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Breaking down FSU baseball’s 2021-22 roster

Roster turnover adds versatility, athleticism to program.

Ken Lanese

Florida State baseball has released their 2021-22 roster ahead of the start of fall ball. The Seminoles will start on September 22nd and play three games in Dick Howser Stadium this fall. The ‘Noles will play exhibitions against Troy, Jacksonville, and the Ontario Blue Jays. The Seminoles added a class of 13 prep recruits, four D1 transfers (including three from the P5), and two JUCO transfers to the 2021-22 roster. FSU returns 21 players from its 2021 roster, although just five are position players. The roster sits at 40, the cap for rosters this coming season. No cuts will be necessary at the end of fall. Here’s the breakdown of the roster.

Catchers (3)

RS-JR Colton Vincent

RS-FR Bazz Jimenez

FR Jaime Ferrer

Matheu Nelson left behind the biggest hole in FSU’s lineup. The Seminoles won’t be able to replicate Nelson’s historic numbers, but they don’t need to do so to be successful. The ‘Noles just need to find an everyday catcher who can handle this talented staff. Colton Vincent will return as the most experienced among the group. The former JUCO-transfer is sturdy behind the plate and possesses a strong arm. In 17 at-bats last season, he had just two hits. At College of Central Florida, he hit .318. Bazz Jimenez received a medical redshirt last season after suffering a severe preseason arm injury. Jimenez is now healthy and back in action. The redshirt freshman has a massive frame, standing at 6’4, 210 pounds. He has a bazooka arm when healthy and sprays line drives to all fields. Jaime Ferrer is the lone true freshman of the group. Ferrer also has a big arm and is a consistent performer at the plate with some pop in the bat. He adds athleticism to the group, running a sub-6.7 60-yard dash. The bat will keep him in the mix as a freshman, and if the glove develops quickly, he’ll have a chance to make an immediate impact.

Corner infielders (6)

Grad Alex Toral (Miami transfer)

RS-JR Conner Strickland (JUCO)

RS-SO Tyler Martin

FR Cade Bush

FR Aiden Mastantuno

FR Treyton Rank

Amazingly, Tyler Martin is the only returner of this group. Martin is expected to miss the fall after having shoulder surgery, but should be ready for the season. You can expect him to remain FSU’s leadoff hitter, but could see him move around the field if the shoulder heals completely. No matter where he plays, he’ll continue as an on-base machine. Alex Toral is the big add here. Toral comes to FSU as a grad-transfer from Miami (FL). Toral, who hit 24 homers in the 2019 season, will look to fulfill the big power hole left behind by Nelson. With the short right field porch at Dick Howser, the lefty could be the perfect fit. Conner Strickland, a JUCO-transfer, could also provide some pop and contact to the lineup. Strickland, who stands 6’2 and 215 pounds, can play either corner infield position. He hit .346 with a .998 OPS in 2021 at East Georgia State College. Treyton Rank is a big-bodied (6’3/210 pounds) utility player with a strong arm. Rank can play all nine positions, but his initial looks should come at third base. Aiden Mastantuno and Cade Bush will both play first base and outfield. Mastantuno is a sweet-swinging lefty with some pop to the pull side, and a natural at first base. Bush is a right-handed slugger who stands 6’3 and weighs 215.

Middle infielders (4)

RS-SO Brett Roberts (Tennessee Tech transfer)

SO Jordan Carrion (Florida Gators transfer)

FR Mayes White

FR Connor Moore

You might not recognize any of these names, as FSU’s middle infield will solely be newcomers. UF-transfer Jordan Carrion is likely to take over the starting SS role. Carrion is a magician at shortstop and has the arm strength to make any throw. He hit .244 and posted a .955 fielding percentage last season as a true freshman. Brett Roberts may be the closest thing FSU has to a 5-tool player. Roberts is a true top of the order bat who will bring contact, pop, and athleticism to the lineup. I expect Roberts to play second, but he also can play third and the outfield. Last season, the middle infielder led Tennessee Tech with a .343 average, 17 stolen bases, 70 hits, 13 doubles, and 39 RBI. He also hit over .300 in the Cape Cod League. Mayes White is another potential five-tool player. White, a high-school quarterback, is smooth up the middle, runs in the 6.7 range, and sprays line drives everywhere. Connor Moore also brings some exciting tools to the middle infield. He has a big arm and pop in the bat.

Outfielders (6)

RS-SR Reese Albert

RS-SR Isaiah Perry

RS-SR Logan Lacey

RS-FR AJ Shaver

FR James Tibbs

FR Houston Evans

Reese Albert is returning to Florida State for a fifth season. Albert struggled last season and was shut down mid-season with a knee injury. When fully healthy, Albert can bring above-average defense and power at the plate. Logan Lacey is also returning for an extra season. I expect Lacey to get most of his reps in the outfield this fall, but he could be in the 3B mix, as well. Last season, he was FSU’s best defender at third and center field, and the second best bat. The former TCC-transfer will be in the top half of the order. Isaiah Perry will also take advantage of his extra year. Perry is electric on the bases and showed last season he can be relied on as a role player. AJ Shaver has as many tools as anyone on FSU’s roster. He consistently hits balls with 100+ MPH exit velocities, runs a 6.45 60-yard, and can throw 90+ MPH from the outfield. Last year, Shaver didn’t see any time as he was refining those high-level skills. He figures to be more involved this season. James Tibbs was the highest-rated bat to make it to campus this season after turning down some money in the 2021 MLB draft. Tibbs possesses a power-speed combo and should be heavily in the mix for at-bats in the outfield, specifically right field. The left-hander has the pop to take advantage of the “short-porch” in right on a daily basis. Houston Evans is a speedster with a football background (similar to White). He stole 30 bases and hit .433 in his sophomore season of high school in Alabama.

Right-handed pitchers (15)

RS-SR Davis Hare

RS-SR Kyle McMullen

RS-SO Brandon Walker

RS-SO Dylan Simmons

RS-S0 David Barrett (JUCO transfer)

SO Carson Montgomery

SO Jackson Nezuh

RS-FR Doug Kirkland

RS-FR Joseph Charles (North Carolina Tar Heels transfer)

RS-FR Cooper Nelson

FR Jackson Baumeister

FR Brodie Chestnutt

FR Dylan Jacobs

FR Connor Whittaker

FR Preston Wetherell

With so many arms here, I’ll just highlight the newcomers. David Barrett is coming to FSU from State College of Florida, where he posted a 2.52 ERA over 64.1 innings. Barrett will be a power arm out of the pen, with a fastball in the 90-94 MPH range. He has a wipeout slider with high-spin rates. The arsenal and delivery remind me of Jack Anderson, with a little more power and a little less polish. Joe Charles possesses elite stuff on the mound. He’ll sit in the mid-90’s, but can reach the high-90’s. Both the changeup and slider have plus-movement. Charles will be a lights-out arm if FSU can harness his command. Jackson Baumeister chose FSU over some big money in the 2021 MLB Draft. He’ll be in the mix for the weekend rotation. Baumeister, who measures 6’4 and 225 pounds, could be the most game-ready arm to reach the college level this season. He has a fastball that can reach the mid-90’s to go along with a changeup, curveball, and slider/cutter. Dylan Jacobs has a high-ceiling with low-effort velocity and athleticism on the mound. Jacobs possesses a low-90’s fastball and an Adam Ottavino-type slider. Connor Whittaker is a Conor Grady-type on the mound. He’s a low effort arm that commands the zone with a sinking fastball in the low 90’s, slider, and changeup. Preston Wetherell comes from a low slot, making things tricky for batters. His 6’4, 190-pound frame gives him lots of room to add. Brodie Chestnutt is an imposing presence on the mound at 6’4, 240 pounds. The right-hander controls the zone with ease and can reach the low 90’s.

Side note: Dylan Simmons had entered the transfer portal, but FSU is bringing him back solely as a pitcher. With more time dedicated to the mound, I expect Simmons to see a rise in velocity to pair with a tight slider that could make him an impact arm.

Left-handed pitchers (6)

RS-SR Jonah Scolaro

RS-SO Parker Messick

RS-SO Bryce Hubbart

SO Ross Dunn

SO Wyatt Crowell

SO Andrew Armstrong

Jonah Scolaro may be the most improved player on the roster despite being one of the oldest. He was an all-star on the Cape this summer, as he dominated as a starter and reliever. His spin rates are way up, and he’s added a new changeup that makes him much more effective against righties. Parker Messick is Parker Messick. He’s FSU’s bulldog, the reigning ACC Pitcher of the Year, and he’s only gotten better from a summer with the USA Collegiate National Team. Bryce Hubbart was the best pitcher in the Cape this summer. He cemented himself as one of, if not the best collegiate southpaw MLB Draft prospect for 2022. FSU’s 1-2 punch of Messick and Hubbart can’t be topped in the ACC. Ross Dunn and Wyatt Crowell will both be in the mix for the Sunday spot in the rotation. Both lefties possess dominant fastballs. Dunn was up to 97 MPH with his fastball this summer, while Crowell has been up to 96. Crowell is also uber-athletic and has a wipeout slider. Dunn rarely gives up hard contact, but will need to improve his command and efficiency to take the next step. Andrew Armstrong was an All-Star in the Coastal Plains League this summer. He should be a key arm out of FSU’s pen as a lefty specialist. His low-arm slot and sweeping slider make him an uncomfortable at-bat for any hitter.