Jason Staples

Previewing The 2016 FSU Baseball Team

Florida State baseball starts their season this week. We take a look at the team here.

Head Coach Mike Martin

Record: 1854-647-4

ACC Record: 421-178

ACC Regular Season Championships: 9

ACC Championships: 6

Latest ACC Championship: 2015

Projected Starting Lineup

1. 2B Matt Henderson (Jr.)

Bats: Switch

Henderson is a transfer from Santa Barbara City College where he hit .329 with a .452 on-base percentage and 19 stolen bases in 2015.

2. CF Ben Deluzio (Jr.)

Bats: Right

Florida State will be looking for a bounce back year after struggling at the plate for most of the season. He came out of his slump towards the end of the season and hit .241 with 2 homeruns and 14 stolen bases.

3. DH Quincy Neiporte (Jr.)

Bats: Right

Neiporte finished last season as the second best hitter on the team behind DJ Stewart. He batted .297 with 7 home runs and 48 RBIs. Neiporte will miss the first six games of the season following an offseason arrest.

4. C Cal Raleigh (Fr.)

Bats: Switch 

Raleigh comes to Florida State with some of the highest expectations that any freshman in Tallahassee has had in years. D1Baseball picked him to be the Freshman of the Year. As a senior in high school Raleigh hit .469 with 25 RBIs, 20 stolen bases, and 10 home runs. He was named a Louisville Slugger All American. 

5. 1B Dylan Busby (So.)

Bats: Right

Busby started at third base as a freshman, but will move to first base this season. Busby hit .242 with 9 home runs and 45 RBIs. He was named to the All-ACC Freshman team, and was named a Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball. 

6. 3B John Sansone (Sr.)

Bats: Right

Has started 162 consecutive games for the Seminoles, but will be starting at a new position this season. Sansone will replace Busby at third. He hit .245 with 8 home runs in 2015. He is second all time in Florida State history with 51 hit by pitches. 

7. RF Darren Miller (So.)

Bats: Right

Miller started 25 games last season at three different positions, but will be in a new role this season. Florida State needs Miller's bat in the lineup, and with a strong arm right field is the best spot for him. He finished last season hitting .282 with 1 homerun and 16 RBIs.

8. LF Jackson Lueck (Fr.)

Bats: Switch

Lueck is another freshman that will get a chance to shine. He hit .400 with 1 home run and 16 stolen bases. He was named a 2nd team Perfect Game All-American.

9. SS Taylor Walls (So.)

Bats: Switch

Started all 65 games at short for the Seminoles in 2015. He hit .220 with a .373 on-base percentage and 52 walks on the season. His 52 walks were good enough to finish ninth nationally. 

Key Reserves

LF/DH Gage West (Jr.)

Bats: Left

West will likely start the season as the designated hitter with Neiporte's suspension, but he has been in contention to be the starting left fielder. He appeared in 40 games last season and hit .231 with 9 RBIs. 

RF Stephen Wells Jr. (So.)

Bats: Right

Wells Jr. is in contention to be a starter in right field. He played in 29 games and hit .208 with 1 home run and 7 RBIs. 

RF Donovan Petrey (Fr.)

Bats: Left

Petrey is also in contention for the right field job. As a senior in high school he batted .400 with 1 home run and 10 RBIs. 

Starting Pitchers

Friday: Mike Compton (RSr.)

Throws: Right

Compton is a three year starter for the Seminoles. He started 13 games last season and finished with a 4-4 record with a 3.55 ERA. He pitched 71 innings and struck out 70 hitters while walking just 12. 

Saturday: Drew Carlton (So.)

Throws: Right

Carlton started out last season as a midweek starter, but moved into the Sunday role halfway through the season. He finished the year 5-5 with a 4.04 ERA. He pitched 71.1 innings where he recorded 60 strikeouts and 19 walks. He was at his best in his two post season outings against Louisville and College of Charleston where he threw 13.2 scoreless innings.

Sunday: Cole Sands (Fr.)

Throws: Right

A highly touted freshman, Sands will get the opportunity to start off in the weekend rotation. As a senior in high school, Sands finished with a 5-1 record and a 0.32 ERA. He pitched 66.1 innings where he struck out 73 batters. He was named a Louisville Slugger first team All-American.

Midweek: Tyler Holton (Fr.)

Throws: Left

Holton is another highly touted freshman. As a senior in high school, Holton finished with a 6-2 record and a 0.72 ERA. He pitched 47.1 innings and struck out 64 batters. He is also a talented hitter batting .338 with 10 home runs and 37 RBIs. He could see time in the outfield as well.

Key Relief Pitchers

Closer: Tyler Warmoth (RSr.)

Throws: Right

Warmoth is a graduate transfer from Stetson. He finished the left Stetson with an 11-6 record and 22 saves in his career. He finished with a 3.05 ERA and 124 strikeouts in his 133 innings pitched. 

Set Up Man: Matthew Kinney (RSr.)

Throws: Left

Kinney is a graduate transfer from Belmont. He finished the 2015 season with a 3-5 record and a 1.80 ERA. He struck out 62 batters and allowed 11 walks in 55 innings of work. He held opponents to a .210 batting average against him.

Middle Relief: Andrew Karp (RFr.)

Throws: Right

Karp received a redshirt in 2015, but came in with high expectations. He will get plenty of opportunities in 2016.

Middle Relief: Jim Voyles (Jr.)

Throws: Right

Voyles made 21 appearances on the year and finised with an 0-1 record and a 2.63 ERA. He struck out 27 batters in 27.1 innings with 10 walks.

Prediction

This year will be very interesting with the lineup that the Seminoles have put together. This Florida State team comes in with quite a few unknowns. There are going to be multiple freshmen starters, and multiple veterans making the move to new positions. The good news is that the freshman starters are highly talented, and the veterans making moves have already shown to be comfortable in their positions. 

Starting pitching will be a strength for this team with veteran Mike Compton being the weakest link there. Compton is currently in the rotation as the Friday night starter, but either Sands or Carlton will take over that role by the end of the season. If the Seminoles can find a way to get from their starters to the eighth inning they will be in good shape with Kinney and Warmoth on the hill.

The batting lineup has a lot of interesting qualities to it, but it lacks a lot of power. The good news for the Seminoles is that there are quite a few players that are adept at stealing bases. This team will play a lot of small ball, and will win a lot of low scoring games. 

Death, Taxes, and Florida State baseball winning at least 40 games. At the end of the day that's the one thing you can count on with this program. It helps that Florida State gets Louisville, NC State, Miami, Georgia Tech, and College of Charleston in Dick Howser this year. The Seminoles will likely host a regional, and will be on the edge of getting a super regional bid once again. I don't expect this team to make it to Omaha, but it seems like the Florida State teams that don't have high expectations make the most of their opportunities. 

Regular Season Record: 40-15

Season Ends: Super Regional


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