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26 days till FSU baseball: Robby Martin looking to build off Freshman All-American season

The sophomore returns as FSU’s leading hitter

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-Florida State vs Texas Tech Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Robby Martin came to FSU as the sixth ranked OF in Florida, but was somewhat overlooked due to how good the rest of FSU’s 2018 recruiting class was. Martin quickly made himself known at Dick Howser Stadium. The freshman started his college career with a 10-game hitting streak that put his average at .538 through 10 games. The left-handed hitter was named the ACC player of the week just his second week into college ball. Martin led all FSU freshmen with a .315 average and 68 hits. The huge freshman year earned him first and second Freshman All-American team honors and a spot on the ACC All-Freshman team. Heading into the 2020 season, Perfect Game has Martin ranked as the 24th best sophomore in the nation.

So how does he top his freshman year? Power. Last season, FSU didn’t need much power production from the freshman because of the big bats he was surrounded by. Now, Martin needs to be the man in the lineup. In 2019, the lefty hit four home runs and posted a .449 slugging percentage. The pop is there for Martin, he just needs to bring it out. He flashed the power late in April, as he hit three of his four homers in a five-game span. Martin is such a good hitter and has such an advanced approach that he can choose and pick his spots. When he wants to go the other way, he can just flick the ball to the left-center field gap. I’d expect him to be a bit more pull-happy in 2020 and try to put some more baseballs over the short porch in right.

Robby will have a new role in 2020 as the Seminoles’ every day right fielder. The sophomore is a stereotypical RF, big body, not too much range, and a strong arm. Martin probably has the strongest arm of any FSU position player not named Elijah Cabell. The key for Martin in the field will be taking the right angles to balls in the OF. There’s not much room to roam in RF at Dick Howser, so not being the most athletic OF shouldn’t hurt Martin if he can take the right angle to the ball.

The Tampa-native is a hitter I think could hit .300+ at any level. Martin knows his swing and how to attack pitchers. The key to his progression and his play at the next level will be tapping into his power a bit more and becoming lighter and more agile on his feet. Martin is going to hit third or fourth for the ‘Noles this year and should pick up where he left off last year. He didn’t miss a beat in fall, going 9-17 in FSU’s five exhibitions. There’s no reason not to expect the sophomore to have another .300+ batting average season in 2020.