Before FSU offered, Ryan Denison was considering multiple offers from D1 schools, including rival Miami. He was going through the process slowly and checking out each school, but once FSU offered, that all came to a halt.
For the child of two FSU graduates, the decision to commit to FSU was easy.
“I love it there,” he said. “My whole entire family went there.”
Denison committed to FSU before he had ever been to campus. Once he was able to get on campus for the Mike Martin Jr. baseball camp, his love for FSU only grew as he got to know the coaches.
The Tampa-native attends Jesuit Tampa high school, a perennial state-title contender and the nation’s number one team in 2020. As a freshman and sophomore, it’s been hard for him to crack the varsity rotation, but it’s given him the chance to watch multiple other D1 commits work.
“[Camden] Minacci (top 200 PG recruit, Wake Forrest commit) was a big influence on me. He wasn’t the greatest as a freshman, had to work his way up, and now he’s our No. 1 starter.”
With 15 seniors leaving the program, Denison will have the opportunity to lead the staff next season (along with fellow commit, Jamie Arnold.) Head coach Miguel Menendez has already told him to expect a bigger role, and the sophomore is ready for it.
“He said, ‘You’ll have a big role.’ I look forward to it.”
When I asked the 2022 commit what’s the #1 thing he’ll bring to FSU in two years, he had three words: “Positivity and energy.”
For my entire interview with him, see below:
So what about Denison intrigued FSU?
Before interviewing the commit, I had the chance to stand in on his bullpen this past Friday. The 16-year old already stands 6’4 and has a good feel for four different pitches. He weighs 205 pounds, but still has lots of room to put on muscle. He has a clean and easy arm motion to go along with the impressive frame, making him an extremely projectable RHP.
The fastball sits in the mid to high 80’s and has been up to 92 MPH. Standing 6’4, the perceived velocity is even harder to batters. The righty does a good job of getting down the hill with a long extension point which makes the ball seem like it’s exploding out of his hand.
Many high schoolers say they have a ‘2-seam,’ but not many have one that would stick at the next level. Denison has a legit two-seam fastball. The pitch has at least six inches of run, and will saw off right-handed hitters and get roll-overs from lefties.
The changeup is likely the pitch with the most room to grow, but still has a high ceiling. It has good downward tilt and will often produce swing-overs from both sides of the plate. He can lose it up and to the right sometimes, but once he gets it down in the zone more often, it will be a legitimate weapon.
The curveball is a next-level pitch. It has a tight, late break which tunnels well with the fastball. The late break will make it hard for hitters to pick up. He also consistently lands it on both sides of the plate.
To see Denison’s full bullpen, including open-face mechanics, see below: