It appears that the bullpen was a big focal point for the Seminoles coaching staff when looking at the incoming freshman class. Shane Drohan isn’t the only highly regarded lefty joining the ’Noles this season. Coaches Mike Martin, Mike Bell, and Mike Martin Jr. certainly did a nice job of recruiting left-handed talent for the 2021 graduating class.
Austin Pollock (LHP)
Standing at 6’3’’ and 180 lbs., Pollock is exactly what you picture when you think of a tall left-handed pitcher. The general rule in baseball is that you can never have too much pitching— and that’s certainly true when it comes to southpaws. The St. Louis Cardinals saw enough talent in the Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln High School product to make him their selection in the 40th round of the 2017 MLB Draft.
Pollock has a three-pitch repertoire consisting of a fastball, curveball, and changeup. And he’ll be the first to admit that it is critical for him to command all three pitches at the collegiate level.
“The hitters we face and the way I have to pitch,” Pollock said when talking about the transition from high school. “I’ve really learned to throw my off-speed for strikes and command the zone.”
His fastball can sit in the low 90s and, similar to Drohan, can be deceptive when coming down hill from such an elevated angle. According to Perfect Game, Pollock was the eighth-ranked LHP in the state of Florida and the 39th ranked in the nation. Including D.L. Hall, who committed to FSU but was drafted (1st Round) and signed by the Baltimore Orioles, the Seminoles landed four of the nation’s top 100 LHPs out of high school; no other school secured as many high-level left-handers as FSU. Vanderbilt, TCU, and USC each received three of the top 100 lefties.
When asked about the current absence of a National Championship at FSU, Pollock was quick to point out both the quality of the guys returning and the strength of the incoming class.
“We’re hoping to change that this year,” Pollock said in a phone conversation. “We’re returning a bunch of guys and we got a really good freshman class. We’re looking to make a run for it and hopefully change that.”
Learning from the Leaders
This isn’t the first time that Pollock has been around FSU standouts Tyler Holton and Cole Sands. And while they may have known each other for a while, those guys are providing a lot of much needed support for the freshman.
“I’ve known Cole probably since I was in the sixth grade, and Tyler around the same time. I’ve just been picking their brain as much as I can,” Pollock said when asked who has helped him the most. “In my ear helping me as much as they can, answering any questions I have. Whenever they see me struggling, them two have definitely helped me a lot.”
Out of the Bullpen
Baseball is full of superstitions and players are very particular about their game-day routine. As a relief pitcher, the most exciting moment is entering the game in the later innings. This season it will be easy to tell when Pollock is being called upon because you’ll be listening to the sounds of old school country music.
He’s even chosen his entrance song already...