Last week we looked at the present group of catchers on Florida State’s roster in part two of our fall ball series. Today, we’ll look at the future of the backstop position in part one of our state of recruiting series.
Florida State has had a lot of success behind the plate in recent years, going from three-year starter Cal Raleigh to likely three-year starter Matheu Nelson. The ‘Noles new staff has made it apparent that they want to build around catchers on the recruiting trail. Even with the likely departure of Nelson to next year’s draft, FSU is set up behind the plate for the 2022 season and much beyond.
Florida State is loaded behind the plate in the 2021 class. The trio of Jackson Baumeister, Jaime Ferrer, and Satchell Norman present a wide range of skills.
Baumeister is a two-way talent with a high ceiling on both sides of the ball. Behind the plate, the Jacksonville-native presents a large frame for pitchers to throw to and has soft hands. At the plate, he has a smooth swing with a simple approach. He doesn’t try to do much and takes what pitchers give him. He struggled with timing a bit this summer, after missing most of the spring, but has the tools to be a consistent hitter at the next level. His ceiling may come on the mound, which we’ll highlight later in this series.
Ferrer was a high-riser on many people’s boards this summer. He can impact the game in every facet. He’s an extremely athletic and has a strong arm to gun down runners. At the plate, he has lots of juice in the bat. He creates consistent hard-contact from a short, balanced swing. He’s compact and physically advanced for his age. He can also play outfield at a high level, but his ceiling is found behind the dish.
Norman is a high-energy, vocal leader on the field. Even in showcases, he’s shown the ability to be vocal and fly all over the field. He has a real claim to the best defensive catcher in the class. He’s extremely active defensively and has quick, short actions on his throw downs. Norman has present strength in the bat. He keeps his hands close to his body and drives through the ball. With some more inclusion in the legs, the pop will start to show even more. He can also pitch, with some of the best pitchability in the class, but it’s hard to move him from behind the plate with his defensive skills.
The 2022 class presents a pair of power-hitting backstops. Gunnett Carlson is a physically-mature left-handed hitting backstop. The glove is just as much a strength as the power in the bat. He has soft hands and does a good job of getting dirty and blocking balls.
In the box, he’s got an imposing power presence. He creates lots of loft with strong hands and produces high exit velocities. When he gets ahold of the ball, it’s going a long ways.
Santiago Ordonez has really big tools on both sides of the ball. Behind the plate, the strength is his arm. He has a cannon and good foot work to get the ball to second in consistent sub-2.0 pop times. At the plate, the bat is extremely whippy with present pop. He has a smaller frame, but gets a lot of his pop from a strong, thick lower half. He’s loose and his swing and lets the bat whip create hard-contact. There is high upside on both sides of the ball for Ordonez.
The ‘Noles only have one backstop in the ‘23 class, but he’s one of the very best in the country. Riley Jackson is one of the most physically-advanced hitters in the class. He has big time power and has consistently drove the baseball throughout the summer and fall. Despite the big power, he stays within himself on his swing, letting his strong lower half do the work. He has a simple, quiet load and gets good extension through the ball. As the strength continues to come in, the power ceiling will only rise.