Why did Colby Shelton transfer from Alabama to Florida? Shortstop has helped Gators reach CWS (2024)

Florida softball hit the lottery when adding an Alabama shortstop transfer, Skylar Wallace. It appears Kevin O'Sullivan and Florida baseball have, as well, with Colby Shelton.

After breaking the Crimson Tide record for home runs by a freshman with 25, third baseman Shelton left Tuscaloosa for Gainesville. Shelton has played an essential role in getting the unseeded Gators through the Stillwater Regional and Clemson Super Regional and back to the College World Series for the second straight season.

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The Florida shortstop has hammered 21 home runs, 55 RBI, and 58 runs scored while playing strong defense at shortstop for the Gators. Florida, the lone unseeded team in the CWS, is scheduled to play Texas A&M at 7 p.m. Saturday to open the CWS. A big part of why Shelton transferred to Florida was to try and win a national championship, which the Gators last did in 2017 and finished as runners-up last season.

"The Gators had a great season last year,'' Shelton said. "This year, the goal is to win a natty."

Here's what you need to know about why Shelton transferred from Alabama to Florida, along with his stats and 2024 MLB Draft status:

Why did Colby Shelton transfer from Alabama to Florida?

Shelton decided to transfer from Alabama following the firing of coach Brad Bohannon. Bohannon was fired last May after he was found to have provided information about his team to bettors.

As a freshman, Shelton hit for a .300 batting average with 61 hits and 51 RBIs, mainly playing third base. His 25 home runs set an Alabama freshman record and tied for the third-most in Crimson Tide single-season history. His 25 home runs as a freshman tied Georgia's Charlie Condon for most in SEC history for a freshman. His play earned many accolades, including a spot on the Freshman All-SEC Team and first-teamFreshman All-America honors from D1Baseball.com.

"There was a whole new coaching staff at Alabama,'' Shelton said. "I came here so that I could better my skill set."

Shelton entered the transfer portal on June 14, 2023, and found his home in Gainesville with the Gators on June 22, 2023, while the Gators were still playing in Omaha for the CWS. The transfer also allowed him to shift from third base to shortstop with the Gators.

"Florida is a big-time school. With all of the guys that we have here and all of the postseason accolades of the team, this seemed like the best spot to be," Shelton said.

Colby Shelton high school, recruiting

Shelton was a star at Bloomingdale High in Lithia, Florida, just two hours from Gainesville. He helped lead Bloomingdale to the Florida Class 6A state title in 2021 with a .405 batting average, seven doubles, a triple and five home runs across 27 games as a junior. He earned first-team all-conference honors as both a junior and senior.

As a recruit, Shelton was ranked as the No. 4 shortstop and No. 27 player overall in the state, according to Perfect Game, and was listed as the No. 83 player on Perfect Game's 'Top 500 Incoming Freshmen' list for 2022-23.

Colby Shelton stats

Here's a look at Shelton's year-by-year stats:

  • 2023 (Alabama):.300 batting average, .419 on-base percentage, 25 home runs, 51 RBI, 49 runs scored, 1.148 OPS (59 games played)
  • 2024 (Florida):.257 batting average, .379 on-base percentage, 21 home runs, 55 RBI, 58 runs scored, .943 OPS (62 games played)
  • Career:.277 batting average, .397 on-base percentage, 46 home runs, 106 RBI, 107 runs scored, 1.037 OPS (121 games played)

Is Colby Shelton draft eligible for the 2024 MLB Draft?

Despite being listed as a sophom*ore and part of the 2022 recruiting class, Shelton is eligible for the 2024 MLB Draft, which takes place during the All-Star break. MLB.com has Shelton ranked as the No. 135 overall prospect in the class.

Here's the MLB.com scouting report on Shelton:

"Shelton’s carrying tool remains the power in his left-handed bat. When he showed up last fall with a more flattened out stroke, rather than his previous swing, which was much steeper in the zone, there was hope he might show more barrel consistency. He doesn’t have elite-level bat speed, but there’s at least average power for him to get to, and while the pop has shown up to an extent, the strikeout rate has hovered around the 25 percent he posted at Alabama. He does draw some walks to help offset it a little, but scouts are concerned about his ability to make enough contact to reach his power consistently."

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Why did Colby Shelton transfer from Alabama to Florida? Shortstop has helped Gators reach CWS (2024)

FAQs

Why did Colby Shelton transfer from Alabama to Florida? Shortstop has helped Gators reach CWS? ›

Florida, the lone unseeded team in the CWS, is scheduled to play Texas A&M at 7 p.m. Saturday to open the CWS. A big part of why Shelton transferred to Florida was to try and win a national championship, which the Gators

Gators
The Florida Gators football program represents the University of Florida (UF) in American college football.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Florida_Gators_football
last did in 2017 and finished as runners-up last season.

Where is Colby Shelton going? ›

Former Colgate OF Kiley Shelton is transferring to Florida Atlantic. The 2024 Patriot League Rookie of the Year, Shelton hit . 324 with 5 home runs, 28 RBIs, and 24 runs scored.

How tall is Luke Heyman? ›

HT/WT: 6'4", 220 lbs.

How tall is Pierce Coppola? ›

HT/WT: 6'8", 255 lbs.

Who hit the most home runs ever? ›

Barry Bonds holds the Major League Baseball home run record with 762. He passed Hank Aaron, who hit 755, on August 7, 2007. The only other players to have hit 700 or more are Babe Ruth with 714, and Albert Pujols with 703.

Who hit more than 70 home runs in a season? ›

Maris' mark was broken 37 years later by both Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa during the 1998 home run record chase, with McGwire ultimately setting a new record of 70. Barry Bonds, who also has the most career home runs, then broke that mark, setting the existing single season record of 73 in 2001. .

Who hit 500 foot home runs? ›

Mazara set the MLB Statcast record for home run distance -- not just the Rangers' -- and joined Giancarlo Stanton in the 500-foot club with this rocket to the upper reaches of the upper deck in right field in Arlington. On a team with Joey Gallo, it takes a monster home run to set the record, and Mazara provided it.

How many guys have 600 home runs? ›

There are nine players who are members of the 600 home run club. Four 600 home run club members—Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez—are also members of the 3,000 hit club. Babe Ruth was the first player to reach 600 home runs.

Who else has 500 home runs? ›

There are twenty-eight players who are members of the 500 home run club. Seven 500 home run club members—Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Eddie Murray, Rafael Palmeiro, Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez and Miguel Cabrera—are also members of the 3,000 hit club.

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