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Florida Gators infielder enters portal while team is still playing

An infield view of a baseball diamond.

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A college baseball player has entered the transfer portal as his team prepares for a Super Regional series. He has decided to join the team that is still playing for a national title!

John Martinez, a freshman infielder for the Florida Gators, has opted to leave the program before the end of his freshman season. The timing of that news is certainly interesting.

Florida is fresh off a thrilling regional performance in Stillwater, where it defeated both two-seed Nebraska and host Oklahoma State to emerge victorious.

Facing elimination three times, the Gators went a perfect 3-0 to successfully dispose of the competition and advance to the next round of postseason play.

They will now take on Clemson next weekend as they travel up the East Coast for a three-game set.

It appears John Martinez will not be on that trip as he has announced his decision to enter the transfer portal. While he hasn’t seen the field in a Gators uniform yet, it’s a surprise to see the pick made before the end of the season.

Nick de la Torre from On3 Sports responded to the announcement.

Martinez is a talented young player who was just behind other older options the Gators had. Florida started Dale Thomas at third base until he struggled, then moved Tyler Shelnut, who started most of the season in left field but is originally a corner infielder, to third base.

Martinez has a lot of power potential and plays good third base. He should end up at another Power 5 program and will have four years of eligibility at his new school.

The report mentions the decision but does not elaborate on why it was made – or why he chose this specific time to make the announcement.

Perhaps the infielder is looking for more playing time, though De la Torre suggested he may have seen the field more in Year 2 as older players left the program.

Maybe Florida just wasn’t a good fit for me.

Be that as it may, it’s not the first time we’ve seen such a move happen. Last spring, an NC State basketball player jumped into the portal just before the Wolfpack made an improbable run to the Final Four.

We’ll see if the Florida Gators make a deep run after Martinez’s portal decision.

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