Today marks the start of a big weekend for the Florida State Baseball program, there are more players in this draft associated with the Seminoles than there has been in a while. This is not a bad problem to have, it means that your currently and future players are highly thought which leads to having success on the field. Here is the schedule for this weekend's draft:
6 p.m. - Draft preview show on MLB Network and MLB.com
7 p.m. - Live Draft (Round 1, Comp. A, Round 2, Comp. B) on MLB Network and MLB.com
12:30 p.m. - Draft preview show on MLB.com
1 p.m. - Live Draft (Rounds 3-10) on MLB.com
1 p.m. - Live Draft (Rounds 11-40) on MLB.com
If you are unaware all current four college players who are 21 years of age or will be a month after to the draft are eligible to be drafted. Junior college players regardless of how many year they have played in college and all high school players are draft eligible as well. A player being drafted today only is only part of the puzzle to what type of team the Noles will have next season, unlike football players can opt to not sign with a team and come back to college or attend for the first time. The deadline for amateur draft picks to sign this year is July 18th.
Here is a look at current and future players in this year's draft.
For this article we are only going to focus on underclassmen that are draft eligible. There are some seniors that could be taken in later rounds, specifically Gage Smith, Justin Gonzalez and Peter Miller, their contributions to Florida State will be highlighted in next week's season recap article. There are currently twelve non-seniors who are eligible for the draft, of those I could see seven or eight being drafted with four or five actually signing.
Most Likely Candidates to Leave:
Luke Weaver, RHP - He is obviously the marquee name in this class, as he is expected to be one of the first fifty players drafted with a chance that he goes in the second half of the first round. Weaver has been a tremendous pitcher for Florida State, his 2013 season was one of the best in the country and the Noles will have a big hole to fill in replacing their Friday night ace. Drafted in the 19th round by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2011 MLB Draft.
Jose Brizuela, 3B - I have seen him ranked in the top 300 which means he has an outside shot of being drafted in the top 10 rounds but I have a hard time believing that will happen. His size, lack of power and poor defense have him stuck in the outfield at the next level and I don't see him improving all that much next season. I could see him taking a deal if he was drafted in the first 25 rounds. Drafted in the 46th round by the Cincinnati Reds in the 2011 MLB Draft.
John Nogowski, 1B - Although not as highly thought of Brizuela the local product could be in a position where he doesn't see his draft stock rising next year and wants to move on to the next level. By now we all now that Nogowski was pulled in the final game of the season because it might have been his last game, while I don't put too much stock into it you have to wonder that if Martin thinks it will be his last at-bat then it very well could be.
Brandon Leibrandt, LHP - A lot of question marks here as he is coming off of injury, luckily for him he is more of a command guy than over powering. He is a lefty with size and pedigree which will play in his favor, the Noles could desperately use him back next year but it wouldn't be all that surprising to not see him pitch again in college. Drafted in the 48th round by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2011 MLB Draft.
Other Draft Eligible Juniors:
Bryant Holtmann - LHP - His size, 6'5" and throwing from the left side is obviously what intrigues teams but he is coming off of an injury. What looked like an awful season ending injury when it happened turned out to be a forearm strain that kept him sidelined for the rest of the season. He did throw bullpen session for scouts this past Sunday and he could be given enough money to make me forgo my season.
Billy Strode - LHP - Does Strode want to come back for his senior season and compete for a spot in the weekend rotation or does he want to move on. Robby Coles was a right handed reliever who left after he was drafted in the 28th round last season.
Mike Compton - RHP - Compton is the most likely drafted player to return in my opinion as he still has two years of eligibility left. He has room for improvement and can still have leverage entering next year's draft.
Danny De La Calle - C -He is the best defensive catcher I have ever seen at Florida State and while he probably will never see a major league roster there are teams that would utilize his ability to work with pitchers.
Junior College Players:
Michael Mader - LHP - He has said that he would like to go to college but six figures is hard to turn down . Florida State could desperately use his services next season but top 200 players are not easy to come by.
Danny Mars - OF - His name has been on lists of players in the state of Florida that could go pro, he would be a nice addition to Florida State next season and I would be surprised if he was drafted high enough for that not to happen.
High School Players (alphabetical order):
Drew Carlton - RHP - He is good enough to be drafted and he might be at the back end of the 100 best high school pitchers in the country.
Nicholas Gordon - SS - It is great to have his name associated with Florida State and he said some really great things about why he committed but he will be a top 10 pick tonight and never step foot on campus.
Cobi Johnson RHP - The son of a former second rounder and brief major leaguer is one the top 100 players in the country. He will probably go in the first five rounds which means a very healthy signing bonus. Him pitching for the Seminoles next season would be a huge get, although unlikely.
Andrew Karp RHP - Another high school pitcher who will be drafted in the top 10 rounds and have a difficult decision with a lot of money on the table.
Matthew Railey OF - I've seen him go anywhere from the third to the tenth round but he is one of the better high school outfield players in the country and will probably go before the fifth which means he will have a tough decision to make.
Sean Reid-Foley RHP - His name will be called in the first round tonight which means he would have to turn down seven figures to attend Florida State. I don't see that happening.
Carson Sands LHP - In a year where there is an abundance of high school pitching Sands has fallen behind. He was a much bigger prospect two years ago but is still great. He would work his way into the Friday night ace roll if he was able to turn down the money that comes with a 2nd or 3rd round draft pick.
This is not a complete list of players that are currently committed to Florida State and there could be some other commits that are drafted. The names above are the biggest names you will see that have Seminoles ties over the next three days and you should notice that this is a change from season's past. There has been a recruiting philosophy change since Mike Bell was brought on and that is to go after the best players regardless of what their future decisions are and the Noles have done a great job of that this season. With that means missing out on some guys but the payoff of landing just one or two players above can be extremely beneficial.
The draft starts tonight at 7PM and we will update you throughout the weekend on players drafted and what that means for Florida State.
Congrats to the following seniors who were drafted.