroloman on his footwork, timing and throws at shortstop in preparation for this season. He raves about the growth he has made defensively and is confident in his ability to perform well at shortstop this spring.

“The biggest difference is the reaction time,” Shelton said. “You just have to take one step at third base, whereas at shortstop, you have more time and steps. I just like the biggest thing is having an eternal clock. You have to know who the runner is and how much time you have to make a play. Defensively, I can compete as one of the better infielders in the SEC and college baseball.”

Shelton is eager to play an integral role on a Florida team with national championship expectations.

Last season, the Gators had a phenomenal season, advancing to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, for the first time since 2018. The Gators had an extremely talented roster and squared off against LSU in the best-of-three championship series. The Gators fell in the decisive Game 3 to finish as the runner-up, with an overall season record of 54-17.

Most consider the Gators one of the top teams heading into the season. Shelton raves about the team’s culture heading and believes the Gators have the mindset and talent to vie for the program’s second-ever national title and first since 2017.

“We just need to play each other,” Shelton said. “Florida always has talented players each year. The biggest thing is that it’s a team game, and you can’t be selfish. Everyone needs to be selfless, play a role on the team and stick with each other. If we do that, we have a really good shot.”

Read more in-depth stories on top 2024 MLB draft prospects at Baseball Prospect Journal.

Video of Colby Shelton.

Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for nine years. He has interviewed 518 of the top draft prospects in that period, including four No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today,, The Arizona Republic and The Dallas Morning News, have quoted his work, while he has appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.

Dan Zielinski III
Dan Zielinski III
Dan Zielinski III is the creator of the Baseball Prospect Journal and has covered the MLB draft since 2015. His draft work originally appeared on, a sports website he started in December 2011. He also covered the Milwaukee Brewers as a member of the credentialed media for four years. Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.

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