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23 days till FSU baseball: Reese Albert looking for a healthy junior year

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Albert returns as FSU’s leading returner in home runs

Courteney Korosec

Reese Albert is the leader on the offensive side of the ball for FSU, plain and simple. Last year, Albert made 46 starts while missing 19 games due to a shoulder injury. When the outfielder played, FSU was 32-14 compared to a record of just 10-9 when he was sidelined. When Albert is healthy, the ‘Noles have a dangerous lineup that can strike from anywhere in the order. The junior will return to the lineup as FSU’s leading returner in home runs, as he hit nine homers last year to go with a .518 slugging percentage. Albert finished the season with a .283 average after a rough stretch in the College World Series. But throw away what you think of Albert from that CWS, he was playing with one shoulder.

Albert played a majority of last season with practically a dead right shoulder and would feel pain on basically every swing. After the season, the junior had a shoulder surgery that held him out of action in the fall. From all indications, Albert should be fully healthy and ready to go for the 2020 season. A healthy shoulder will get the lefty back to his normal swing and likely see his strikeout rates drop. Last season, Albert produced a .908 OPS and was 5th on the team with 35 RBI’s, despite missing 19 games. The Jupiter-native only stole two bags last year, but I’d expect that number to go up as he hits from the top of the order and FSU plays a more aggressive style of ball in 2020.

After playing RF for the majority of 2019, the junior will likely slide to CF in 2020 with the departure of JC Flowers. Since coming to Tallahassee, the outfielder has played all three outfield positions and shown the range to play all three effectively. Albert won’t glide around the outfield like Flowers did, there aren’t many that can, but he will be a reliable CF for the Seminoles.

The junior enters his draft-eligible season as the 72nd ranked college prospect by Perfect Game. If he can get healthy and have another productive season, I’d fully expect him to go within the top five rounds of the 2020 MLB draft. Hopefully for Albert and FSU, the shoulder can stay strong in 2020. If it does, FSU will have a lethal leadoff man that make pitchers work from pitch one. A healthy Reese Albert will make for a productive 2020 season for Florida State and maybe more moments like Baton Rouge.


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