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52 days till FSU baseball: Vince Smith to make an impact as a freshman

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Middle infielder has the tools to crack lineup as a freshman.

Larry Novey/FSU athletics

Florida State baseball didn’t have many holes last season, but they had a hole at the bottom of the order and in the middle infield. The Seminoles struggled in the field and at the plate at shortstop and second base. Vince Smith, one of Mike Metcalf’s first recruits, could sure up that hole in 2021.

Smith comes out of Calvary Christian high school, the same high school as Matheu Nelson, and Clearwater, Florida. He was rated the ninth best shortstop in the state coming out of high school. The freshman stands 5’11 and 170 pounds.

Despite being a freshman, Smith showed a veteran approach at the plate in the fall. He attacked fastballs early in counts, and when he didn’t get pitches to hit, he worked long at bats. He puts the ball in play at a high rate with a short, direct swing. He capped off his fall with a big performance in Florida State’s Garnet and Gold game, with three hits and two doubles.

In the field, Smith has clean actions and soft hands. He’s quick on his feet and has the athleticism to stick up the middle. He can play both second base and shortstop. There’s a lot to like in the glove, as he rarely fumbles the baseball. He looks his best on the infield when he’s attacking slow rollers, picking the ball, and throwing on the run.

Smith has the necessary tools to crack Florida State’s lineup as a freshman. He would add a high-contact bat and a sure-handed glove. He played shortstop all fall, but his way into the lineup in 2021 is likely at second base, with Nander De Sedas returning at shortstop. Either way, Smith could be the shortstop of the future for the Seminoles.