Despite being bound to his home, the show rolls on for Mike Metcalf on the recruiting trail. Florida State picked up their 20th commitment in the 2020 class from Cooper Nelson. Nelson is the 5th RHP in the class. The commitment moved the class to 15th in the nation, a class which sat in the 30’s when the new staff was hired.
Beyond blessed to announce my commitment to Florida State University. I would like to thank my family, friends, and coaches who have made this possible. #GONOLES @PerfectGameUSA @Baseball_ELHS pic.twitter.com/00TKrQlfDJ— Coop (@coopnelson_) April 5, 2020
Nelson is a RHP from East Lake high school in the Tampa area. The Florida-native is rated the 44th righty in the state. The 18-year old stands 6’1, 195 pounds. He’s also athletic enough to play some infield in high school, but will likely come to Tallahassee as a pitcher-only. In his career at East Lake, he has compiled a 1.31 ERA and 177 K’s in 138.2 IP.
The senior has been up to 91 MPH with his fastball, sitting in the high 90’s. He creates a good amount of run and sink on his FB, coming from a near side-arm angle. The sinking fastball can run in on right-handed hitters and make it hard for them to extend. He pairs the fastball with a tight slider in the low 80’s. The slider tunnels well with the fastball and has late break which makes it hard to lay off. He can also drop in a changeup to make it a three-pitch mix.
#Uncommitted 2020 RHP Cooper Nelson of East Lake HS Ks the batter to end the inning here, mostly 86-89,90 FB, 74-77 tight SL, 80-81 CH w/ some sink out of the 3/4 slot in the 1st. pic.twitter.com/EvtITE6h9y— Mike Maerz (@Mike_Maerz) March 23, 2018
Despite the starter role in high school, he will likely be a right-handed specialist out of the FSU pen. The deceptive arm angle will be hard for batters to adjust to late in games. With some added weight and a MPH or two on the FB, he could fill a role in next year if he can work the sinking FB-sharp SL mix, like Chase Haney has for years.