#11 Florida State Baseball Preview

Florida State Seminoles

Overall Rank: #11
Conference Rank: #3 ACC
Florida State College Baseball Top 44 Team Preview
Florida State Team Page


Florida State has a tremendous baseball program and has the talent to compete with anyone in the nation. Unfortunately for the Seminoles, they face an uphill battle for their quest at a conference championship without even playing a game in the crowded ACC. Preseason All-American right hander, Mike Compton, will miss the entire 2013 season due to Tommy John surgery. This team will need someone to step up, but if they can stay strong through their adversity, this team could be very dangerous.

2012: 50-17, 24-6
2012 Postseason: CWS
Coach:  Mike Martin

Field Players:
Senior infielder and captain, Justin Gonzalez, will set the tone of the Seminole offense. A season ago he hit a mediocre .256, but grooved nine homeruns and drove in 42 runs. He also collected 92 total bases and had a healthy .374 on base percentage. Teams know they need to pitch carefully to Gonzalez or he will make you pay. He has shown great patience waiting for his pitch and this year is looking to step his game up another level. He will be looked upon not only as their leader and captain but also as the lifeblood of the offense. Sophomore outfielder, Josh Delph, should also contribute in a big way to this offense. As a freshman he batted .267, stroked 10 doubles, and drove in 20 runs. The young lefty should take big steps forward this season and be a regular contributor in the everyday lineup for Florida State.

Without Compton this rotation is not quite as menacing, but the Seminoles still boast a formidable pitching staff. Sophomore Brandon Leibrandt, also a preseason All-American will anchor the rotation. As a freshman, the young lefty dazzled everyone with a 2.87 ERA and a 8-3 overall record in his 19 starts. He pitched 99 innings, allowing just 89 hits, fanning 83 batters, and walking just 29. His dominate freshman campaign helped propel Florida State to the College World Series. This season he and his teammates expect even bigger things and are hoping he can guide them to the College World Series again. He is not alone though. Senior Scott Sitz will help take some of the weight off of Leibrandt’s shoulders. Last year he posted a solid 3.72 ERA and earned a 4-3 overall record. He pitched in 17 games, making 13 starts. These two will be the top end of the rotation for Florida State and will need to have excellent seasons for the Seminoles to reach their goals.

Who to Watch:
Jose Brizuela, a sophomore who made the majority of his 65 starts in the outfield a season ago, is moving to third base. His batting average is an area that needs to be improved, hitting just .226 last year. Despite the struggles with his average, Brizuela was able to be a productive hitter, driving in 38 runs and knocking two balls out of the park. He has shown lots of pop in his bat and the ability to deliver when runners are in scoring position. With a year of development, his batting average should be on the rise and his production numbers should also be up. This is player who could take Florida State over the top.   

Final Projection:
Florida State is always a feared baseball team, and this year will prove to be no different. Despite losing an ace, they still have depth in their rotation and in the bullpen. The ACC is a very deep conference with many teams viewed as powerhouses, and the Seminoles will be right in the thick of things because of their talented pitching. Their lineup has a floor of solid and a ceiling of outstanding, giving this team a chance to get back the College World Series.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament

Returning Leaders:
At Bats: Justin Gonzalez, INF, 211
Hits: Justin Gonzales, INF, 54
Home Runs: Justin Gonzales, INF, 9
RBIs: Justin Gonzales, INF, 42
Runs: Justin Gonzales, INF, 42
Stolen Bases: Justin Gonzales, INF, 13

Wins:  Brandon Leibrandt, LHP, 8
Innings: Brandon Leibrandt. LHP, 99
Strikeouts: Brandon Leibrandt. LHP, 8
Saves:  Gage Smith, RHP, 3

Madness 2013 Baseball Recruit Rankings:
#44 Jameis Winston


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