For the 32nd time in FSU Baseball history, the Seminoles will host a Regional in Tallahassee this upcoming weekend. We know have previewed the three other teams; College of Charleston, Auburn, and Mercer. Below is a look at what the Seminoles and how they stack up to with their opponents.
You need players on base in order to score runs and while Florida State has the lowest batting average by almost 20 points a base hit is not the only way to reach. For the fifth time in the last six years the Noles are leading the nation in walks and have also reached base 89 time via the hit by pitch which ranks 6th in the country. Put that together and that means Florida State has more men on base than any other team in the regional and is in the top 20 national ranks. Florida State does their best to maximize those runners on base as they do not waste outs trying to sacrifice bunts and they are capable of hitting for power as they rank 20th in the nation with 55 homeruns.
A huge reason why the Seminoles score nearly seven runs a game is All-American outfielder DJ Stewart who is 4th in the country in on-base percentage thanks in part to his NCAA leading 66 walks. He can also swing the bat as evident by his 13 homeruns and team leading .585 slugging percentage. Protecting Stewart is Quincy Nieporte (.293/.391/.420) who has been a productive addition to the lineup as well as an innovator in celebrations. Florida State is hopeful that sophomore Ben Deluzio has broken out of his season long slump and is able to play to his potential that made him a third round draft pick out of high school. The center fielder made the All ACC Tournament team by going 8 for 12 over the final three games with a double, homerun and five driven in.
|FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES|
|2015 SEASON STATISTICS - PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP|
|DJ Stewart *||LF||L||59||59||271||9||2||13||10||13||76.9%||15.5%||24.4%||0.318||0.506||0.585||1.090||0.348||0.267|
|Quincy Nieporte @||1B||R||56||49||227||9||0||5||1||2||50.0%||7.5%||9.3%||0.293||0.391||0.420||0.811||0.294||0.128|
|Dylan Busby $||3B||R||58||56||235||14||0||9||12||13||92.3%||30.2%||11.5%||0.245||0.368||0.458||0.826||0.330||0.214|
|Danny De La Calle||C||R||58||56||212||9||2||8||2||3||66.7%||27.8%||4.7%||0.260||0.301||0.453||0.755||0.326||0.193|
|% - Conf. Player of the Year *- 1st Team All Conf. # - 2nd Team All Conf. @ - 3rd Team All Conf. $ -All Conf. Freshmen|
The Seminoles have to be pleased with how the team pitched in the ACC Tournament, the staff threw a combined 36 innings, allowing only 25 hits and 7 runs while issuing 12 walks and 37 strikeouts. It all starts with Friday ace Boomer Biegalski who won the conference tournament MVP, the righty has one of the best strikeout ratios in the regional and also in in the top 50 nationwide. He has pitched at least five innings in every start this season and has allowed three runs or less in 13 of his 15 starts. Making the start on Friday evening is MIke Compton who had an excellent start in the tournament where he struck out six and walked none improving his impressive 6.40 strikeout to walk ratio which ranks 18th in the country.
There was question to who should be the Noles third starter at the end of the season and Drew Carlton ended that conversation with a brilliant performance against Louisville in the tournament. He blanked the Cards, allowing just five hits over seven innings and will more than likely be the best starting pitcher on the mound when he takes his turn this weekend.
At this point in the season there are really only two arms that head coach Mike Martin trusts and that is Dylan Silva and Billy Strode, both have had their ups and downs this season but are pitching well as of late. The enticing part of the two are their ridiculous strikeout ratios, when they are on there is no one better but when they lost control as indicated by their terrible walk rate situations can get out of hand. Bryant Holtmann is another arm that could be used in long relief should the Noles need him and hopefully that is the only role he plays this weekend.
|FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES|
|2015 SEASON STATISTICS - PITCHERS OF NOTE WITH SEASON TOTALS IN BOLD|
|Billy Strode #||LHP||26||0||30.3||2.08||1.22||6.23||12.16||4.75||2.56||3.26||0.288||0.198||0.603|
|% - Conf. Pitcher of the Year *- 1st Team All Conf. # - 2nd Team All Conf. $ -All Conf. Freshmen|
Defense and Baserunning
The Seminoles defense has been a thorn in their side all season but it is not completely unexpected. Two freshmen on the left side of the infield were they main culprits as they were responsible 40% of the total errors committed this season. Florida State does not have the offense and pitching to overcome poor defense, some silver lining is that the Noles committed only 37 errors in the second half of the year as opposed to 48 in the first half.
Florida State had another cautious year on the base paths attempting of 74 times so far and with a team success rate right at 77% you have to consider that an asset for this already potent offense.
What Florida State team shows up this weekend? The team that lost five straight at the end of the regular season and played some of the most uninspiring baseball I've ever seen or the team that just won four straight, three against postseason teams. The Noles have the most wins against teams with an RPI of 50 or better so it is evident that they can beat any team they face. Hopefully the momentum of the tournament carries over and Florida State has a better showing than that of a year ago.