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Discussion in 'The Mainboard' started by Beagle, Dec 20, 2019.
Rammer Jammer this is nasty
SEC pitchers can't wait to add 2-3 strikeouts to their stats
With NIL it’s the only way I see why he comes back.
Been hearing some rumors of this but didn’t know how true it was. Vandy about to lose their advantage
They’re just talking bout LSU Ole Miss and Mississippi State. What else has changed
Corbin gonna be looking for new employment after this scandal comes out
so 11.7 schollies spread over 35 players, instead of 27?
Anyone have a baseball america account? If so
please and thank you
this is just not fair
i mean we also have a significant advantage of offering in state tuition to every kid with a 3.0 that lives in a state that borders arkansas
Several states do that
i guess this stovall kid we have might be the second coming of jesus christ
#TCU Horned Frogs
fuckin ump squeezed Mike McGee on the 2-2 pitch
Was such bullshit
TCU’s flat billed, goggle douche pitcher in 2010 still pisses me off.
Seems like they bring in another, similar douche every other year
Rammer Jammer how many World Series games are you going to?
Trying to see who wins this Dodgers Braves series to see but I’ll be there for a few for sure
Awesome. It’s going to be hard for me to cheer for the Astro’s if it’s against the braves. No matter who he’s playing I hope Kendall has a great series.
“Is this heaven?”
damnit, beaten out by that damn devine
that is indeed a beautiful picture
It's a cool setup tonight but I'm sure the players absolutely hate it
Por favor, kind sir
Fall Report: Tennessee
FALL REPORT David Seifert - November 3, 2021
MILLINGTON, Tenn. — After losing lefty Garrett Crochet (1st round- White Sox) and hitting star Alerick Soulaire (2nd round- Twins) to the professional ranks following the 2020 covid-cancelled season, the Volunteers won the SEC East in 2021 and returned to the College World Series for the first time since 2005. Following that recent run to Omaha, Tennessee entered this fall with more significant losses, including bulldog Chad Dallas (4th round- Blue Jays), its top three hitters; Pete Derkay, Liam Spence (5th round- Cubs), Jake Rucker (7th round- Twins), and other high round picks Max Ferguson (5th round- Padres) and Connor Pavolony (7th round- Orioles).
However, these days in Knoxville the Vols don’t rebuild, they reload. Plenty of firepower returns with potential 1st rounders Blade Tidwell and Jordan Beck, along with another potential top three round prospect Drew Gilbert. They’ve also added a highly touted prep recruit in Chase Burns, the healthy return of arm cannon Ben Joyce, a couple of impact JUCO position players in Logan Chambers and Seth Stephenson and four-year transfers Chase Dollander and Seth Halvorsen. In short, there is no supply chain backup with this club.
Staff ace Tidwell sat out the pre-Halloween scrimmage on October 30 against Louisiana Tech in Millington, as did Halvorsen. Yet, the Vols were still plenty impressive on the mound and in the batter’s box. Showing speed, power, hit ability and strong defense, here are some scouting observations from a Volunteer team loaded with impact position players, to go along with big velocity and many different looks on the mound.
The 2022 talent hydrant starts at the top of the lineup with tooled-up athletes Kyle Booker and Lavictor Lipscomb. The left-handed hitting Booker is a plus runner once underway, but slower out of the box, running a 4.40 on a ground ball to second base. He hit .310 in a reserve role last season as a freshman and should easily top that production from the leadoff spot this spring. At the hot corner, the solid defense of Lipscomb and his plus-to-better arm strength were evident all day long. There’s some cleanup needed at the plate with a diving stride and length to his swing, but he found the barrel for a trio of base hits; a hard liner to right field for a single, another hard liner for a double down the right field line and a line drive double to left field when he hooked a changeup. The right-handed hitting Lipscomb also produced a .310 average in a reserve role last season and is the front-runner to win a starting spot at third this spring.
The high-octane offense continues with grad student Luc Lipcius (15 HR in 2021) in the three-hole. He returns for his sixth season after earning a degree in Aerospace Engineering this past May. The left-handed hitting first baseman struggled with his timing and offspeed pitches against Louisiana Tech, but he’s an experienced SEC bat with plus raw power, 21 career HR and a .994 career fielding percentage.
Clean-up man Jordan Beck is a well-known and accomplished power bat. No. 32 in our most recent Top 100 2022 prospect rankings, he showed plus raw power to all fields in batting practice, then dropped an oppo taco to right center field and a 400’+ blast to dead center during the game. Beck finished 4-for-4 with four RBIs. An above average runner underway, Beck ran a 4.27 down the line on a jailbreak from the right side. At this point, he’s considered more of a second-to-third round prospect by most clubs, but a reduction in his strikeout rate (20.8% in 2021) while maintaining his power production (15 HR/.523 SLG) will likely propel him higher next summer. Beck anchors right field, where he’s an average to slightly above defender with plus arm strength and improving accuracy. He profiles to remain in right field as a professional. The right-handed hitter reminds somewhat of a Hunter Renfroe (Mississippi State) type and could also jump to the first round, like Renfroe, who from his sophomore to junior seasons raised his average from .252 to .345 and home run totals from four to 16, while lowering his strikeout rate from 19.3% to 14.1%. Renfroe then went 13th overall to the Padres in 2013.
Providing Beck with protection is center fielder Drew Gilbert. A two-way contributor last season, tossing 8.1 shutout innings and batting .274 with 10 HR and 64 RBIs, Gilbert is also an above average defender in center field. He is sure-handed, gets good reads off the bat and runs precise routes to the ball. With all that stated, 70-grade arm strength is his top tool. At the plate he sets up with an open stance and has very good hand speed. With compact strength, he also has good pop to his pull side. As a 5-foot-10 left-handed hitter, think Kole Calhoun (D-Backs/Angels).
Converted outfielder Evan Russell is now the likely starting catcher for the Vols. With average arm strength, he popped a 2.03 during the game with a clean transfer and true ball flight to the bag. Most impressive was how he handled a variety of looks and pitches from the nine pitchers he caught during his time behind the dish. From the 100 mph heaters of Joyce and 96 mph sprays by Chase Burns to the nasty three-pitch arsenal of Kirby Connell, Russell handled every pitch. He even made a spectacular play on a foul popup against the backstop netting for an out. Offensively, the right handed hitter has swing/miss to his game due to late pitch recognition, but when he squares it up, it’s likely to leave the yard as his 14 HR last season attest. The fifth-year senior is the only player in program history to twice hit three home runs in a single game.
Adding length to an already loaded lineup are third-year infielder Cortland Lawson, JUCO transfers Logan Chambers and Seth Stephenson and fourth-year junior shortstop Logan Steenstra. Both Chambers with his hit ability, and Stephenson with his electric speed, were both as advertised from our Top 50 Impact JUCO Transfers rankings. The left-handed hitting Chambers was especially impressive with his plan at the plate and his ability to make adjustments pitch to pitch. After pulling off the first pitch and hitting it foul for strike one, he stayed on the next pitch, and drove an outer half fastball down the left field line off the fair pole for a home run. He’s likely to fill the Swiss army knife role for the Volunteers with his ability to move around the diamond, most likely seeing the greatest time in the outfield or at DH.
Stephenson is just flat out twitchy fast. An 80-grade runner underway, he cuts the bases like few others. He scored easily from first base on a double to left center field. At the plate, there is some length to his right-handed swing, as he wants to get big. At 5-foot-8, 160 pounds he would be much better served with a flatter swing path and a middle of the field approach. Defensively, he played some shortstop, but with fringe average arm strength he might be a better fit at second base, or long-term at the next level, center field.
Juniors Lawson or Steenstra are likely to take over for Liam Spence at shortstop. Steenstra, at 6-foot-5, 210-pounds, is athletic and long-levered. Fully recovered from TJ surgery two winters ago, he has plus arm strength and previously logged some innings on the mound in junior college. Defensively, he has smooth actions with soft hands and despite his height, he makes all the plays in the field. Offensively, he showed an improved swing since last fall, but is more of an early count ambush hitter who puts the ball in play. Although I did not see Joey Nathan, a long-limbed converted shortstop, in college (my first look at him was in high-A ball for San Jose in the California League), Steenstra reminds me of him way back in 1998.
Another athletic looking body type with plenty of tools, Lawson batted .357 in limited action last spring. On this look he reached base three times, including a line drive RBI single to left field in his last at-bat.
Other position players who appeared during the extra inning scrimmage against Louisiana Tech include Ethan Payne, Jared Dickey, Blake Burke, Jorel Ortega, Christian Moore, Hunter Ensley and Christian Scott. Scott struggled getting to the fastball during this contest, but is in competition with Booker for the everyday spot in left field where he showed average arm strength.
Most impressive of the group was the jump of the ball off the bat by the true freshman Burke. The physical, left-handed hitting slugger lopsided balls to all fields during batting practice. However, there is some length to his swing and it showed during game action as he struck out on a fastball. Dickey also showed some length to his swing, but saved his power for the game as he hammered a deep home run to left field and followed it up with a just missed fly out to right in his next at-bat. Junior infielder Payne added a pair of knocks with a hard ground ball single up the middle and a RBI double to left center.
The pitching staff headliner is no-doubt Blade Tidwell, a power-armed sophomore who is draft-eligible this July. Standing 6-foot-4, 205-pounds, Tidwell is an athletic bodied right-hander with wide shoulders. He did not pitch in Millington due to a limited workload this fall. At his best his fastball tops in the 96-97 range with more in the tank. His best breaking pitch is a plus, hard curveball at 80-83 mph with 11/5 rotation, finishing with late action and quick depth at the plate. Tidwell will also show the ability to manipulate his breaker into a more slider-shaped chase pitch at a similar velocity, as well as changing the shape vs right-handed hitters. As a third pitch, he can mix in a very low-spin changeup in the 1100-1200 rpm range due to big hands and a wide grip. More on Tidwell here- USA Baseball Insider Scouting the Pitchers.
Other candidates for the spring rotation include returning swingman Camden Sewell, true freshman Chase Burns and transfers Chase Dollander and Seth Halvorsen.
Halvorsen, a transfer from Missouri, tweaked his back a couple days previous to Millington, which meant his throwing schedule was altered, making it not line up to pitch against the Bulldogs. Reports are that his stuff (mid-90s fastball and plus slider) and control (57 BB in 72 IP last spring) have become more consistent this fall. Based upon past developments, pitching coach Frank Anderson should be able to bring out the best in Halvorsen, and if so, look out. A Tidwell-Halvorsen 1-2 punch would be a tall order for opposing offenses this spring.
Sewell made three starts last season and posted a 2.82 ERA in 51 IP. He’s a sinker/slider specialist with a three-quarter release point. Against La. Tech, he showed 88-91 with plus arm side life. Early in his one inning pitched he was around his slider for a wide break at 79-80 mph, but a dozen pitches later he found his release point and broke off consistently above average benders.
Burns, who touched 100 mph as a prep, “only” found 96-octane on this look. His arm swing is long and loose to a three-quarter release point. There’s some effort to his operation, but unless you are Ben Joyce, there is effort when approaching triple digits. Burns sat 94-96 with a fairly straight heater that spun in the 2300-2400 rpm range. He overthrew it often, leaving numerous fastballs up in the zone. His best pitch was a plus 82-83 hard curveball and he flashed an 89 mph cutter. Overall, it was an impressive mix of stuff, yet one that saw him work deep counts to the majority of batters he faced during his one inning or work.
A Georgia Southern transfer, Dollander looked strong in his one inning. His low effort delivery with a three-quarter release point produced 91-94 mph fastballs, plus low-80s late-biting sliders and a fringe-quality changeup. He filled the zone with three pitches, making quick work of the Bulldogs.
The Vol Pen will be anchored by ultimate warrior Kirby Connell with his deceptive stuff that plays up at least a grade from its velocity. His long relief role will likely be back-ended by the flame-thrower Joyce.
Connell absolutely destroys left-handed hitters, but is effective against both side bats with starter stuff and plus command. His low-spin fastball sits 86-88 and he repeats an average 73-74 mph curveball that plays up with his ability to change its shape. But his real difference maker is a plus, low-spin, sinking change-piece. He consistently fills the zone with three pitches and has big-time trust from coaches Vitello and Anderson, as three walks in 42 IP last season will tend to do.
The scrimmage was made even more enjoyable when Ben Joyce entered the ballgame and began soft-tossing 100 mph bullets to the plate. My gun peaked at 100 for his offerings, but a neighboring radar showed 102. Regardless of how hot it truly was, his heat quieted the crowd and entertained the many youth ballplayers in attendance. The Bulldogs did manage to square up his fastball with a pair of line drives to center field, scoring a run in the process. Amazingly, Joyce gives the Volunteers three 100 mph hurlers in the past three seasons (Andrew Schultz, Garrett Crochet).
Other potential bullpen pieces who appeared in Millington were Matt McLaughlin, a right-hander who worked real easy from a high three-quarter slot. His fastball sat 90-91, peaking at 93 with limited life. His top pitch looked to be a tight-spinning curveball (up to 2825 rpm) at 75-76 mph. With limited deception he worked his fastball to the top of the zone and his bender down.
Jake Fitzgibbons worked with effort and muscled the ball downhill at 90-91. He worked quickly and had deception to his delivery from a high three-quarter release point. The lefty repeated an average curveball at 73-75 mph for strikes with spin rates in the 2700s. He also mixed in a lower spin 78-79 mph changeup as a third pitch, but dropped his release point a bit, telegraphing the offering. Another lefty with a high three-quarter slot, Wyatt Evans, followed Fitzgibbons to the bump and tossed 88-90 mph fastballs, pairing them with a 74 mph curveball.
Sandwiched between Connell and Joyce, right-hander Hollis Fanning, pitched a scoreless inning with an 88-89 fastball, 79 slider and 72 curve from a three-quarter slot. Christian Delashmit followed Joyce to the mound. The 6-foot-3 right-hander fired a scoreless inning with a cross-fire delivery for good deception on his 86 mph fastball and 78 mph slider from a low three-quarter release point.
Finishing off the first nine innings for the Vols was left-hander William Mabrey who pitched with a 90-92 heater and 82-83 hard curveball. Zander Sechrist started off extra innings from the left side with a high effort delivery producing 86-87 mph fastballs, 72-75 breaking balls and a best pitch, 77 mph changeup.
Team Ground Crews never get enough credit. I used to play on dirt infields for the most part all through HS.
Isn’t there somone here who has a d1 sub?
That would be our best friend FadeMe
Here you go!
Fall Report: Florida State
FALL REPORT Aaron Fitt - December 15, 2021
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A year ago in this space, Mike Martin Jr. called his pitching staff “100 percent different” from a typical Florida State staff. The Seminoles were stocked with more legitimate power arms than ever before, and Martin Jr. was optimistic that the abundance of raw stuff would translate into results — but most of the big arms had yet to truly establish themselves as frontline ACC performers.
Fast forward to fall 2021, and there is no longer any doubt. This is the most talented Florida State pitching staff ever, and now it has the track record to match. Last year’s staff led the ACC and ranked seventh nationally in both ERA (3.45) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.19), while ranking fourth nationally in strikeouts per nine innings (11.4).
“It was the situation last year, ‘We think we’re pretty good on the mound.’ But this year we know we’re really good on the mound,” said Martin Jr., who is heading into his third season as FSU’s head coach.
Last year’s Seminoles were flawed offensively and defensively, undermining the strong pitching and preventing them from making a deep run. But the ‘Noles have retooled the position player group since last spring, and there’s reason to believe it will be considerably better this time around, as we’ll examine later in this piece. Regardless, the pitching should be elite, headlined by one of the nation’s best one-two punches in lefties Parker Messick and Bryce Hubbart.
Messick, the reigning ACC Pitcher of the Year, went 8-2, 3.10 with 126 strikeouts against 23 walks in 90 innings as a 2YR FR last spring. After that spring workload, Messick played for Team USA, so the Seminoles brought him along slowly this fall. Likewise, they mostly rested Hubbart after his standout summer in the Cape Cod League, where he showed some of the best breaking stuff in the league along with a fastball that bumped 93 when he was at his strongest. The thick, durable Messick, meanwhile, thrives off pitchability and competitiveness, making his quality four-pitch mix play up even though he doesn’t overpower with velocity.
“You know what you’re gonna get out of those guys,” Martin Jr. said. “It makes it much easier to sleep this fall than it was last fall.”
After that duo, Florida State has an abundance of candidates for the No. 3 and No. 4 starter spots — in fact, Martin Jr. reels off eight names without taking a breath. The smart money might be on high-profile sophomore righthander Carson Montgomery, who got his feet wet with eight midweek starts last year, posting a 4.50 ERA and a 39-23 K-BB mark in 28 innings. The No. 1 ranked high school prospect to attend college last year, Montgomery has always had big stuff, often running his heater into the high 90s as a freshman, and he bumped 95 in FSU’s final fall scrimmage against Troy in November, along with a sharp power breaking ball at 80-81, a mid-80s cutter and a solid changeup at 83-84. All the ingredients are there for him to be a superstar; it’s just a matter of continuing to refine his pitchability.
“He’s really figured some things out,” Martin Jr. said. “The velocity doesn’t have to be 97. If it’s where it needs to be, it’s fine at 93-94. If you want to go up in the zone with a little extra, OK. It’s the changing of speeds, all the things at this level that make you really good, he’s starting to grasp. He’s throwing a cutter now so that really helps. In 1-0, 2-0 counts, spin that cutter in there and have a 70 percent strike percentage with it, he can flip counts and do what he needs to do. What would happen is you’re 1-0, trying to get to 1-1, a guy’s a great fastball hitter — his changeup’s improved as well, he can get back to an advantage count with the changeup.”
Last year, Florida State developed Montgomery as the Tuesday starter, in part to groom him for a weekend role as a sophomore. Martin Jr. said he would like to follow that same model this year, deploying a freshman in the midweek starter role. The obvious front-runner for that job is this year’s blue-chip recruit, 6-foot-4, 225-pound righthander Jackson Baumeister. My first look at Baumeister came in the Troy scrimmage, and he was impressive in a hitless frame, attacking at 91-94 with a high-spin fastball into the 2500 rpm range. He excels at pitching up in the zone with that riding heater, and he changes planes effectively with a big overhand curveball at 75-76, also mixing in a promising changeup.
The other freshman candidate for a starting job is righty Conner Whittaker, who has a smaller build at 6-1, 180 but a very quick arm and an easy delivery from a conventional slot. Whittaker showed feel to pitch in a perfect inning against Troy, sitting at 92-93 mph with a quality 75-78 breaking ball and an excellent sinking, fading changeup with deception at 83-85.
Whittaker’s got as much pitchability as anybody,” Martin Jr. said. “He’s got unbelievable sink on his fastball, he can spin a breaking ball, and the changeup’s a great pitch. He’s a very, very good athlete, he played short down at Sarasota High. The sky’s the limit with him; he’s as polished a true freshman as we’ve had in a long time.”
Other candidates for rotation jobs include sophomore lefthander Wyatt Crowell, sophomore righty Jackson Nezuh, 3YR SO RHP Dylan Simmons, 5YR SR RHP Davis Hare and 5YR SR LHP Jonah Scolaro. Crowell and Simmons both arrived in Tallahassee as two-way players but are taking off now that they are focused on pitching. Crowell, a wiry, quick-twitch 5-foot-11, 175-pounder, attacked at 92-94 from a three-quarters slot against Troy, flashing an above-average slider at 81-83 with big tilt and tight spin in the 2500-2700 rpm range, as well as a good deceptive changeup at 83-84. He has run his heater up to 97 this fall, and his funky high front side adds deception. If he doesn’t wind up as the Sunday guy, he could serve as one of FSU’s top bullpen stoppers.
Simmons and Hare are big-bodied power righties who were both up to 95 this fall, though Simmons was 91-92 in my look along with a good changeup he could throw against righties as well as lefties, and a solid short slider at 84-86. Hare sat 93-94 against the Trojans and complemented it with a big sweeping slider at 79-80 that he could land for a strike, and an 83-84 mph splitter that he used more as a chase pitch. Hare blossomed into a key bullpen piece last spring, posting a 2.67 ERA and a 33-13 K-BB mark in 27 IP over 25 appearances, and he will remain a big piece of this staff in one capacity or another.
Nezuh, another wiry athlete at 6-1, 183, also touched 95 this fall, but his calling card is his high spin-rate fastball, which plays well up in the zone. He elevated it twice for strikeouts in his scoreless inning against Troy, sitting 90-92 with a useful 77-78 curveball and an 82 mph split-change, which is a new pitch for him and has helped him take a step forward. Martin Jr. said he gained a lot of confidence in summer ball, earning all-star honors in the NECBL, and he looks ready to take on a big role after logging just three appearances as a freshman at FSU.
Scolaro, meanwhile, has been a bullpen mainstay for four years and is coming off his best season (2.28 ERA, 26-11 K-BB in 23.2 IP over 31 appearances). “Right now we’re leaning toward Scolaro as closer,” Martin Jr. said. “He’s got a changeup now that’s totally unhittable and has made him a totally different guy. He still throws the slider and curveball, he’s 88-90, holds runners, big-time athlete. He’s been around the block, nothing’s gonna faze him — he’s seen it all. So he’s got a chance to close if not be the third guy in the rotation.”
The litany of impact pitchers goes on and on. Look for Andrew Armstrong to shoulder a much bigger load as a sophomore; a lanky 6-foot-2, 153-pound lefty with a whippy three-quarters arm action, Armstrong attacked at 85-88 with a crossfire look that Martin Jr. compared to former big leaguer Randy Choate. That makes him very tough on lefties, and he can spin a quality mid-70s breaker to go along with it. Fellow lefty Ross Dunn presents a different look as a physical 6-3, 215-pounder with a higher slot, and he flashes power stuff to match, though it is inconsistent. We saw him work at 94-96 and touch 97 with a power slider at 82-86 in one viewing in the Cape League this summer, and another time he was 90-92 with a fringy breaking ball at 80-82. He was sharp against Troy, throwing strikes at 92-93 with a swing-and-miss 80-82 breaking ball, but I did not see the 96-97 he touched earlier in the fall.
“He’s just learning to pitch, a guy from Utah, so he’s way behind in innings as opposed to guys from the Southeast,” Martin Jr. said. “But he’s definitely in the mix because he’s got the equipment.”
Three more power options from the right side are juco transfer David Barrett, 3YR SO RHP Brandon Walker and 5YR SR RHP Kyle McMullen. Barrett has “as pretty an arm swing as you’ll see,” as Martin Jr. put it, and he sat 91-92 against Troy but has been up to 93. I also saw a good short slider/cutter at 85-87. Walker was shut down this fall with a dead arm, but we saw him work downhill at 90-94 with a heavy fastball this summer, along with feel for a decent79-81 breaking ball and a serviceable changeup. McMullen has battled injuries throughout his career, but he’s shown low-90s heat in the past with an outstanding changeup. And transfer Joe Charles is an interesting X-factor; he was a blue-chip recruit for North Carolina who has struggled to harness his command since his collegiate career began, but he can really spin a 12-6 breaking ball and has a quick arm that can produce low-90s velocity as well.
Getting Back To Seminole Baseball
During Florida State’s remarkable string of 43 consecutive regional appearances, one thing has been almost constant: the disciplined Seminole plate approach. FSU is among the national leaders in walks just about every year, and its hitters typically don’t strike out at a high rate, which is why it was so jarring to see the Noles whiff nearly twice as often as they walked last year — 599 K to 264 BB. Florida State ranked just 258th in the nation with a .241 batting average, and just 113th in scoring at 6.1 runs per game. It was a decidedly un-Seminole-like offensive season.
“Last year was strikeout city,” Martin Jr. said. “We’ve got a different look and a different mindset, the guys are buying in, they’re working at it. We’ve got some guys who fell into the hole of, ’I’ve gotta get a hit, i’ve gotta get a hit.’ That’s the worst thing you can say to yourself. That’s where the at-bat was lost, early in the count where you took that pitch or you swung at something you’ve got to be able to recognize. So we’re much improved in that area.”
Florida State’s most disciplined hitter last year, Martin Jr.’s son Tyler Martin (.280/.445/.342, 46-23 BB-K), will be back to serve as an on-base machine atop the lineup, but he was sidelined this fall while recovering from labrum surgery. The ‘Noles hope he will be back to full speed by opening day in February, and he’ll be in the lineup every day at one of the infield corners or second base.
You know it’s truly a whole new world in college baseball when Florida State has transfers from both Miami and Florida. Former Hurricane slugger Alex Toral figures to play first base or DH, and his powerful lefthanded swing seems tailor made for Dick Howser Stadium. And former Gator Jordan Carrion has won the starting job at shortstop, where he’s a fluid defender with plenty of arm strength. He’s also a good runner who can work counts, spray the ball around and execute the inside game, making him a likely fit at or near the top of the order.
“You always worry about how transfers will fit in, especially since we’ve never taken rivals’ transfers. You should have seen the look on Eleven’s face,” Martin Jr. said, referring to his father. “But everybody’s meshed and I really like the chemistry of the club. It’s one of those deals where Jordan just makes the infield and everything go, along with Alex Toral, who’s another coach on the field. Jordan and Alex are throwbacks, they love to play.”
And Florida State’s infield makeover also features a third impact transfer: Brett Roberts from Tennessee Tech. A twitchy athlete with good speed and sound defensive actions that play at second base or third, Roberts slashed .343/.375/.490 and stole 17 bases last spring, then hit .305 in a strong summer at Cotuit in the Cape League. He kept rolling this fall, hitting .350 in scrimmage action and leading the Seminoles in extra-base hits. “He’s got some thump in there, you can’t get a fastball by him,” Martin Jr. said. He’s very versatile, and very coachable as well.”
Like Tyler Martin, Roberts could play second or third, or he could slide to the outfield, which might make sense if one of FSU’s talented freshman infielders can earn regular playing time. Mayes White is a similar type of player as Carrion, a live athlete with speed and arm strength, and he could be the shortstop of the future, but he might fit better at second base in the short term. White was a big-time high school quarterback in Alabama, and Martin Jr. likes the “football toughness” he brings to the mix. Fellow freshman Treyton Rank could see action at second or third, and he’s another former football player who brings a gritty mentality and good physicality to the diamond. Connor Moore profiles better at third base, but he impressed the coaches with his mature offensive approach and competitiveness in the box as a freshman this fall, along with his righthanded thump.
Because the Seminoles were already loaded on the mound, their primary goal with this recruiting class was to build a foundation of physical, tough-minded position players for the future, along with patching some immediate holes via the transfer market. Between those three infielders plus physical first baseman/outfielder James Tibbs (a talented lefthanded power hitter), catcher/outfielder Jamie Ferrer (who owns a bazooka arm and a classic FSU inside-out swing with pop from the right side), and big-bodied infielder Cade Bush (who has a knack for finding the barrel), the Seminoles secured a banner group of freshman bats to build around.
“We got lucky with the COVID draft that year and kept some guys we probably wouldn’t have if there were more than five rounds, so we had to go get some guys offensively with some toughness, versatility and athleticism,” Martin Jr. said. “[Recruiting] was hard for a while. Kids were like, ‘Great yeah, but who’s gonna be the coach?’ And we recruit so early, it was a bad deal, it was hard to get guys. We lucked out on some arms, but we’ve got to get back to having the horses offensively and defensively to make this thing work.”
Tibbs and redshirt freshman AJ Shaver could work as platoonmates in left field, as both are big physical power hitters, but Shaver hits from the right side while Tibbs bats lefty. Shaver comes across as another throwback type player who doesn’t use batting gloves and has a quiet approach in the box, along with good pitch recognition. It’s easy to see him establishing himself as a key cog in this offense as a second-year player.
The Seminoles return a couple of accomplished veteran outfielders in fifth-year seniors Logan Lacey and Reese Albert. After transferring in from the juco ranks in 2019, Lacey steadily became one of FSU’s best players, and he is the team’s top returning hitter from a year ago (.295/.364/.518, 10 HR). He’s also a very good runner underway (Martin Jr. said he can run a 6.5 or 6.6-second 60), and the ‘Noles plan to move him to center field, sliding Albert back to right. Albert was a rising star a few years ago, but injuries derailed him and he slumped to a .176 average in 91 at-bats last year — but he’s gotten back on track this fall.
“He’s been awesome. He’s done a 180 with the swing and miss, and his leadership’s improved. Be’s really been a blessing, and we’re looking for him to have a really good year for us,” Martin Jr. said. “We may platoon, we may not. But those guys that have been around the block are really valuable. He really finished strong for us this fall. He’s playing great defense, playing under control and that leadership’s there.”
Veteran Isaiah Perry, an elite runner who has done a better job translating his speed to strong defense, is also in the outfield mix, along with juco transfer Connor Strickland (who has a knack for turning in quality at-bats).
Florida State’s biggest loss from last year, of course, is All-America catcher Matheu Nelson, and no single player will be able to replace his production or his leadership. But Martin Jr. is optimistic that his catching is in good hands between Ferrer, 4YR JR Colton Vincent and redshirt freshman Sebastian Jimenez. Vincent is the most polished defender of the bunch and has improved his bat and his foot speed, making him a more complete player. He seems likely to head this committee, but the hulking Jimenez could see action if he can get fully healthy, because his powerful bat will play, even if he’s at first base or DH.
“We do feel good about the catching,” Martin Jr. said. “You’re not gonna replace a Mat Nelson offensively. With this staff, main thing is we gotta have a guy back there that can run the show, steal some pitches.
“It’s based around the arms. This club is full of them, we’ve got to get them in the right roles, that’s the foundation. We’re gonna really pitch it, we’ve got to get them in the right spots defensively because it’s hand in and with how well you play defense. And I do like our defense; there’s a lot of versatility, guys who can play outfield and infield.”
This is a deep roster with plenty of movable parts, on the mound as well as around the diamond. It could take some time for FSU to figure out how all the pieces fit together best, but when the dust settles Florida State might well prove to be the class of the ACC. Its pitching might just be as good as any staff in America.
We’ll be better than last year and our staff is deep but I’m not sure it’s the deepest ever.
Seems like every major program has a rack of guys throwing 95 now, so I don't know if you can compare it to staffs of even 5-10 years ago. Just the way the game has gone and how these guy train for velo. Will be nice not to see some fat kid throwing 85.
Before my time, but I heard old heads say Richie Lewis was the best college pitcher they ever saw back in the 80's. He just died.
Spoiler: TEXAS NO. 1 IN COLLEGIATE BASEBALL POLL
1. Texas (50-17) 498
2. Vanderbilt (49-18) 494
3. Louisiana St. (38-25) 491
4. Texas Tech. (39-17) 487
5. Stanford (39-17) 484
6. Florida (38-22) 481
7. Oklahoma St. (36-19-1) 480
8. East Carolina (44-17) 476
9. Mississippi St. (50-18) 474
10. Notre Dame (34-13) 473
11. Georgia Tech. (31-25) 470
12. Florida St. (31-24) 468
13. Texas Christian (41-19) 464
14. U.C. Irvine (43-18) 462
15. Louisiana Tech. (42-20) 461
16. Central Michigan (42-18) 458
17. U.C. Santa Barbara (41-20) 454
18. UCLA (37-20) 453
19. Mississippi (45-22) 451
20. Arkansas (50-13) 448
21. Oregon (39-16) 447
22. Arizona (45-18) 445
23. Miami, Fla. (33-21) 441
24. Virginia (36-27) 438
25. North Carolina (28-27) 435
26. Louisville (28-22) 433
27. N.C. State (37-19) 431
28. Duke (33-22) 430
29. Campbell (37-18) 429
30. Michigan (27-19) 426
31. Nebraska (34-14) 423
32. Dallas Baptist (41-18) 420
33. Georgia (31-25) 418
34. Tennessee (50-18) 415
35. Gonzaga (34-19) 413
36. South Alabama (36-22) 409
37. Liberty (41-18) 404
38. Maryland (30-18) 402
39. Connecticut (34-19) 399
40. Alabama (32-26) 397
41. Fairfield (39-5) 394
42. Oregon St. (37-24) 391
43. Arizona St. (33-22) 389
44. South Carolina (34-23) 386
45. Oklahoma (27-28) 382
46. Long Beach St. (24-15) 375
47. Cal Poly (31-25) 373
48. Southern Miss. (40-21) 370
49. Old Dominion (44-16) 367
50. Nevada (25-20) 364
slaw will finish higher than 20 iyam imho
Yeah, we’re loaded. Shit rankings
Hey OP it's 2022
Lot of Vandy Boys
Hopefully Whisenhunt lives up to that
Beagle, can you update the thread title to 2022?
Tag super mod bertwing wes tegg Taques
Fuck. I guess we don't have any super mods.
just make a new thread please I'll do it if no one else wants to