The No. 11 Florida State baseball team will host the No. 22 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets this weekend, and the 'Noles are set to commence ACC play positioned near the top of the country in numerous offensive categories. Mike Martins' Seminoles are routinely a patient ball club, and 2016 has been no exception so far.
Evidence? How about the fact that the 'Noles have drawn more walks than any other team in the country (97) so far this season? Individually, Matt Henderson is fifth in the nation, with 16. And these Seminoles will wear one to get aboard, too, as only two teams have been hit by more pitches than FSU (28). Working that many free passes means runners on the base paths, and sure enough, FSU is also tops in the land in on-base percentage, at .457. Heading up the charge: John Sansone (.540), Gage West (.532), and Henderson (.509).
Of course, base runners don't mean much if they don't touch home plate. And the 'Noles are among the country's best at lighting up the scoreboard, as their 125 runs this season are second only to Vanderbilt's 128 at present. Leadoff man Taylor Walls has been getting it done, scoring 19 of those runs, which is fifth, nationally. And the Seminoles have been one of the more selfless teams in getting runs across: their 11 sacrifice flies are the third-highest in the country.
So what do these numbers tell us? Well, again, a patient Mike Martin team is nothing new. Drawing walks, getting hit by pitches, reaching base by any means necessary-- it's certainly not the sexiest brand of baseball. But despite his early season visit, D.J. Stewart won't be walking into that batter's box, nor will Chris Marconcini. This team just doesn't have a lot of long-range pop, and that's fine. A big part of a team formulating its identity is realizing exactly what it is-- and is not. And to date, this squad has accepted, and is playing, its role quite well.