Dylan Busby (right) and Quincy Nieporte are two of Florida State's offensive game-breakers (Aaron Fitt)


Top 25 Breakdown: No. 3 Florida State

Season 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

CCal Raleigh, So..301/.412/.51110501
1BDylan Busby, Jr..323/.374/.597145511
2BMatt Henderson, Sr..230/.420/.2790144
3BDrew Mendoza, Fr.HS—Minneola, Fla.
SSTaylor Walls, Jr..355/.479/.51664614
LFJackson Lueck, So..379/.494/.5764352
CFJ.C. Flowers, Fr.HS—Orange Park, Fla.
RFRhett Aplin, Jr.Tr.—Seminole State (Fla.)
DHQuincy Nieporte, Sr..300/.354/.4405382
RHPCole Sands, So.6-74.1369.250330
LHPTyler Holton, So.3-42.7967.284331
RHPDrew Carlton, Jr.8-33.9493.276230
RPAlec Byrd, Sr.1-02.2032.232100

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.

Hitting: 70

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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