#OneLastRun. One last chance to win the ever-so-elusive National Championship. One last chance to eclipse 2000 wins. This is it, the final season. Will the ‘Noles complete the crown on a coach who has but one thing left in his legendary career? We’ll see.
It’s here, folks. The grass is cut, the dirt is in place, the bats and gloves are in. Our winter is past, and with the *ting* of batting practice comes the spring romance of baseball. Yes, it may be February, but it’s time. It’s time for Opening Day, time for us to sing “Take me Out to the Ballgame” and “Sweet Caroline” in full throat. Time for us to join with the Animals in choruses of “K-Time!” or “Walk ‘im on, rag-arm, walk ‘im on! (Get a hit!)”.
Baseball season is, by far, my favorite time of year.
Well, now that I’m all weepy, let’s get down to brass tacks. What the heck do we expect out of this iteration of the Seminoles? Let’s look at the roster, shall we?
(Note: I’m a big fan of advanced metrics, and while WAR isn’t quite available for college baseball, I will be using the more sabr-friendly “Triple Slash Line” when talking about hitters – so AVG/OBP/SLG.)
- Jackson Lueck, OF: .245/.364/.476 – 15 HR, 45 RBI
- Cobi Johnson, RHP: 14G, 20.1 IP 3.54 ERA, 27/13 K/BB, 1.48 WHIP
- Steven Wells, OF: .261/.448/.466 – 7 HR, 28 RBI
- Tyler Holton, LHP (2017 stats due to injury): 18GS, 119.1IP, 2.34 ERA, 144/31 K/BB, 0.91 WHIP
- Cole Sands, RHP: 14GS, 75.1IP, 4.54 ERA, 88/25 K/BB, 1.12 WHIP
- Rafael Bournigal, INF: .189/.327/.295 – 2HR, 19 RBI
- Cal Raleigh, C: .326/.447/.583 – 13 HR, 54 RBI
- Rhett Aplin, OF: .301/.428/.416 – 2 HR, 35 RBI
- Nander de Sedas, 2B/SS
- Plus arm, Plus defense. Switch hitter with power from left side, but good mechanics on right side.
- To be completely honest, THIS is who I look forward to seeing the most.
- Elijah Cabell, OF
- Strong & athletic, good arm. Power bat with easy mechanics. Classic RF.
- Matheu Nelson, C
- Good strength, good defense, good thrower. Consistent contact, but a little busy when loading up.
- Alec Sanchez, INF
- Has good arm strength, could play at 2B or on the left side, but would need some defensive work at 3B. Good hitter – more bat than defense.
- Jack Anderson, RHP
- 92 MPH on his fastball, but has whippy arm action that pairs well with a body that isn’t done growing. Fastball runs and sinks. Offspeed pitches are still developing.
- Robby Martin, OF
- Good arm, accurate from the outfield. Long swing may need some work, but will get better.
- Maine Black Bears (4-game Series): 2/15-2/17
- 2018: 20-34, 218th RPI
- @Jacksonville Dolphins: 2/19
- 2018: 40-21, 27th RPI
- Youngstown State Penguins: 2/22-2/24
- 2018: 18-38, 262nd RPI
- @USF Bulls: 2/26
- 2018: 36-22-1(?!), 26th RPI
- Mercer Bears: 3/1-3/3
- 2018: 38-22, 138th RPI
- UNF Ospreys: 3/6
- 2018: 28-28, 109th RPI
So the season warm-up is nice and easy, punctuated by a couple of tough mid-week matchups.
Projected Record: 10-3
- Virginia Tech Hokies: 3/8-3/10
- 2018: 21-33, 152nd RPI
- @Florida Gators: 3/12
- 2018: 49-21, 3rd RPI
- @NC State Wolfpack: 3/15-3/17
- 2018: 42-18, 21st RPI
- UCF Knights: 3/19
- 2018: 35-21, 46th RPI
- FIU Panthers: 3/20
- 2018: 26-28, 132nd RPI
- @Notre Dame Fighting Irish: 3/22-3/24
- 2018: 34-30, 116th RPI
- UF @ Jax: 3/26
- See above.
- Boston College Eagles: 3/29-3/31
- 2018: 17-32, 173rd RPI
- Jacksonville Dolphins: 4/2
- See above.
- @Miami Hurricanes: 4/5-4/7
- 2018: 28-26, 65th RPI
- UF: 4/9
- See above.
- Clemson Tigers: 4/12-4/14
- 2018: 47-16, 13th RPI
Very balanced schedule – we get Clemson at home, but NCSt on the road, as well as Miami. Tough stretch. At this point, I’m not going to predict any wins against UF until we prove we can do it consistently.
Projected Record: 15-9
- @Virginia Cavaliers: 4/18-4/20 (Thurs-Sat)
- 2018: 29-25, 83rd RPI
- Stetson Hatters: 4/23-4/24
- 2018: 48-13, 8th RPI
- Wake Forest Demon Deacons: 4/26-4/28
- 2018: 25-32, 73rd RPI
- Pittsburgh Panthers: 5/3-5/5
- 2018: 29-26, 121st RPI
- Jacksonville Dolphins: 5/7
- Again. Yep.
- @Stetson Hatters: 5/8
- See above.
- Richmond Spiders: 5/10-5/12
- 2018: 32-24, 115th RPI
- Louisville Cardinals: 5/16-5/18
- 2018: 45-19, 25th RPI
We get a less loaded back-end of the schedule, but this is still tough, with 3 games each against Stetson and Louisvill. Fortunately, we also get Wake and Pitt, as well as a tune-up series against Richmond.
Projected Record: 14-5
Regular Season Projection: 39-17
So yes – I am predicting a regular season without 40 wins, but we’ll likely get one in pool play in the ACC Tournament. Mike will get his 40 wins for the 41st-straight season.
FSU lost a lot of senior leadership off the 2018 team. This is why I’m still a little salty over last year – it was 11’s best chance we’ve had in awhile. This year, we have questions behind the plate, on the mound, on the infield, and in the outfield. So…pretty much everywhere.
Can FSU lock up a national seed and make it to Omaha? Sure. Can FSU bomb, not host a regional, and get bounced early? Sure. We have very few things for sure with this team. I’ll be there right with you – through the good and the bad, the winning streaks and the losing streaks. Keep it here and on the Fifth Quarter Discord for all things FSU baseball.