After getting a chance to learn about several of the incoming freshman, it’s time to get to know the lone graduate transfer joining the 2018 squad. Perhaps the name sounds familiar to some of you.
Rafael Bournigal (INF)
This season will not be the first time Florida State fans have heard the name Rafael Bournigal through the speakers of Mike Martin Field. His father, also Rafael, was a member of the FSU baseball team before being drafted and playing seven years (1992-1999) in the majors.
Having graduated from Belmont Univesity in Nashville, TN, Bournigal is excited to play for the same team as his father. When asked about how difficult it can be to perform given the success of his father, Bournigal did not hesitate.
“Not at all,” said the Mulberry, FL native. “In fact, at times I think it’s a little bit easier.”
Last season Bournigal batted .331 with 31 RBI for the Bruins. Perhaps even more impressive is that he walked (30 BB) more than he struck out (24 K) during his 56 games played. In 2012, after graduating from Lakeland (Fla.) Christian School, he was selected to play in the Area Code Games in Long Beach, CA. Perfect Game listed him as one of the Top 200 shortstops (by class) in the country.
The 23-year-old infielder, despite being new to the team, should provide some leadership qualities to a Seminoles roster that is replacing both middle-infield starters. When asked about the idea of competing for a starting job, Bournigal said the coaching staff was “keeping their cards close to their chest.” There are a few key position-battles to keep an eye on as Opening Day draws near— we have more on that here.
When asked about who’s been helpful to him so far this year, Bournigal didn’t hesitate. “Cal (Raleigh) for sure,” he said while laughing. “He’s a funny dude and since I’m rooming with him and Cole (Sands), I’ve got to meet them quite a bit. They’re both great guys.”
Working toward a Masters degree in accounting, it’s easy to understand why he called the transition “smooth,” given that he’s the elder statesman and was able to take in a lot of knowledge and information from his father. If the ’Noles are to make a repeat trip to Omaha, Bournigal will more than likely be a big reason for that success.