Updated: Feb 13, 2019
"I will start off by saying that Mike Martin is the greatest college baseball coach of all-time and he WILL win the College World Series"
I know what you’re thinking… “I don’t even care about pro baseball, why should I care about some random college baseball team?” That’s a good question and the answer isn’t a simple one. When you go to a Florida State University baseball game, you aren’t just going to a game…you are going to an event. They have their own fan club called “The Animals of Section B” who go to every game. They have fun random traditions like the over 30 year old tradition of singing “O Canada” in the bottom of the 5th inning at home games. They also sing “Sweet Caroline” in the 8th inning. They even now serve beer at the games which is another added bonus. The only thing that has eluded this storied program and legendary coach…a National Championship.
I will start off by saying that Mike Martin is the greatest college baseball coach of all-time and he WILL win the College World Series this year during his final season.I’m sticking with it. FSU baseball has never had a losing season and has won 40 games a year for 39 straight years.
They have lost twice in the championship game but never been able to bring it home. Our own host Kevin aka Authority Unhinged predicted earlier this year that FSU would finally lift the trophy in Martin’s last year at the helm. I did plenty of research and I couldn’t agree with him more.
NOTE: Stop reading hear if you don’t care about the FSU baseball team and their road to this years title. This will only interest you if you are a fan of FSU baseball. Hell, even if you aren’t…read it anyway. The Noles bring back a talented and experienced rotation as they return all three of their weekend starters from last year including ace Drew Parish and talented youngster C.J. Van Eyk to go along with local product Austin Pollack from Tallahassee’s own Lincoln High School Parish led the rotation last year with a 5-1 record, 2.52 era, and 128 k’s in 107 innings. Van Eyk posted a 7-0 record with a 2.87 era and 71 k’s in 56 innings as a true freshman. Very impressive. He will likely be a early round pick when he is eligible for the draft in two years. Pollack struggled as a freshman but gained valuable experience and can hopefully take that next step to round out the rotation.
I would grade the rotation a B+ with Pollack being the only question mark. The lineup returns a lot of talent to mix in with a top three recruiting class that includes two top 100 prospects including the top rated played to not go pro in Nander De Sedas. The top returning players will be led by third baseman Drew Mendoza, a projected early round pick who hit .313 with 7 hrs and 44 rbis last year. The rest of the infield will be led by De Sedas who for a while was projected as the top overall player before ending his senior year on a down note. He combines great defense and speed with plus power potential. The only questions are about his batting average but I expect him to exceed already lofty expectations. Freshman catcher Matheu Nelson should secure the open catching position as another top prospect with tons of potential although senior Jonathon Foster may steal the position or at least provide a solid back up. Mike Salvatore will provide an experienced second baseman who plays good defense and adds speed to the lineup although I wouldn’t be surprised if sophomore Cooper Swanson steals the position by the end of the year. Salvatore a senior hit .244 with 8 steals last year and Swanson hit .255 with a.400+ obp as a freshman. Rounding out the infield should be Nico Baldor a former Hurricane who transferred to FSU last year. Smart choice by him. Miami sucks. Nico hit .239 in his lone season in Miami.
Overall I would give the infield a B+ it mixes talented youth with experience and decent depth. The outfield should be filled out with returners in Reese Albert and J.C. Flowers as well as true freshman Elijah Cabell another top 100 prospect with a world of power. Albert hit .268 with 7 home runs as a true freshman and Flowers combined great defense with a .383 obp and great speed. Cabell is an incredibly talented outfielder who should hit for average and power and will be a huge piece in the middle of the lineup. Overall grade for the outfield will be an A-. The one spot that may hold the Noles back this year is the bullpen. The team gets Chase Haney back after missing all of last year and he should become the teams closer. Haney had a 5-0 record and a 2.78 era in 32 innings as a freshman followed by a 4.26 era in 31 innings as a sophomore. Jonah Scolaro and Clayton Kwiatkowski should be two more important pieces. Scolaro had a 3.43 era and 60 strikeout in 44 innings and Clayton pitched to a 3.18 era in 45 innings. If the bullpen can get a player or two such as Shane Drohan or Tyler Ahearn to step up and help round out the bullpen they could turn a weakness into a strength. I would give the bullpen a grade of B- based on uncertainty. Overall, this team has tons of young talent and experience and no true weakness. So I will agree with my boy Kevin and pick the 2019 Florida State Seminoles baseball team to finally break through in Martin’s last season and win that elusive title.
1. Nander De Sedas SS
2. Reese Albert RF
3. Drew Mendoza 3rd
4. Nico Baldor 1b
5. Elijah Cabell LF
6. Cooper Swanson DH
7. J.C. Flowers CF
8. Mike Salvatore 2nd
9. Matheu Nelson C
Friday Night Starter- Drew Parrish
Saturday Night Starter- C.J. Van Eyk
Sunday Starter- Austin Pollack
Closer- Chase Haney
Set up Man- Clayton Kwiatkowski
Set Up Man- Jonah Scaloro
Middle Relief- Shane Drohan
Middle Relief-Tyler Ahearn
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