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One-on-one with Florida State’s Mike Martin Jr.

Meat answers questions about the MLB draft, and the fast-pace of college baseball recruiting.

NCAA BASEBALL: JUN 11 Super Regional - Sam Houston St at Florida St Photo by Logan Stanford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

I had the chance to talk to head coach Mike Martin Jr. on Thursday afternoon (over the phone, of course, as Junior and I are practicing social distancing—didn’t want you to worry). I talked to Meat about the upcoming MLB Draft, as rumors have swirled about many different scenarios. Since I talked to Junior, reports confirmed the draft will likely be shortened to five rounds (for more on that and the upcoming D1 council vote, click here). We also talked about recruiting, after the ‘Noles landed their first 2024 commit on Wednesday night.

My full Q&A with the first-year head coach is below:

Q: You talked about it some a week or so ago, and now there are more rumors swirling around on the topic, so what are your general thoughts on the draft? Is there a best way to go about it?

“Who’s right, who’s wrong, what’s the best way or thing to do? I don’t think anyone really knows what to do. Owners dumping millions of dollars into guys that are being seen, what literally 25% of what they normally have seen them. That’s a big risk, I don’t know that owners are going to go for that and if they do how’re they going to pay for them. They don’t have income coming in, there’s just a lot of things we got to get figured out.”

Q: Do you feel like you could see some of your top-end recruits come in this year more than past years just because of the current situation?

“Yeah, I mean, you would think that the fact that I think owners are going to be reluctant to give out big money, that would hopefully push kids to college. You know, I could be wrong, no one really knows what the future holds.”

Q: With guys like CJ Van Eyk and Elijah Cabell, what can the coaching staff do right now to help them with their draft stock?

“Just when the pro guys call and want to know work ethic, information, and personality traits, stuff like that, we are always honest and upfront. Our guys are really good about knowing how to act and what to say, they’ve done tons of pro meetings with guys. The fact that we had a good group and been seen more than others, combined that with a schedule that was conducive, it made sense for pro guys to be at our games. Our guys have probably been seen more than others.”

Q: On the recruiting side of things, how important is stuff like social media and some of these baseball apps for you to be able to keep up to date with guys and constantly in contact with prospects?

“It’s really all that you can do, you’re trying to cultivate relationships with young men and we’re doing that. We’re also trying to motivate and make sure they’re doing what they need to be doing in the classroom. We’re doing the same with our guys on our current team as well.”

Q: You just picked up your first 2024 commit. A lot of fans look at that and think it may be ridiculous, but how important is it to get out early on recruits in this sport?

“It just lets younger kids know that we’re not afraid to go and get kids at an early age. You know, there’s a trend towards that where guys want to play with the great ones and that’s what we’re trying to do, gather up all the great ones.”

Q: Do you think getting out this early on guys can help the players know how to get ready for college and the grind of a college season?

“No question. The way they eat, what they drink, everything that goes into their body and how to train. Those relationships, it’s good for everyone. You try to get them to come to camps to get to know them even better and you can work with them on stuff like that.”

Q: How important is Coach Metcalf being able to scout those younger kids and figure out what these kids project to down the road three or four years from now?

“That’s what his job was for years and still is, the projection part of it. He’s always been really good at it. Figuring out what a kid is going to throw down the road, looking at the body, hand size, arm swing, and athleticism. The way they walk, the way they run, it’s all critical towards projection.”

Q: You brought in another two-way guy with your most recent commit, how important is the flexibility to a program, especially in these unprecedented times?

“It’s imperative that you get those guys. You’re decreasing your chances of whiffing if the guy can do both. Who knows three years later exactly what a guy’s going to be, maybe the bat doesn’t come around, but they can jump on the mound and help you there, or vice versa. If it works out, the player can do both and you get more bang for your buck and you get a legitimate two-way guy in your program.”