Florida State always has one of the most talented rosters in the nation and FSU’s all-decade team is hard to top. The Seminoles averaged 45 wins per season in the decade, but still never got over the hump in Omaha. The Seminoles have boasted many All-Americans and multiple player of the year finalists in the last 10 years. With the baseball talent in Florida and the prestige of the FSU program, Dick Howser Stadium features premium college baseball talent on the diamond every year. Let’s take a look at the Seminoles best position players from the last ten years.
Starting catcher: Cal Raleigh
- 2016: .301 AVG/.412 OBP/.511 SLG/10 HR/50 RBI
- 2017: .227 AVG/.330 OBP/.398 SLG/9 HR/39 RBI
- 2018: .326 AVG/.447 OBP/.583 SLG/13 HR/54 RBI
Why it’s Raleigh: Cal Raleigh had a bit of a roller coaster career at FSU, but his two good seasons heavily outweighed a sophomore slump. Raleigh made a quick impact when he reached Tallahassee, hitting the second most homers on the team and earning freshman All-American honors. The North Carolina-native saw his numbers drop in his sophomore year, but he was still a cornerstone for FSU’s pitching staff as he started all 69 games in 2017. The catcher bounced back in his junior year, helping not only FSU but also his draft stock. Raleigh compiled a 1.030 OPS and led the ‘Noles with a .326 batting average in 2018 as he was named to the All-ACC team. Raleigh went on to be the fourth college catcher drafted as he was selected in the third round of the 2018 MLB draft by the Mariners.
Honorable mention: Rafael Lopez
Starting first baseman: Jayce Boyd
- 2010: .326 AVG/.394 OBP/.507 SLG/8 HR/39 RBI
- 2011: .343 AVG/.423 OBP/.543 SLG/8 HR/60 RBI
- 2012: .376 AVG/.452 OBP/.506 SLG/4 HR/61 RBI
Why it’s Boyd: Like Raleigh, Jayce Boyd made an immediate impact at FSU and was named a freshman All-American. As a freshman, Boyd led the Seminoles with a .457 batting average in the postseason as FSU made a run to Omaha. The FL-native continued to impress as his batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage all improved in his sophomore season. For the second straight year, Boyd hit over .420 in the NCAA tournament. Boyd capped off his FSU career as a first team All-American and a golden spikes semifinalist after hitting .376 and reaching base at a 45.2% clip. The first baseman was selected in the sixth round of the 2012 MLB draft by the New York Mets.
Honorable mention: John Nogowski
Starting second baseman: Devon Travis
- 2010: .276 AVG/.331 OBP/.436 SLG/3 HR/22 RBI
- 2011: .329 AVG/.455 OBP/.519 SLG/6 HR/33 RBI
- 2012: .325 AVG/.400 OBP/.504 SLG/8 HR/44 RBI
Why it’s Travis: Devon Travis had a slow start to his FSU career after breaking his hamate bone and missing the first quarter of his freshman season. Travis put together a .324 postseason average and established himself as the Seminoles’ second baseman for the years to come. The West Palm Beach native put together a strong sophomore season, leading to first team All-ACC honors. The 5’9 Travis led the entire ACC with 26 doubles on the season while also posting a .320 average in the NCAA tournament. The second baseman finished his college career as a second team All-American as he led the ‘Noles in doubles for the second straight year. Travis was selected in the 13th round of the 2012 MLB draft by the Detroit Tigers and has compiled a .274 average and .751 OPS in 1169 MLB at-bats.
Honorable mention: John Sansone
Starting shortstop: Taylor Walls
- 2015: .220 AVG/.373 OBP/.247 SLG/0 HR/22 RBI
- 2016: .355 AVG/.479 OBP/.516 SLG/6 HR/46 RBI
- 2017: .273 AVG/.421 OBP/.423 SLG/8 HR/47 RBI
Why it’s Walls: Taylor Walls’ freshman year was not kind to him, as he put together just a .620 OPS. Walls was the only freshman to start all 65 games in the season and was second on the team in walks. The Georgia-native bounced back with an All-American sophomore season, just the third time an FSU SS had been named a first team All-American. Walls led the team with 72 runs and 59 walks while hitting .355 and reaching base nearly 48% of the time from the top of the order. The shortstop’s numbers dropped in his junior year, but he still reached base and scored runs at a ridiculous rate from the top of FSU’s order. Walls was first in the nation in walks and second in runs scored. The former All-American went on to be drafted in the 3rd round of the 2017 MLB draft by the Tampa Bay Rays.
Honorable mention: Justin Gonzalez
Starting third baseman: Dylan Busby
- 2015: .242 AVG/.363 OBP/.455 SLG/9 HR/45 RBI
- 2016: .323 AVG/.374 OBP/.597 SLG/14 HR/55 RBI
- 2017: .315 AVG/.399 OBP/.597 SLG/15 HR/65 RBI
Why it’s Busby: Dylan Busby didn’t put up the best numbers in his freshman season, but flashed his power potential as he tied for the team lead in doubles and posted a .455 slugging percentage. Busby was named to the All-ACC freshman team and was also a freshman All-American. The Sarasota-native was FSU’s leading offensive force in 2016 as he led the team in slugging percentage, triples, and home runs. He also tore up the prestigious Cape Cod League that summer as he was named to the All-Star team while hitting .322 and stealing nine bases. The third baseman led the team in HR’s for the second straight year in his junior season and earned All-ACC third team honors. Busby was taken 88th overall by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2017 MLB draft, just nine picks after Walls.
Honorable mention: Sherman Johnson
Starting OF: DJ Stewart
- 2013: .364 AVG/.469 OBP/.560 SLG/5 HR/59 RBI
- 2014: .351 AVG/.472 OBP/.557 SLG/7 HR/50 RBI
- 2015: .318 AVG/.500 OBP/.593 SLG/15 HR/59 RBI
Why it’s Stewart: DJ Stewart dominated college baseball from the moment he stepped onto Mike Martin Field. Stewart was named to the All-ACC second team and freshmen All-American team after leading FSU in batting average, hit, doubles, and slugging percentage in his freshman season. The Jacksonville-native backed up his freshman season with an ACC Player of the Year honor in 2014. DJ led the ‘Noles in batting average, on base percentage, and slugging percentage in his sophomore season. Pitchers began to pitch around him in his junior year, as his average dropped 33 percentage points but he reached base 50% of his plate appearances. Stewart was a first-team ACC and All-American player after leading the team in nearly every offensive category. One of the Seminole greats, Stewart went on to be a first round draft pick in the 2015 draft. Stewart has put together a .744 OPS in 166 MLB at-bats with the Baltimore Orioles.
Starting OF: James Ramsey
- 2010: .287 AVG/.430 OBP/.517 SLG/9 HR/63 RBI
- 2011: .364 AVG/.442 OBP/.580 SLG/10 HR/67 RBI
- 2012: .378 AVG/.513 OBP/.652 SLG/13 HR/58 RBI
Why it’s Ramsey: James Ramsey started just nine games in his freshman season, but became an every day starter in his sophomore year, starting all 68 games. Ramsey drove in 63 runs and drew 50 walks on the season. The Georgia-native broke out in his second year as a starter, earning third team All-American honors. Ramsey led FSU in batting average, hits, RBI, stolen bases, and slugging percentage. The outfielder was taken with the 688th pick in the draft, but returned to school for his senior year, and it paid off for him. The team captain was a consensus All-American honors and the ACC Player of the Year. Ramsey was also named the ABCA National Player of the Year. Ramsey went on to be drafted with the 23rd pick in the 2012 draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. Ramsey never made it to the majors, but he will go down as one of the best players to ever play in Dick Howser Stadium.
Starting OF: Mike McGee
- 2010: .328 AVG/.438 OBP/.600 SLG/17 HR/73 RBI
- 2011: .321 AVG/.436 OBP/.517 SLG/10 HR/58 RBI
Why it’s McGee: Mike McGee was a dominant force in the FSU outfield for all four years of his career, but for the purpose of this article, let’s highlight his last two years at FSU. McGee put up a monster 1.043 OPS in his junior year while reaching base in 49% of his plate appearances. McGee led FSU with 17 HR’s and 73 RBI’s while hitting 3rd or 4th for the entirety of the season. McGee’s power number took a step back in his senior season, but he still reached the double digit mark with 10 HR’s. The Port St. Lucie native was third on the team in runs. The outfielder went on to be drafted in the 15th round of the 2011 draft by the Seattle Mariners.
Honorable mention OF’s: Jackson Lueck, Tyler Holt, JC Flowers
Starting Designated hitter: Drew Mendoza
- 2017: .270 AVG/.400 OBP/.534 SLG/10 HR/33 RBI
- 2018: .313 AVG/.440 OBP/.491 SLG/7 HR/44 RBI
- 2019: .308 AVG/.471 OBP/.594 SLG/16 HR/56 RBI
Why it’s Mendoza: Drew Mendoza came into Florida State as the top-rated high school player to attend college out of the 2016 class. After some crazy injuries delayed the start to his freshman year, Mendo showed off the power that made him the top rated freshman in the nation. Mendoza’s .534 slugging percentage made him a freshman All-American. In his first fully healthy season, the power numbers dropped but Mendoza’s average rose over .300 and he drew 46 walks on the season. In his junior season, the former number one recruit put it all together. Mendoza broke through for a career high 16 homers and drew 70 walks, the second-most in the country. The Minneola-native finds himself as the DH on this list due to defensive struggles. Drewbacca was drafted in the fourth round of the 2019 draft by the Washington Nationals.
Honorable mention: Quincy Nieporte
Utility man: Jose Brizuela
- 2012: .226 AVG/.322 OBP/.326 SLG/2 HR/38 RBI
- 2013: .324 AVG/.422 OBP/.472 SLG/4 HR/44 RBI
- 2014: .321 AVG/.406 OBP/.445 SLG/3 HR/38 RBI
Why it’s Brizuela: Jose Brizuela didn’t have a great freshman year but he made the most appearances of any FSU freshman in 2012. Brizuela played LF for most of the season before being moved to third base in his sophomore season. The Venezuelan-born Brizuela broke out after the position move. Brizuela hit .324 and produced 70 hits on the season. The third baseman also came in through the clutch often, hitting .392 with runners in scoring position. The Archbishop McCarthy graduate put up a similar stat line in his junior season, as his 70 hits led the team in 2014. Brizuela was named to the All-ACC first team in his junior season before he was taken in the 16th round of the 2014 draft by the Oakland Athletics.
Honorable mention: Mike Salvatore
All-decade team lineup:
- RF James Ramsey
- LF DJ Stewart
- 1B Jayce Boyd
- CF Mike McGee
- 3B Dylan Busby
- DH Drew Mendoza
- C Cal Raleigh
- 2B Devon Travis
- SS Taylor Walls