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16 days till FSU baseball: Tyler Martin brings a coach’s intangibles to the field

Infielder is the prototypical leadoff hitter.

@FSUbaseball twitter

The Martin name has been plastered all over Florida State baseball for over fifty years. Tyler Martin continued the family trend of success last season. After early-enrolling in January, Martin got the opening day start as the leadoff hitter and ran with it. The lefty hit .310 and reached base 48.1% of the time. He was 22nd in the country with 16 walks. The success earned him a Freshman All-American label from Collegiate Baseball newspaper.

While Martin was good at the plate, he did struggle some with fielding and strength. Both of those had much to do with not being at Florida State last fall. Martin looks bigger this year and has had more consistent hard contact recently.

Martin isn’t the biggest or strongest or flashiest player, but he’s always the smartest player on the baseball field. When the second year freshman is playing, it’s like having a coach in the lineup. At the plate, he swings at the pitches he should hit and rarely chases pitches out of the zone. He diagnoses spin well, giving himself the chance to also be good against lefty arms. He doesn’t swing and miss much and puts pressure on defenses. In 17 games last season, he scored 17 runs.

In the field, Martin made three errors and had just a .833 fielding percentage last season. He came in as a third baseman, but the arm struggled after some injury issues last season. Expect Martin to move all over the infield and work primarily at either corner of the infield. The glove is sure-handed, but the arm can lag behind some times. With the extra work in fall, it has been more consistent than last season. He may be the best defensive option at first base for the ‘Noles, so don’t be surprised if he starts there day one.

Despite being just 18 last season, the freshman showed he wasn’t afraid of any moment. He’s been around the program, in the locker room, and in the dugouts for years. Expect Martin to be the table setter for the big bats in FSU’s lineup for the second straight year. As he goes, so will the lineup of sluggers behind him.

Also make sure to check out the newest episode of Sunday Golds, which dropped today.