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43 days till FSU baseball: Bryce Hubbart primed for big impact in freshman season

“He’s a legitimate guy.” / Haylee Blitch

Bryce Hubbart was the breakout star of fall for Florida State. The freshman came into FSU as one of three LHP commits in the class and looked like he may receive a redshirt, simply due to depth. Now, Hubbart looks like a potential midweek start for the ‘Noles and maybe even the future of FSU’s weekend rotation. Hubbart comes into FSU as the 191st overall freshman and the 37th rated incoming freshman in the ACC.

The lefty put together an impressive fall, giving up just one hit and no runs in five innings. The freshman also had eight strikeouts to just one walk. Hubbart has the rare ability to fill up the zone while also missing bats with his effective arsenal. The Windermere-native topped out at 91 MPH in high school, but blew that out of the water when he made it to FSU and started working with Jimmy Belanger.

The southpaw has sat 92-94 and even touched 95 from time-to-time since making it to Tallahassee. This is not your traditional crafty lefty, he will attack and overpower hitters with his fastball. Hubbart is just 5’11 and 180, but has elite arm speed and a short arm action that drives the ball down the mound and generates velocity. Bryce also does a good job of hiding the ball behind his back hip, making it even harder for hitters to pick up out of his hip.

The Florida-native also has the ability to throw his curveball and changeup for strikes. The ability to throw both pitches for strikes makes him a true three-pitch pitcher who can get lefties and righties out. The curveball comes in around 79-81 MPH and has lots of bite to it, often getting uncomfortable swings out of left-handed hitters. With a strong command of the pitch, he also has the ability to throw it back foot to right-handed hitters to keep them from sitting on a changeup. The changeup is quite advanced for his age and will get right-handed hitters to roll over on lots of baseballs if he can keep the pitch down in the zone.

Being just 180 pounds, Hubbart still has lots of room to grow and put on muscle. With the quick arm action, Hubbs has an extremely high ceiling. The future is bright for the LHP and Mike Martin Jr. knows it, “He’s a legitimate guy. If he continues to work and put on weight, he’s a very high draft pick and he’ll pitch in the big leagues.”

Hubbart won’t make the impact of a weekend starter or a closer, but he will likely get the most innings of any freshman pitcher on the roster. Between the way he pitched in fall and the excitement Meat shows in him, I would expect the lefty to be one of FSU’s main weekday starters. With all three of FSU’s 2020 weekend starters draft eligible, FSU has to prepare some guys to fill those roles next year. Hubbart will likely have the chance to gain experience as a starter instead of being put in high-leverage situations out of the bullpen early in the year. This won’t be your old-school FSU baseball pitching staff, freshmen will be used. Hubbart likely won’t be used as a main option in 2020, but he will be trained to lead the pitching staff in the future.