Top 25 Breakdown: No. 3 Florida StateSeason Preview
2016 Record: 41-22. RPI: 11.
Coach (Record at school): Mike Martin (1898-671-4, 36 years).
Ballpark: Dick Howser Stadium (Capacity: 6,700).
Postseason History: 54 regionals (active streak: 39), 21 CWS trips (last in 2012), 0 national titles.
More: Fall Report on Florida State.
Florida State's Projected Lineup
|C||Cal Raleigh, So.||.301/.412/.511||10||50||1|
|1B||Dylan Busby, Jr.||.323/.374/.597||14||55||11|
|2B||Matt Henderson, Sr.||.230/.420/.279||0||14||4|
|3B||Drew Mendoza, Fr.||HS—Minneola, Fla.|
|SS||Taylor Walls, Jr.||.355/.479/.516||6||46||14|
|LF||Jackson Lueck, So.||.379/.494/.576||4||35||2|
|CF||J.C. Flowers, Fr.||HS—Orange Park, Fla.|
|RF||Rhett Aplin, Jr.||Tr.—Seminole State (Fla.)|
|DH||Quincy Nieporte, Sr.||.300/.354/.440||5||38||2|
|RHP||Cole Sands, So.||6-7||4.13||69.2||50||33||0|
|LHP||Tyler Holton, So.||3-4||2.79||67.2||84||33||1|
|RHP||Drew Carlton, Jr.||8-3||3.94||93.2||76||23||0|
|RP||Alec Byrd, Sr.||1-0||2.20||32.2||32||10||0|
Grading The Seminoles
Just like scouts grade prospects using the 20-80 scouting scale, we use a 20-80 scale to evaluate teams in our top 25. A score of 50 in each category is average, relative to a typical NCAA tournament team; 55 is slightly above-average; 60 is above-average (plus); 70 is well above-average (plus-plus); 80 is top of the scale, historically strong. Accordingly, 45 is fringe-average or slightly below-average; 40 is below-average; 30 is well below-average; and 20 is the extreme in that direction.
The Seminoles hit every year, and this should be one of the most potent offenses in the program’s storied history. Five of the top six hitters are back from a club that ranked second in the ACC and 22nd in the nation in scoring last year. FSU is renowned for its ultra-disciplined plate approach annually, and last year it ranked sixth in the nation in walks, with three regulars who walked more than they struck out, led by Walls (whose 59 walks ranked sixth in the nation). Henderson (45 BB/30 SO) also stands out for his patience, which helped him post a .420 OBP despite a .230 batting average.
Walls, Henderson, Lueck and Raleigh are all switch-hitters, making FSU extraordinarily dangerous against both righthanded and lefthanded pitching. Walls, a returning All-American, is an elite table-setter who wears out the gaps from both sides of the plate, and the quintet of Raleigh, Lueck, Busby, Nieporte and Mendoza don’t give opposing pitchers any room to breathe. Aplin, who hit .444 in juco ball last year, provides another lefthanded threat, and the ultra-athletic Flowers should be able to make things happen toward the bottom of the lineup.
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