Dylan Simmons will come into Florida State looking to win the first base position battle, but he’s already won a much bigger battle before getting to campus. Simmons was diagnosed with Lymphoma, in the middle of May just after winning a regional title with Trinity Christian Academy. The Jacksonville-native, who’s been signed with FSU since 2016, had to put a pause on the beginning of his college career as he went through chemo-therapy. Simmons finished chemo-therapy on July, 24th and will now have the chance to join FSU’s roster and make an immediate impact in spring.
The Florida-native is a cancer survivor, but also a stud baseball player. The 6’3 Simmons comes into FSU as the #1 rated first baseman in Florida. After last year’s struggles at the position, brining in a high-level first baseman was key for Mike Martin Jr. Simmons can also give FSU some minutes on the mound, but I would expect him to just focus on hitting when he gets to FSU. Simmons has been up to 92 MPH off the mound with his fastball, but with FSU’s depth at RHP’s and their struggles at 1B, he will look to make an impact in the field.
Simmons was rated the 144th best incoming freshman in the nation and the 30th best in the ACC. The right-handed hitter will bring a powerful bat and large frame to FSU. When he barrels up a ball, it will go a long way. His big body creates quick bat speed through the zone and the strength gives him the ability to drive the ball to all fields. On the mound, Simmons has the ability to throw strikes at a consistent rate while missing bats with a fastball-slider combo.
When talking to Meat in the fall, he was confident that Simmons would be ready to go when he made it to FSU, “He is coming in at the break. He’ll be in the mix when he gets here.” Simmons’ usage could simply come down to the play of Nico Baldor and Cooper Swanson. If they struggle again, Simmons will likely be given an opportunity to make an impact. If they are able to produce bounce-back seasons, Simmons could be given a redshirt to give him a season to get back to full strength and get the rust off in practice. Either way, Simmons is likely the 1B of the future for FSU and maybe even a closer one day. Florida State had a pretty good closer out of Trinity Christian last year by the name of JC Flowers. It’s back to baseball for Dylan Simmons.