Updated: Feb 26, 2020
"If they can get some of their talented sophomores to step up at the plate this team has a good chance of going to Omaha..."
For the first time in over 40 years Florida State Baseball has a new coach but a familiar last name. Mike Martin Jr. has taken over for his father after playing and coaching under him for the last 20+ years. After reaching Omaha in his father’s final season, the Seminoles will be hoping to return to Omaha during Jr’s first year at the helm.
If they wish to do that, they will need to rely heavily on their starting staff as well as contributions from a fairly young lineup. C.J. Van Eyk will hope to build on what was an up and down but overall successful sophomore campaign going 10-4 with a 3.81 era. This is a big year for Van Eyk as he will be draft eligible. Shane Drohan who had a solid sophomore year going 3-1 with a 3.66 era will need to go further in games by throwing more strikes for him to really step up. Junior Conor Grady who went 9-6 with a 3.64 era as a sophomore hopes to be another solid contributor to this pitching staff.
Credit: The Daily Nole
The bullpen has a good mix of veterans and newcomers with a lot of potential. Chase Haney returns for what feels like his 10th year but in reality he is ONLY a redshirt senior. He comes into his senior year with a chance to set the Seminoles career record for most appearances by a pitcher. Haney went 2-2 with a 2.41 era as a junior and especially tough on right handed hitters. Anthony Velez, Clayton Kwiatkowski and Jonah Scalaro round out the rest of the veterans for the Noles. All three are upper-class lefties who had eras around 4.00 last year. The bullpen will also be relying on transfer Davis Hare who should be playing a big role in late inning situations. Freshman Bryce Hubbart rounds out the bullpen as he will be fighting for late inning roles as a potential closer.
As far as the lineup goes for FSU, they will be relying heavily on sophomores to step up as leaders. Last year freshman starters Elijah Cabell, Nander De Sedas, Robby Martin and Mathieu Nelson will be expected to set up and make plays this season. Nelson had a solid freshman year batting .282 with 6 home runs. De Sedas and especially Cabell had disappointing freshman years and will be looking to rebound. De Sedas had to be moved from shortstop to second base because of errors and ended the season batting .231 with 4 homeruns. Cabell was benched at the end of his freshman year and will need to cut down on his strikeouts in order to show off his off hitting power potential. Cabell hit .220(with a .402 obp) while hitting 7 home runs as a freshman.
Robby Martin had a stand out season at the plate hitting .315 with 4 homeruns. He will be counted on to play outfield this year after dhing most of last year. Reese Albert will be the leader of the team and will be hoping to bounce back from an injury plagued sophomore year. He batted .283 with 9 home runs despite missing 19 games. Nico Balder and Cooper Swanson expect to see time at first and third base. Swanson has a ton of power and batted .159 with 7 home runs and a .362 obp. Balder a transfer from Miami 2 years ago batted .173 and will need to step up quickly if he expects to keep getting playing time. Transfer Jackson Greene has locked in the starting second base position and should be expected to hit coming off a year where he hit .344 and added 8 stolen bases. Carter Smith will play multiple positions after finishing the year as the starting first baseman. He hit .245 with 2 homeruns as a junior. Freshman Dylan Simmons and Tyler Martin will also see plenty of playing time on the infield.
The Seminoles have bounced back from losing their opening game and have won six straight games. They won the series against Niagara, beat USF and swept Cincinnati. The Seminoles will go as far as their pitching takes them. If they can get some of their talented sophomores to step up at the plate this team has a good chance of going to Omaha and could be very dangerous once they get there.
Credit: FSU Baseball
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