The Florida State Seminoles swept through regionals earning the right to host the winner of Texas A&M and Arizona who played Tuesday afternoon because of a weather delay. It was a scoreless battle into the 8th inning but the Aggies were victorious winning 3-0. Texas A&M is an excellent team who was an injury away from being a national seed and will bring a staff full of stud pitching to Tallahassee in an effort to win a trip to the College World Series. Due to the delay of both regionals the Super Regional series will be played starting on Saturday, below is a full schedule.
Each team has very different strengths much like last year when Florida State played a tough Vanderbilt team. A full series preview will come later in the week.
Inside we will have a brief look at the Aggies and highlight how current and future Seminoles fared halfway through the 2011 MLB Draft.
Texas A&M Scouting Report:
We are fornuate enough to have a breakdown of pretty much the entire Texas A&M team. Thanks to Goose06 over at TexAgs.com for his analysis.
Offensively: We are pretty aggressive at the plate. We don't draw a ton of walks. We will play small ball quite a bit with sac bunts and stolen bases. The top 2 guys in our lineup really set the table well and lately the bottom of the order has really turned the lineup over well (until the last 2 AZ games).
Pitching: 2 great starters in Stripling and Wacha and 4 solid but not spectacular bullpen arms. Our #3 starter also fits the "solid but not spectacular" description.
Defense: Generally we are solid all the way around defensively. We have a plus outfield, plus infield and plus catcher. Excellent arm in right (by excellent I mean this guy could play RF in the major leagues right now defensively). Excellent 1B. Solid SS. Good range in CF. Solid blocker behind the plate (very important when Stripling is on the mound with his big curveball).
- RF Naquin (L) --- True 5 tool player. Don't let the lack of HR deceive you, this kid has power. In the regional he probably hit 4 balls off the wall. He isn't a great base stealer (yet), but he has plus speed. If we had another guy to put with Bratsen in the 1/2 hole, then Naquin would hit in the 3 hole. His best tool though is his cannon (VERY fun to watch). Tyler will likely be a 1st or 2nd round pick next year.
- CF Bratsen (R) --- 4 tool player who lacks the power to be a 5 tool guy. Excellent bunter and base stealer. He is a freshman, but does not play like it.
- DH Juengel (R) --- Tall lanky kid who lacks a position defensively but he is a solid hitter. Last year he had a much better year. I am not sure if its the bats or if he just never got scorching hot like he did last year. He has pop and is in a decent hot streak right now.
- 1B House (L) --- Does not have the power you would expect from a 4 hole hitter. He is more of a line drive hitter. Excellent defensively at 1B (best I have seen from a college 1B).
- 3B Smith (R) --- One of the more frustrating guys from a fan's perspective. He has ALL the tools, but he just hasn't put it all together yet. He had a very good last month of the season after starting awful. He probably has the best power on the team, but he is also the most likely to strikeout.
- C Gonzo (R) --- Excellent defensively blocking balls, solid arm. At the dish he can be inconsistent but he had a solid regional. The stats may not say that, but he hit the ball hard and had some "loud outs".
- LF Wood (R) --- Nothing special at the plate. Solid player defensively.
- SS Jackson (L) --- Patient hitter, usually works the count. Not very fast. Very consistent defensively. Doesn't make flashy plays, but doesn't make many errors either.
- 2B Collazo (R) --- Solid defensively, excellent base stealer, patient at the plate. Good 9 hole hitter and helped key our late season run by consistently turning over the lineup.
- C Alcazar (R) --- Best pure hitter on the bench, but not good defensively.
- 2B/3B Curl (R) --- Typically comes in for Smith in a late defensive substitution (Collazo moves to 3B, Curl to 2B). He is a freshman with a decent bat as well.
- Utility Arthur (R) --- Solid base stealer and can play all defensive positions other than C and 1B. If he plays its likely as a late inning pinch runner or defensive replacement for a pinch hitter.
- OF Statum (L) --- Fast, but small outfielder. Not a big arm. Up and down at the plate. I would say he is unlikely to play in the series, but if he does its likely to pinch hit for a right hander or pinch run if Arthur has already been used.
- Stilson (R) --- This is our ace and he is injured (labrum). Luckily, we really had 3 "aces" all season long so we still have 2 in Wacha and Stripling.
- Wacha (R) --- Big tall right hander who has great stuff. He pitched Friday and again Tuesday so he may not pitch again until Monday. If he is on you will be good to get 3 or 4 runs on him.
- Stripling (R) --- Another tall right hander. Has a true 3 pitch mix with a 90-92 fastball, big 12-6 curve and a great changeup (when its on). If all 3 of his pitches are working, he can shut down any lineup. He struggled against KState at the Big 12 tournament but came back with a complete game ~4 hitter against Seton Hall in the regional.
- Hadley (R) --- Primarily a contact pitcher who relies on his defense. Tries to get good downward action on his fastball and works away with the breaking ball. Uses a change occasionally.
- Fleece (R) --- steady but not spectacular closer. Has been described as having a "rubber arm" so I wouldn't be surprised if he goes in all 3 games if necessary. He pumps strikes and keeps the ball down (0 HR allowed).
- Kyle Martin (R) --- Submariner who has been pretty good most of the year, but he REALLY struggled against Arizona. He is prone to hitting batters but he also typically keeps the ball down (1 HR allowed on the season).
- Hinojosa (R) --- Has better "stuff" than Martin and Fleece, but he lacks consistency. He was the closer for a good portion of the season, but is not a middle relief guy. He also struggles with HBP.
- Parrent (L) --- He didn't pitch in the regional, was going to be our game 4 starter until the game got moved back a day. He has very good stuff, but can be inconsistent throwing strikes which gets him into hitters counts and that can hurt him. Sometimes leaves the ball up (leads team in HR allowed).
- Mendoza (L) --- may come in for a situational lefty or if a game goes 20 innings
- Uriegas (L) --- Situational lefty
- Steve Martin --- Has actually pitched pretty well the last few weeks. I don't expect to see him this weekend.
- Ross Hales (L) --- Was a weekend starter 2 years ago as a freshman before having shoulder surgery. He is supposedly healthy again, but his velocity isn't back. He is on the travel roster, but I don't expect to see him.
Thanks again to Goose06, go over and visit their site at TexAgs.com
The highlight for the Seminoles was All-American left handed pitcher Sean Gilmartin going to the Atlanta Braves with the 28th pick overall.
Here is was John Sickles of Minor League Ball thought of the pick:
28. Atlanta Braves: Sean Gilmartin (LHP, Florida State University)
Gilmartin might not have been easy for the Braves to choose, as they hadn't selected a college player in the first round only twice since 1992. But the Braves know how to scout the South, and Gilmartin is a polished lefty who has patterned himself after Tom Glavine and Cole Hamels.
This marks the first time a Florida State pitcher was drafted in the 1st round since Nick Stocks was taken in the supplemental round of the 1999 draft. Congratulations to Sean, he is one of the hardest working and best pitchers to ever come through Tallahassee and will be sorely missed. Best of luck to him in the future.
Other current Seminole players who were drafted are as follows:
- Mike McGee – OF – 15th Round – Seattle Mariners - Seminole fans can’t thank Mike McGee enough for returning his senior year, he was taken last year in the 41st round and despite being drafted much higher he stands to lose money.
- Rafael Lopez – C – 16th Round – Chicago Cubs - He had a career year at the plate for the Noles and has developed into an excellent defensive catcher.
- Daniel Bennett – RHP – 19th Round – Detroit Tigers – He was workhorse out of the bullpen who can be very effective against both righty and left batters.
All of the above players had fantastic careers at Florida State and will be missed.
- James Ramsey – OF – 22nd Round – Minnesota Twins - I think he is in a similar situation to Mike McGee was last year. Ramsey has had a great season so far and if he returns I am not sure how much he could improve his draft stock next year.
- Taiwan Easterling – OF – 27th Round – Chicago Cubs - He was drafted lower than some projected. This is the 3rd time Easterling has been drafted and in previous years his asking price was too high forcing him to college. It is really anyone’s guess what he does.
- Eric Arce – OF – 25th Round – Toronto Blue Jays - Arce was dismissed/left the team a couple weeks into the season so he is not officially a member of the Noles but thought it was worth noting.
- Fransico Lindor – SS - 1st Round (8th Overall) – Cleveland Indians - Despite what MLB Network stated Lindor was not a FSU recruit. He never signed a LOI and went on record as saying he would go the JUCO route before playing ball at a university.
- Roman Quinn – OF – 2nd Round – Philadelphia Phillies - Seminole fans shouldn’t hold their breath for Quinn as he will more than likely be offered enough money to skip college.
- Mario Amarol – C – 17th Round – Milwaukee Brewers and Luke Weaver – RHP – 19th Round – Toronto Blue Jays - Both of these recruits would have an immediate impact next year as the Seminoles look to fill many holes. Their presence on campus in the fall is totally dependent on the whether or not their respective teams want to overspend on them.
Rounds 31-50 will come later today and I expect underclassmen pitchers Brian Busch and Hunter Scantling to be drafted. Despite the late rounds and minimal money I would expect them to bolt for the minors whether the can start to develop instead of returning to a team where pitchers regress.
You shouldn’t expect any news about any players for a few weeks but as players sign or decide to return to Florida State we will keep you updated. Congratulations to all of the players that were drafted and best of luck to them in whatever path they should take.