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Five breakout candidates for Florida State baseball

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Which of the newest Seminoles should you expect so see in 2021?

Carson Montgomery
FSU athletics

Florida State baseball’s roster is as deep as it’s ever been. The Seminoles are expecting big things from their experienced pieces, but also some of their newcomers. Florida State brought in 13 newcomers this year, 10 from the prep class and three JUCO transfers. Let’s take a look at which newcomers could make an impact on the 2021 season.

  • No surprise here, but Carson Montgomery will likely see the biggest role out of all newcomers. The highest-rated pitcher to ever reach Tallahassee has all the tools to fill a weekend spot in 2021. Montgomery’s fastball is powerful, ranging from 93-96 MPH with true arm-side run. He possesses three effective off-speed pitches. His breaking ball is a sharp slider at 81-83 MPH, which he’s shown consistent feel for this spring. He also has a high 80’s cutter which keeps hitters off the running fastball. The changeup rounds off the arsenal, also in the high 80’s, with hard-fading action that gives lefties troubles. The present and future are bright for the freshman.
  • Vince Smith has been the most consistent out of any freshman bats since the start of fall. Smith is a line-drive hitter that works deep counts and makes pitchers work. He puts the ball in play at a high rate and is never an easy out. He has a veteran approach for a freshman and is a future leadoff hitter in college. In the field, Smith is a sure-handed middle infielder. He’s smooth to both his glove side and his back hand and makes it look easy at times. Smith is heavily in the mix to start up the middle of FSU’s infield.
  • Casey Asman is a newcomer out of the JUCO ranks, coming from South Florida State college. Last season, Asman hit .333 with nine stolen bases and nine extra base hits in 28 games. Asman puts the ball in play at a high-rate and is a difference maker on the base paths. He also produces lots of hard contact, often driving the ball to both gaps of the outfield. The JUCO-transfer will likely be FSU’s fourth outfielder this season, and could also be a utility at first base. The bat and wheels are too good to not play on a regular basis, he’ll play a key role as a utility throughout the season.
  • Hunter Perdue isn’t in his first year at FSU, but will be available for the first time at Florida State. Perdue medically redshirted last year after Tommy John surgery. When he’s healthy, he’s fun to watch. Perdue’s fastball will sit in the 93-95 MPH range, and has the ability to reach the high-90’s. He has both a wipeout slider and knee-buckling curveball, both with spin rates well above average into the 2800’s. Since coming back from surgery, the feel for the strike zone has taken a while to come back, but he’s been consistent this spring. When he’s in the zone with his fastball, he’s dominant. Perdue could be FSU’s next dominant closer.
  • Freshman Ross Dunn presents a lot to like on the hill. The build, the arsenal, and projection are all easy to dream on. Dunn’s fastball will sit in the 91-94 MPH range. The curveball is a plus breaking ball, with hard, downhill action at 80-82 MPH. He can use it as a swing-and-miss pitch against both righties and lefties. The changeup is still developing, but has shown effectiveness against RHH. He’s been consistent this spring and dominant at times. The freshman is a likely future weekend starter for the ‘Noles and could see some midweek starts in 2021.