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21 days till FSU baseball: Chris Ruckdeschel looking to make impact out of the pen after redshirt year

Former outfielder brings bowling ball sinker to the hill / Haylee Blitch

Chris Ruckdeschel came to FSU as an outfielder, but was switched to a pitcher when he made it to campus. The switch of positions led to the Florida-native being redshirted and never seeing the field in his freshman season. Now, the RHP is the only redshirt freshman from last year’s team to return as he looks to make an impact out of the pen after a strong summer on the hill. Ruck made the South Florida Collegiate League All-star team and top prospects watch list after posting a 4.22 ERA in 32 innings on the hill. The summer was his first collegiate in-game experience on the mound after redshirting.

The redshirt freshman boasts two effective pitches in his arsenal. Ruck throws a 89-91 MPH sinker that is hard for batters to get a good swing on. The sinker has a bowling ball effect and drops below hitters’ bats. The ball can cause a lot of ground balls and timely grounders when FSU needs them. He also adds on a low 80’s slider that can be really effective when it’s around the zone. The slider has sharp break and is hard for right-handed batters to pick up, but it can also get a little wild from time-to-time.

The righty has a really fresh arm, as he’s never really had a full season on the hill. He will probably be used in situations when FSU needs a ground ball to get out of an inning and avoid bigger damage. If he can stay around and in the zone, he will be effective. With all the movement on both pitches, he can sometimes struggle to stay in the zone. If he can get ahead and throw his slider at will, it will be hard for batters to make loud contact against the righty.