« Baseball 2012

Preston Tucker



Tucker has a 3.0 GPA in Anthropology and he hopes to attend law school in the future. Tucker was selected in the 16th round of the 2011 MLB Draft by the Colorado Rockies but decided to return to Florida for his senior season. This quotation from Tucker summed up his decision: “A lot of guys don’t have the opportunity to say that they got a college degree and I always want to have that to my credit. The bottom line is that I can go off and play pro ball next year and this is an opportunity that I really didn’t want to pass up. It’s playing baseball, it’s the game I’ve always loved to play so in the end I’ll still be doing what I love.”


Tucker is one of the team leaders for Florida, which enters the season as the consensus top-ranked team in the country. Not only does he perform well on the field, but he leads by example in other ways. Tucker puts the team above any individual accomplishments or awards and his work ethic and attitude illustrate a clear understanding of teamwork and being a role model for everyone around him.


Tucker has participated in the “Gator Tracks” Christmas shoe drive in which he collected and brought shoes, wrapped boxes and distributed the items to local schools. He has helped with the Friends of Jaclyn adoption with the rest of his teammates and assisted with the Climb for Cancer, an event in which Gator student-athletes play games and compete with cancer-stricken kids and their siblings in a variety of sports. During the holiday season, Tucker and his teammates served hot meals to members of Gainesville’s homeless community.


In 2011, Tucker earned second-team All-America and first-team All-South Region from the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) as the Gators finished as the national-runner up with a program-best 53-19 record. Florida shared the SEC regular-season championship with South Carolina and Vanderbilt and captured its first SEC Tourney title since 1991 before winning the Gainesville Regionals and Super Regionals on the way to Omaha. A first-team All-SEC choice and the Most Outstanding Player of the 2011 NCAA Gainesville Regional, Tucker batted .308 with a team-best 74 RBI, 55 runs, 28 walks and matched the school’s single-season record with 23 doubles. He established UF’s single-season marks for games played (tied with Mike Zunino) and started by being in the lineup all 72 games, with 63 starts in right field and nine at first base. During the Gators’ 11 NCAA Tournament outings, Tucker totaled 20 RBI and had 11 extra-base hits (six doubles and five homers) on his way to a .304 (14-for-46) clip. He is the school’s all-time leader in NCAA Tourney at bats (97), hits (35), RBI (35), homers (9) and doubles (8). Tucker was a second-team All-SEC recipient and a member of the league’s All-Defensive Team as a sophomore in 2010 as the Gators reached the College World Series for the first time since 2005. In 2009, Tucker became the first player in school history to earn the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Freshman Hitter of the Year Award and he shared the SEC Freshman of the Year honor.