Florida State’s 2020 class was horrid when Mike Martin Jr. was promoted to head coach. The class had just eight commits and was ranked in the 30’s with just a few months till signing day. FSU now has 14 high school commitments, three JUCO commitments and is ranked 17th in the nation. FSU could lose two starting OF’s, starting catcher, and starting shortstop to the 2020 draft. So far the staff has added JUCO commits from a CF, catcher, and now shortstop. FSU picked up their third JUCO commit of the cycle with John Rodriguez on Saturday evening.
Rodriguez was the 406th overall player and 12th rated SS in FL out of the 2018 recruiting class. The SS comes out of Parkland, Florida and Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS. His hometown is Lowell, Mass. but he moved to FL less than two years before the shooting at his new high school. To read more on his story of the Stoneman Douglas shooting, click here for a story from Yahoo.
The Parkland-native was drafted in the 37th round of the 2018 draft passed on pro ball to play his freshman year at FIU. Rodriguez had major struggles out of the gate at FIU. Despite starting the Panthers first eight games, the SS didn’t record his first collegiate hit till the seventh game of the season. He could never quite recover from the slow start as he hit .185 in 22 starts.
After struggling in his freshman year and losing the starter’s role, Rodriguez transferred to San Jacinto CC where he will play his sophomore year. San Jac is one of the best JUCO’s in the nation, with five national championships to their resume. Rodriguez is known for his glove up the middle and is an athletic defender up the middle. The FL-native stands 5’11, 190 and has ran 60-times in the 6.8 range while in high school. Rodriguez does have some raw power for his size, half of his hits in 2019 were extra base hits.
The heart of FSU’s defense could all come from the JUCO route next year, depending on the 2020 draft. The coaching staff is doing a good job of identifying their weaknesses on next year’s roster and fulfilling the holes. Rodriguez struggled in his freshman season, but so do a lot of highly-rated freshman. The RHH brings lots of raw potential to FSU, on both sides of the ball. If Nander De Sedas departs after the 2020 draft, Rodriguez will likely battle for the starting SS role with Vince Smith, another 2020 commit out of Calvary Christian HS. The Seminoles have now picked up six commits in the last two weeks.