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7 weeks till FSU baseball: Seven true freshmen to know

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Who could make an instant impact in 2022?

Freshman Jaime Ferrer will be in a position battle behind the plate.
Brett Nevitt

Happy New Year’s eve and happy seven weeks till Florida State baseball. The Seminoles will take the field on February 18th against James Madison to open up the 2022 season. FSU will have a new look roster, including a handful of freshmen that are ready to make an impact.

This is the second portion of our season preview articles. Last week, we took a look at eight breakout candidates. This week, we’ll take a look at seven freshman that could help the Seminoles in 2022. Here are some new faces that could take the field as freshmen:

Jackson Baumeister

Baumeister was Florida State’s highest rated prospect to make it on campus in the 2021 recruiting class. The right handed pitcher had lots of helium heading into the MLB draft after a monster senior season on the mound, but turned down seven figures to head to Tallahassee. He’s from The Bolles School in Jacksonville, FL. During his senior season, he posted a 0.63 ERA and 16.9 K/9 over 77.1 innings.

The RHP showed this fall why he was such a highly regarded prospect out of high school. Baumeister works in the low-to-mid 90’s with ease. The fastball plays up as he uses his 6’4 frame to glide down the hill and get extreme extension. Baumeister’s out pitch is his curveball, which sits in the mid-70’s. He can throw the curveball in any count he wants. He also possesses a changeup. The Jacksonville native will be in the mix for FSU’s Sunday spot. As of now, he’s most likely to be developed this season as the Seminoles’ midweek starter.

Jaime Ferrer

Ferrer has the potential to be a five-tool catcher in the future for FSU. Florida State’s staff has raved about Ferrer’s unique tools since he stepped on campus. He has a bazooka arm, can run 60-yard dashes in the 6.5 range, and consistently produce 100+ MPH exit velocities.

The freshman will be in the mix for FSU’s starting catcher role, but will likely be given time to develop behind the plate. He struggled a bit with receiving in the fall, as many freshmen would, but made strides throughout the course of scrimmages. Despite needing some time behind the plate, Ferrer is going to see at-bats in the spring. His bat and athleticism are ready to play at this level as a freshman. He could play a corner spot in the outfield or DH. Ferrer will be a big part of FSU’s future in the lineup.

Dylan Jacobs

Jacobs was a late find for the Seminoles’ staff in the summer of 2020. He’s a high ceiling arm out of TNXL Academy. Jacobs needs some time to fill out his 6’2, 185-pound frame, but he’s an arm that has a bright future. He pairs his wiry frame with a loose and athletic delivery. His fastball sits in the 89-91 MPH range, but with more time in the weight room, I expect the velocity to get a boost. Jacobs’ already has a good out-pitch with a frisbee slider. Out of the guys on this list, Jacobs will likely see the least time as a true freshman. But it wouldn’t surprise me to see him get a couple spot appearances against right-handed hitters, as his slider is ready to get right-handed hitters out at this level.

Treyton Rank

Rank is the definition of a gamer. The Georgia native played football, basketball, and baseball in high school. He was a State Champion in football at Buford. On the baseball field, he played all nine positions, and all at a high level. At Florida State, Rank will be an infielder, playing mostly second and third base. But he’ll provide supreme flexibility to FSU’s roster, with the ability to play anywhere.

The Buford graduate is one of the stronger position players on FSU’s roster. He stands at 6’1 and weighs 210 pounds. Rank is another freshman with the ability to do a little bit of everything. He has a reliable glove, can grind out at-bats, pound doubles off the fences, and is a smart baserunner. He’ll be in the mix for FSU’s starting job at second base, but he’ll find his way on the field as a freshman even if he doesn’t win that job.

James Tibbs

Tibbs was Florida state’s highest ranked position player to make it to campus. The left-handed hitter is also a Georgia native, from Pope high school. He was a two-time All-State player at Pope. Out of everyone’s on Florida State’s roster, Tibbs may have the most raw power.

He puts on a show in batting practice, putting balls halfway up the scoreboard the opposite way with ease. The swing is loose and easy with loft to easily get the ball out of Dick Howser. He has a big arm to throw runners out from the outfield. Tibbs will be in the mix to start in right field. The bat is too talented to hold out of the lineup as a freshman.

Mayes White

White is another freshman in the mix for a starting job. Like Rank, he could see early time at second base. Like Rank, White was a multi-sport athlete in high school. He led Pike Liberal Arts School in Troy, Alabama to a state title as the starting quarterback. He was the MVP of the state title game. He also led Pike to a state title in baseball and was twice an All-State baseball player.

Like the others on this list, he possesses a wide range of tools. He’s athletic, has a big arm, and is a slick defender. White is one of the best defenders to step on FSU’s campus as a freshman in a while. He’s sure-handed with the glove and makes everything look easy up the middle. With the bat, he has a short, compact swing that produces line drives up the middle.

Conner Whittaker

Whittaker was not on many people’s radars coming out of high school. Despite that, Whittaker really opened eyes in his first semester on campus. He was one of the most consistent arms this fall. Whittaker has a sinking fastball in the 90-92 MPH range. He pairs that with a high-70’s curveball that he can drop into the zone for strikes at anytime. The right-hander also has an advanced changeup that makes him tough on left-handed hitters.

The right-handed pitcher reminds me a lot of Conor Grady. All three of his pitches have good movement and can be thrown for strikes at any time. Like Grady, Whittaker will be reliable for FSU and will be trusted as a freshman. He could be FSU’s bridge to the bullpen or a second midweek starter.