Jac Caglianone has legendary career at Florida

Jac Caglianone had a historic three-year career at Florida, earning numerous accolades, including the prestigious John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year award. During his time at Florida, he set multiple records, solidifying his legacy in collegiate baseball.

The Florida two-way star will likely embark on a new challenge this summer. As one of the top prospects in the upcoming MLB draft, which begins on July 14, scouts project Caglianone as a likely top-five pick.

Caglianone, a left-handed pitcher and first baseman, has excelled as a two-way player in college. However, most teams believe he is best suited as a position player in professional baseball. With elite tools, scouts are confident his hitting will flourish as he focuses solely on being a first baseman.

“It’s obvious that he’s got special hitting ability,” Florida coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “But what he’s been able to do at the other parts of his game, defensively, he’s just a difference maker on that side of the ball. Just like he runs the bases really good.

“So those are the things that I try to point out, because the other stuff with the hitting ability and the power, that’s obvious to see, everybody knows that, but he’s really turned himself into a complete player.”

Jac Caglianone 2024 MLB Draft
Florida’s Jac Caglianone is a likely top-five pick in July’s MLB draft. Photo by Kyler Adams, Baseball Prospect Journal.

Caglianone is a 6-foot-5, 245-pound left-handed hitter with strong tools at the plate. He has elite raw power and can do serious damage when he squares it up. He has an aggressive approach and makes a ton of hard contact.

This season, Caglianone demonstrated significant growth in his approach at the plate, showing improved discipline by laying off breaking pitches out of the strike zone. He notably reduced his strikeouts and increased his walks, a notable feat given that pitchers often pitched around him.

Caglianone is athletic and moves well, especially for his size. He is knowledgeable on the bases and has enough speed to take an extra base occasionally.

On the mound, Caglianone throws a high-90s fastball with a quality changeup as his best off-speed pitch. He has potential on the mound but needs to refine his mechanics, control and secondary pitches.

Due to the risk associated with Caglianone on the mound, he profiles best as an impact bat who has the potential to hit 40-plus home runs in the major leagues one day.

Besides his skill set, scouts and those around Caglianone rave about his team-first mindset and makeup.

“The difference I’ve seen in him from the day I met him to now has been tremendous,” Florida position player Tyler Shelnut said. “He’s grown as an individual and as a player beyond comprehension. He’s a terrific kid, and he’s a great teammate. I think he truly does play for this team, and he truly does want to win. I can’t say enough about Jac.”

This season, Caglianone hit .419 with 35 home runs and 72 RBIs in 248 at-bats. He had 58 walks compared to 26 strikeouts. It was a positive step forward for Caglianone, who hit .323 with 33 home runs, 90 RBIs, 58 strikeouts and 17 walks in 282 at-bats as a sophomore in 2023.

Caglianone, a native of Plant, Florida, is a special player who made his mark on the Florida program. He led the Gators to the College World Series in back-to-back seasons and set numerous program records.

This season, he set the single-season home run record (35) and the program’s all-time career home run record (75).

“I can’t thank the coaches here enough for all they have done to help me get to where I am today,” Caglianone said. “The people that I’ve met along the way and played with, it’s something that I won’t ever take for granted. I appreciate Sully for taking a chance on me in high school and getting to this point.”

Want to learn more about Jac Caglianone? Read a story on his performance at this year’s College World Series here.

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

Video of Jac Caglianone hitting a home run at the CWS.

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, MLB.com, 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 IIIhttp://BaseballProspectJournal.com
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 The3rdManIn.com, 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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