After a very successful season that included a trip to super regionals for Florida State baseball, it was time for some of those men to be rewarded. Florida State wound up having a total of seven players drafted in the 2015 MLB Draft, with four of them being seniors who left their mark on the program. This also extended the streaks of at least five players drafted by the Noles, dating back to 2003, and having at least one player drafted since 1975. Currently, there are seven former Florida State players making an impact at the MLB level each week. As seven players heard their names in the past couple of days, we take a look at where the are heading, and what that brings in store.
DJ Stewart was the first Nole to hear his name, going 25th overall to the Baltimore Orioles, becoming the highest draft pick selection by a Florida State player since James Ramsey in 2012. It also marked the first time since 2011-2012 that Florida State had a first round draft pick in consecutive years. He had another great season, batting .318 and leading the NCAA in walks. The Orioles are a perfect place for Stewart to rank up quickly as, according to Baseball America, the O's only have one left fielder in their top ten prospect list.
The next Seminole off the board was senior catcher, Danny De La Calle going in the ninth round, 268th overall, to the Tampa Bay Rays. DLC had a breakout season at the plate, hitting eight home runs after not hitting one in his previous tenure at FSU. Just as Baltimore, according to Baseball America, the Rays only have one prospect in their top 10 that is a catcher, who happens to be struggling thus far, hitting .190 in 90 games played at the Double-A level. Tampa also is notorious for playing a lot of in house prospects at a young age, giving players like De La Calle a higher chance to make it to the MLB level than most other teams.
Just one round later, at 304th overall, senior closer Billy Strode was drafted to the Cleveland Indians. Strode was arguably Florida State's best pitcher, with an ERA of 1.80 in his 35 innings pitched, including 14 saves. Of all MLB teams, Cleveland currently ranks eighth in relief ERA, giving Strode a great foundation for him to learn off of. He will also reunite with former Seminoles Tyler Holt and James Ramsey who are both working up the ranks in the minors.
Dylan Silva, junior reliever, was selected 335th overall, in the 11th round to Seattle. After struggling at the beginning of the season, Silva came through at the most important time for FSU, having remarkable success in the second half of the season, going into Regionals. The Seattle Mariners have a great pitching foundation, and are known to draft very pitcher heavy, with history showing that many of those pitchers rise in the organization depth quickly. This is also the second year in a row that Seattle has taken a Florida State pitcher in the top 11 rounds, after selecting Pete Miller in round 9.
Sophomore pitcher Boomer Biegalski was selected by the Oakland A's in round 14, 428th overall. Biegalski was only the third Florida State player to be selected by Oakland since 2003. After a season in which he became the ace of the FSU pitching staff in just his first season in Tallahassee, he was named the MVP of the ACC Tournament. Oakland is also a very minor league friendly team as they instill success into their young guys, giving them many opportunities for success at the MLB, and minor league level.
Bryant Holtmann, senior pitcher, was selected in the 24th round, going 706th overall to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Holtmann pitched to a 3.36 ERA while getting most of his outs off the bat, only striking out 33 batters in 64 1/3 innings pitched. Four of the top five prospects on the Diamondbacks are pitchers in which Holtmann will gain a lot of knowledge from. Once instilled in the organization, Holtmann will most likely be a long reliever or a lefty matchup specialist out of the bullpen.
Last, but not least, senior outfielder Josh Delph heard his name called by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the 37th round, 1125th overall. Great players such as Mike Piazza and Keith Hernandez heard their names called later than Delph did, showing that you can't predict ones future based on where they were drafted. Delph was third on the team with a .292 average, and excelled in the field, only committing one error in 90 attempts. He will join former Seminoles Stephen Mcgee and Sherman Johnson who are currently in the Angels system.
Florida State will most likely lose their two biggest commits to the draft, although it was highly anticipated that this would happen, as Brendan Rodgers went third overall to the Colorado Rockies, and Daz Cameron went to Houston at number 37.
Although seven more players, teammates, and students are now gone, they will never be forgotten and will always be Seminoles.