With a super regional against No. 1 overall seed Florida on the horizon, the Florida State coaching staff should be focused on the Gators. Instead, they also have to focus on where their current players, and recruits, are taken in the 2016 MLB Draft. It's unfortunate that the Draft comes during the most important time of the year for the Top-16 teams in the country. It's a distraction to the players, whose entire lives could be changed right before they have to play, and it's a big distraction for the coaches who not only have to re-recruit the players they signed, but they have to re-recruit the current players who were drafted.
There are two phases to recruiting in college baseball. The first phase of baseball recruiting is similar to all other college sports. Teams try to get players to sign with their school. The second phase is unlike any other in college athletics. The coaching staff now has to compete against a dollar amount for the players that were drafted. The Seminoles have struggled to get their top prospects on campus in the past, but they are getting better at it. Getting Cal Raleigh and Cole Sands on campus this year made a big difference for the team.
This year they need to do it again. The 2017 Florida State baseball team will return all three starting pitchers from the regional last week as well as at least six, and probably seven, of the eight position players. The only one that is guaranteed to leave is senior third baseman John Sansone.
Sansone has been a key part of the Florida State lineup for the least three years, and is going to be tough to replace. The good news for Florida State fans is that they have two very good third basemen signed to come to Tallahassee. The bad news is that both Joshua Lowe and Drew Mendoza are both projected first round picks. The Florida State coaching staff will have to put their recruiting faces back on immediately to bring in at least one of those two.
Mendoza is the most likely of those two, as he is reportedly asking for at least $3.5 million in order to forgo his college career. Both of his parents went to Florida State, and that will certainly help the Seminoles cause. Mendoza is regarded as one of the best hitters in the 2016 draft, and adding him to an already very stout Florida State lineup would make Florida State a team to watch for next season.