Fall Report: Florida State

Fall Report

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — You might say Mike Martin Jr. was born and bred to be Florida State’s head baseball coach. He’s been around the program just about his entire life — his father served as FSU’s head coach from 1980 until this past summer. Martin Jr. played at Florida State from 1993-95 and spent the last 22 years as his dad’s assistant at FSU.

So Martin Jr.’s transition to the head job upon Martin Sr.’s retirement this summer was seamless, and he seemed right at home in his new role while chatting on the field before a Nov. 9 scrimmage against Jacksonville. And crucially, his new assistants Jimmy Belanger and Mike Metcalf have acclimated very well too.

“For me it’s basically the same job, but just add the fund-raising and the booster side, it’s something I’d never done. Scheduling is something else I’ve never dealt with,” Martin Jr. said. “My coaches have been fantastic, and basically they didn’t know each other so you always wonder about continuity and camaraderie, but they work together and work their butts off. Everybody around the athletic program enjoys their company, they’re polite, friendly, know how to act, work hard, and they care an awful lot. There are too many staffs where they don’t all get along, and that’s gonna come back to bite you at some point. I’m really excited about the coaching staff.”

Martin Jr. has no plans to reinvent the wheel — the Seminole Way is tried and true, having produced 42 consecutive 40-plus-win seasons and 42 straight trips to regionals. FSU will still emphasize getting on base and hitting for power, like always, but Martin Jr. does want to ratchet up his team’s proficiency on the basepaths, getting better dirtball reads and putting more pressure on opposing defenses generally.

The offense should be plenty dangerous as usual — more on that later — but what could make the 2020 Seminoles special is their pitching staff, which Martin Jr. thinks could be their best in a long time. …

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