The Baseball Draft Report

Home » Posts tagged 'Florida State'

Tag Archives: Florida State

2018 MLB Draft Profile – Florida State

When I think of Florida State, I think hitting. The Seminoles routinely rank among the nation’s best in OBP and their position player prospects consistently arrive in pro ball as some of the most mature, patient hitters in the country. I love Florida State hitters. But should I? Is gaudy college production blinding me to more meaningful scouting concerns that have held back recent Florida State bats?

The days of JD Drew, Stephen Drew, Buster Posey (and Paul Sorrento and Doug Mientkiewicz before that) may be over, but picks going back to since I’ve started here in 2009 such as Tyler Holt, James Ramsey, Devon Travis, Jayce Boyd, DJ Stewart, and Ben DeLuzio (an unsigned FA) have carried on the Seminole tradition. Kind of. Of those six names only Travis (when healthy) has made a mark on the big leagues. There’s still time for Stewart and DeLuzio, but, much as I’ve liked both guys in the past, it’s more than fair to point out that neither rank particularly high on present prospect lists. The group of less than impressive Florida State alums in the pros probably doesn’t mean anything in a big picture sense — it’s neither all that large a sample nor all that damning a hit/miss rate in the first place — but it makes me a little curious about whether my own appreciation for Seminole hitters at the college level gets in the way of fairly evaluating them as potential professionals.

For the record, I don’t think a prospect should be judged by the players who came before him at the same school. So maybe this analysis is all for naught. It is, however, interesting to me to look at Florida State hitters specifically because the approach taught in Tallahassee is an outlier in the same way the Virginia crouch and the Stanford swing have proven to be. Here’s the six aforementioned recent Seminole bats with the initial number being my pre-draft ranking and the second number being where they were eventually selected…

38 – Holt – 300
86 – Ramsey – 23
240 – Travis – 424
193 – Boyd – 200
26 – Stewart – 25
343 – DeLuzio – 1217

Loved Holt, Travis, and DeLuzio way more than the pros did. So far only Travis has justified that love. Lower on Ramsey than the pros and about the same for Boyd and Stewart. So do I have a history of overranking Florida State hitters? Maybe! I honestly went into this thinking it would be a definitive yes and that the conclusion would actually tell me something useful about my own scouting proclivities. No such luck, but I’m not about to dump a half-hour of work for nothing.

Anyway, the 2018 Florida State team is loaded with pitching. How’s that for a segueway? As of this writing the Florida State staff has struck out 13.57 batters per nine innings. Damn. The two biggest arms coming into the year were LHP Tyler Holton and RHP Cole Sands. Unfortunately, Holton went down early in the season with an injury that necessitated Tommy John surgery. He’ll be a fascinating player to watch this June as teams make their best educated guesses about his signability. A top junior going down just 4.2 innings into the season is interesting in its own right, but Holton was a draft-eligible sophomore last season and selected in the 35th round by Miami. Stands to reason that teams got a pretty good feel for his signability based on that, but who really knows. A healthy Holton is a top prospect Holton. What he lacks in velocity (85-90 FB, 92 peak) he more than makes up for with pitchability, command, athleticism, and a pair of quality offspeed pitches (average upper-70s breaking ball, above-average 76-80 changeup that flashes plus). I had a dream — seriously — that Cleveland drafted and signed Holton last year (probably because they one drafted Tyler Holt), so, you know, if that happens then don’t forget you heard it here first.

Sands, a more conventionally appealing prospect than Holton, is healthy and throwing really well for Florida State to kick off his 2018. He’ll run his fastball up to the mid-90s (89-94, 96 peak) and features a breaking ball (78-82) that will flash above-average. Toss in a changeup and a mid-80s cut-slider and it’s easy to see why he’s considered an intriguing potential big league starting pitcher.

RHP Andrew Karp was really good last year despite a less than great ERA. He’s got the build, fastball (up to 94), and putaway offspeed pitch (above-average 79-82 changeup, flashes plus) to go far. The way 2018 has started for RHP Cobi Johnson is comical. No lie, I literally laughed out loud when I saw his numbers so far. As of this writing, he’s struck out 22 batters in 8.2 innings pitched. Johnson throws about as hard as Karp, but features a plus low-70s curveball as his go-to offspeed pitch. He can also mix in an average changeup and an interesting low-80s cut-slider. With numbers like that and the knowledge he’s not doing it with smoke and mirrors, Johnson has a rocket ship strapped to his prospect stock in my eyes.

(As I post this, Johnson’s sitting at 24 strikeouts in 10.1 innings pitched. He’s already slowing down!)

Neither RHP Ed Voyles nor RHP Will Zirzow has pitched yet this year, but both have the stuff and track record to get drafted by teams willing to take the long view on their respective prospect stocks. RHP Chase Haney, like Holton out for the year after Tommy John surgery, is a fun sidearming sinkerballer who could pitch his way to senior-sign status down the line.

I know a few individuals who have OF/RHP Steven Wells as a pitcher first and foremost on their boards. Most of my notes on him detail his ability on the mound (89-93 FB, mid-70s CB), so I guess there’s some logic to it. Four innings and 170+ at bats in his college career later, it’s pretty clear Wells should be judged as a hitter. A hot start to his 2018 — his 17 BB/8 K mark is notable even for a Seminole — is a point in his favor. He’s like a less accomplished version of former Seminole Mike McGee.

Finally, after a million words and a misleading introduction, we’ve finally gotten to a big-time hitting prospect. Simply put, C Cal Raleigh has star upside. I had him as a potential first rounder and the first college catcher off the board back when I did my initial 2018 MLB Mock Draft back in October. I stand by it. Raleigh’s blend of power, patience, and high likelihood of sticking behind the plate (where he’s admittedly more good than great and perhaps not for everyone) is tough to top. Let the overrating of another Florida State batter begin!

In all honesty, Raleigh is a tough player to overrate. Catchers on the whole are tough to overrate. A more fitting candidate to be overranked by me is OF/C Jackson Lueck. Lueck doesn’t have a true carrying tool, but is a well-rounded switch-hitter who has hit a ton since day one. If a team buys into him as a potential catching conversion, he’ll shoot up boards. As an outfielder he’s a bit of a tweener in almost every respect, for better or worse.

Auburn transfer C/1B Jonathan Foster is a steady hand behind the plate with enough power at it to be worth a follow. 1B/OF Rhett Aplin has some pop and plenty of arm strength, so a team that still sees him as a primary outfielder could take a chance on him late. How much SS Mike Salvatore will show with the bat remains to be seen, but his glove is solid enough to get him a look in a class weak in true shortstops. 2B Rafael Bournigal was a classic Florida State hitter even before setting foot on campus. The former Belmont Bruin has great patience at the plate and is a reliable defender at the keystone. His path to the big leagues will be tough as a second baseman with limited experience elsewhere (note: I’m unsure if he can play elsewhere, just pointing out that he hasn’t), but he makes a lot of sense to me as a late-round senior-sign based on his track record as a hitter. I mean, somebody has to play second base for you in the minors, right? Might as well be a patient, mature hitter with big league bloodlines.

Looking ahead, there’s predictably a lot to like in the 2019 and 2020 classes. 3B Drew Mendoza = superstar. OF/RHP JC Flowers isn’t too far behind. I really like LHP/OF Drew Parrish, RHP CJ Van Eyk, and LHP Austin Pollock as well. The Florida State machine rolls on and I can’t wait to overrate every last prospect here.

rJR RHP Andrew Karp (2018)
JR LHP Tyler Holton (2018)
rJR RHP Cobi Johnson (2018)
JR RHP Cole Sands (2018)
rSR RHP Ed Voyles (2018)
rSR RHP Will Zirzow (2018)
JR RHP Chase Haney (2018)
rJR RHP Alex Carpenter (2018)
rSO RHP Ronnie Ramirez (2018)
SR OF/RHP Steven Wells (2018)
JR C Cal Raleigh (2018)
JR OF/C Jackson Lueck (2018)
JR C/1B Jonathan Foster (2018)
JR SS Mike Salvatore (2018)
SR 1B/OF Rhett Aplin (2018)
rSR 1B Kyle Cavanaugh (2018)
rSR 2B Rafael Bournigal (2018)
SO LHP Clayton Kwiatkowski (2019)
SO LHP/OF Drew Parrish (2019)
SO OF/RHP JC Flowers (2019)
SO 3B Drew Mendoza (2019)
SO 2B/OF Nick Derr (2019)
SO SS Tyler Daughtry (2019)
FR LHP/OF Jonah Scolaro (2020)
FR LHP Shane Drohan (2020)
FR RHP CJ Van Eyk (2020)
FR LHP Austin Pollock (2020)
FR RHP Tyler Ahearn (2020)
FR RHP Conor Grady (2020)
FR SS Cooper Swanson (2020)
FR OF Reese Albert (2020)

2016 MLB Draft – ACC

If you’re one of the small handful of daily readers, you can go ahead and skip this post. You’ve already seen it. Not that you needed my permission or anything, but you’re free to pass all the same. The intent here is to get all of the college content in one place, so below you’ll find everything I’ve written about the 2016 class of MLB Draft prospects currently playing in the ACC. Then I’ll have a college baseball master list post that will centralize everything I’ve written about the 2016 MLB Draft college class all in one place. It’s a rare bit of inspired organizational posting around here, so I’m trying to strike while motivated…

ACC Overview Part 1
ACC Overview Part 2
Boston College

Clemson
Duke
Florida State
Georgia Tech
Miami
North Carolina State
Notre Dame
Virginia Tech
Wake Forest

DJ Stewart

Ranking Ian Happ, Dansby Swanson, and Alex Bregman in the top three of all 2015 college hitters isn’t particularly challenging. Coming up with a name you have some confidence in for the fourth spot is. Florida State OF DJ Stewart is the last college hitter I have confidence in as a viable first half of the first round, so he takes the fourth position for now. There are a few higher upside guys that will undoubtedly challenge for his spot (and those of Happ, Swanson, and Bregman, for that matter), but we’ll get to them soon enough. Today is Stewart’s day in the spotlight, so let’s get going.

DJ Stewart is an outstanding college hitter who, in my view, will very likely become a very good professional hitter in relatively short order. It’s never going to be pretty for a guy with a fire hydrant build and limited value outside of the batter’s box, but hitters with his kind of power/patience blend are at a premium now more than ever and Stewart’s stick is arguably as good as any draft-eligible college contemporary’s. I’ve mentioned it elsewhere, but comparing Stewart, both as a player right now as he begins his junior season (i.e., current tools) and as a draft prospect set to take off these next few months (i.e., potential growth curve), to Oregon State/New York Mets outfielder Michael Conforto makes way too much sense to avoid.

The two big questions currently facing Stewart pertain to his unique physical condition and his professional defensive utility. I don’t mean to be dismissive of the first big question, but…is this really something we’re still hung up on in 2015? I’ll resist the urge to make a bad jeans salesman joke here, but come on. I’d understand some of the hand-wringing if Stewart was an unathletic slug, but that’s decidedly not the case. Stewart’s build evokes the same kind of bowling ball vibe that has garnered comparisons to a pair of intriguing hitters: Matt Stairs and Jeremy Giambi. Physically those both make a lot of sense to me, but the comps go even deeper than body type. I could very easily see Stewart having the kind of career of either player. If we split the difference with their 162 game averages, then we get a player who puts up a .260/.360/.450 yearly line with 20 HR, 25 2B, 70 BB, and 100 K. A career that mirrors that of Billy Butler feels like a reasonable ceiling projection, though I could see that bumping up to something closer to Carlos Santana territory with a big final college season. Those are all really good hitters, so take the “reasonable ceiling projection” phrasing to heart.

Now we get to the question of defense. Conforto, last year’s best all-bat/little-glove college prospect, never directly answered any of the defensive questions that scouts had for him heading into his junior season. As June rolled around, there was still debate about his long-term defensive future. Baseball America noted that he managed to improve his “fringy outfield defense” enough to be deemed “adequate for left field.” I know others think his defense is underrated and that he’ll be more than fine in either left or right (probably the closest to my personal view); others still would rather see him give up the outfield entirely and remake himself as a first baseman. The Baseball America report splits the difference, which makes the most sense to me based on what I’ve otherwise heard and saw firsthand. In any event, even at his best, his defensive consistency leaves something to be desired; we knew that a year ago and we knew that on draft day and we know that as he is set to begin his first full pro season.

That leads us back to Stewart. Like Conforto, I think he can “answer” the questions about his defense much like Conforto did last year by continuing to hit the shit out of the ball. At the plate he’s a guy who is capable of better than league average on-base numbers and a steady run of seasons with twenty or more home runs. He’s a good enough athlete with impressive instincts to do a decent enough job of chasing down balls in an outfield corner while also swiping the occasional bag when a pitcher is caught napping. I haven’t loved the arm strength in my looks, so there’s a chance he’s locked in with the dreaded “LF only” tag, but, like Conforto, if he hits as expected then you’re still looking at an all-around above-average middle of the order regular. In discussing this year’s draft class with some pals who happen to be Phillies fans, Stewart’s name came up. I’d consider him as a “sleeper” for the Phillies first pick this year, especially if they look at him as the counter-point (i.e. quick moving, moderate ceiling, high floor hitter) to the Aaron Nola selection from last year’s draft. I bring this up not only because I enjoy giving a shout-out to fellow Phils fans when I can, but also because I think Philadelphia likely represents Stewart’s realistic draft ceiling at this point. The Phillies pick tenth overall this year. Coincidence or not, that’s the exact same spot the Mets took Conforto at last year. Now that’s some quality narrative symmetry right there.

Anyway, if it really works, I think you’re looking at a Stairs/Butler/Santana kind of impact bat capable of playing close to average defense in an outfield corner. If not, it could be something closer to the cautionary tale of the one-dimensional (yet still plenty productive when his head was screwed on right) Jeremy Giambi. Even if it splits the difference, that could wind up being a worthwhile late first round/supplemental first round selection.

2015 MLB Draft Prospects – ACC Follow List

Boston College 

JR 1B/OF Chris Shaw (2015)
JR 3B/SS Joe Cronin (2015)
SR 2B/SS Blake Butera (2015)
SR RHP John Gorman (2015)
SR LHP Nick Poore (2015)
JR RHP Jeff Burke (2015)
JR LHP Jesse Adams (2015)
SO RHP Justin Dunn (2016)
SO RHP Mike King (2016)
SO C Nick Sciortino (2016)
SO SS/3B Johnny Adams (2016)
SO RHP Bobby Skogsbergh (2016)

Clemson

JR LHP Matthew Crownover (2015)
JR LHP Zack Erwin (2015)
JR RHP Clate Schmidt (2015)
rSO RHP Wales Toney (2015)
rJR RHP Patrick Andrews (2015)
rSR RHP Kevin Pohle (2015)
rSR RHP Jake Long (2015)
JR RHP Brady Koerner (2015)
rSR RHP Clay Bates (2015)
rSO RHP Garrett Lovorn (2015)
JR RHP/3B Jackson Campana (2015)
JR OF Steven Duggar (2015)
SR OF Tyler Slaton (2015)
rSO 1B/OF Andrew Cox (2015)
rSO OF Maleeke Gibson (2015)
JR SS/2B Tyler Krieger (2015)
SO C Chris Okey (2016)
SO LHP Pat Krall (2016)
SO 3B/SS Weston Wilson (2016)
SO SS/2B Eli White (2016)
SO LHP Alex Bostic (2016)
SO RHP Drew Moyer (2016)
rFR 3B Glenn Batson (2016)
rFR OF Reed Rohlman (2016)
FR OF KJ Bryant (2017)
FR LHP Charlie Barnes (2017)
FR OF Drew Wharton (2017)
FR OF Chase Pinder (2017)

Duke

JR RHP Michael Matuella (2015)
SR RHP Sarkis Ohanian (2015)
SR RHP Andrew Istler (2015)
SR LHP Trent Swart (2015)
rJR LHP Remy Janco (2015)
rJR RHP Conner Stevens (2015)
JR LHP Nick Hendrix (2015)
rSR LHP Dillon Haviland (2015)
rSO RHP James Marvel (2015)
JR RHP/SS Kenny Koplove (2015)
rSR C Mike Rosenfeld (2015)
rSO OF Jalen Phillips (2015)
SR 2B Andy Perez (2015)
SO RHP Bailey Clark (2016)
SO RHP Karl Blum (2016)
SO LHP Kevin Lewallyn (2016)
SO C Cristian Perez (2016)
FR 1B Justin Bellinger (2017)
FR LHP Chris McGrath (2017)
FR SS Ryan Day (2017)
FR 3B Jack Labosky (2017)
FR LHP Mitch Stallings (2017)

Florida State

JR OF DJ Stewart (2015)
rSR 1B Chris Marconcini (2015)
JR 2B/SS John Sansone (2015)
SR C Daniel De La Calle (2015)
SR OF Josh Delph (2015)
rJR RHP Mike Compton (2015)
SR LHP Bryant Holtmann (2015)
JR RHP/OF Jameis Winston (2015)
JR LHP Alex Diese (2015)
JR LHP Dylan Silva (2015)
SR LHP Billy Strode (2015)
SO RHP Taylor Blatch (2016)
SO LHP Alec Byrd (2016)
SO RHP Boomer Biegalski (2016)
rFR RHP Andy Ward (2016)
rFR RHP Ed Voyles (2016)
SO RHP Jim Voyles (2016)
SO OF/SS Ben DeLuzio (2016)
SO 1B/C Quincy Nieporte (2016)
SO C/OF Gage West (2016)
SO INF Hank Truluck (2016)
FR RHP Cobi Johnson (2017)
FR RHP Andrew Karp (2017)
FR RHP Drew Carlton (2017)
FR SS/3B Dylan Busby (2017)
FR SS/2B Taylor Walls (2017)
FR C/1B Darren Miller (2017)
FR OF/RHP Steven Wells (2017)

Georgia Tech

SR 1B/C AJ Murray (2015)
rJR OF Dan Spingola (2015)
JR 3B/SS Matt Gonzalez (2015)
rSO 1B Cole Miller (2015)
SR 2B/SS Thomas Smith (2015)
JR LHP/OF Jonathan King (2015)
SR RHP Cole Pitts (2015)
SO OF Ryan Peurifoy (2016)
SO RHP Zac Ryan (2016)
SO C Arden Pabst (2016)
SO OF Keenan Innis (2016)
SO 3B/RHP Brandon Gold (2016)
SO LHP Ben Parr (2016)
SO SS Connor Justus (2016)
FR OF/1B Kel Johnson (2017)
FR LHP Daniel Gooden (2017)
FR RHP Patrick Wiseman (2017)

Louisville

JR RHP Kyle Funkhouser (2015)
rSO LHP Josh Rogers (2015)
rSO LHP Robert Strader (2015)
JR RHP/1B Anthony Kidston (2015)
SR 2B/SS Zach Lucas (2015)
JR 1B/3B Dan Rosenbaum (2015)
SR OF Michael White (2015)
SR SS/2B Sutton Whiting (2015)
SO RHP Zack Burdi (2016)
SO LHP Drew Harrington (2016)
SO RHP Jake Sparger (2016)
SO OF Corey Ray (2016)
SO 2B Nick Solak (2016)
rFR 3B/SS Blake Tiberi (2016)
rFR OF/C Ryan Summers (2016)
SO OF Colin Lyman (2016)
SO C Will Smith (2016)
rFR OF Mike White (2016)
FR LHP/1B Brendan McKay (2017)
FR SS Devin Hairston (2017)
FR RHP Lincoln Henzman (2017)
FR RHP Kade McClure (2017)
FR C/1B Colby Fritch (2017)

Miami

JR 3B/1B David Thompson (2015)
JR 3B/OF George Iskenderian (2015)
SR C Garrett Kennedy (2015)
rSO 1B/OF Chris Barr (2015)
JR OF Ricky Eusebio (2015)
JR SS/RHP Brandon Lopez (2015)
rJR LHP Andrew Suarez (2015)
JR LHP Thomas Woodrey (2015)
JR RHP Enrique Sosa (2015)
SO 1B/C Zack Collins (2016)
SO OF Willie Abreu (2016)
SO RHP/1B Derik Beauprez (2016)
SO OF Jacob Heyward (2016)
SO LHP Danny Garcia (2016)
SO RHP Bryan Garcia (2016)
SO SS Sebastian Diaz (2016)
SO 2B Johnny Ruiz (2016)
SO RHP Cooper Hammond (2016)
rFR RHP Andy Honiotes (2016)
FR OF Carl Chester (2017)
FR OF Justin Smith (2017)
FR LHP Michael Mediavilla (2017)
FR RHP Jesse Lepore (2017)
FR RHP Keven Pimentel (2017)
FR LHP Luke Spangler (2017)
FR RHP Devin Meyer (2017)

North Carolina

SR RHP Benton Moss (2015)
JR RHP Reilly Hovis (2015)
JR RHP Trent Thornton (2015)
rJR RHP Chris McCue (2015)
SR RHP Trevor Kelley (2015)
JR RHP Taylore Cherry (2015)
JR OF Skye Bolt (2015)
JR OF Josh Merrigan (2015)
JR 3B/2B Landon Lassiter (2015)
JR C Korey Dunbar (2015)
JR SS/OF Alex Raburn (2015)
SO RHP/SS Spencer Trayner (2016)
SO RHP AJ Bogucki (2016)
SO RHP Zac Gallen (2016)
SO LHP Zach Rice (2016)
SO C Adrian Chacon (2016)
SO 1B Joe Dudek (2016)
SO 2B/SS Wood Myers (2016)
SO OF Tyler Ramirez (2016)
SO OF Adam Pate (2016)
FR 3B/RHP Ryder Ryan (2016)
FR 1B/LHP Hunter Williams (2017)
FR SS/3B Zack Gahagan (2017)
FR RHP JB Bukauskas (2017)
FR RHP Hansen Butler (2017)
FR RHP Jason Morgan (2017)
FR OF/2B Logan Warmoth (2017)
FR RHP Brett Daniels (2017)
FR INF Brooks Kennedy (2017)

North Carolina State

JR RHP Jon Olczak (2015)
JR RHP Curt Britt (2015)
rJR LHP Travis Orwig (2015)
JR RHP Karl Keglovits (2015)
JR LHP Brad Stone (2015)
rSO RHP Johnny Piedmonte (2015)
SR OF Jake Fincher (2015)
JR SS Ryne Willard (2015)
SR OF Bubby Riley (2015)
SR 2B/3B Logan Ratledge (2015)
SR 1B/OF Jake Armstrong (2015)
JR C Chance Shepard (2015)
SO RHP Cory Wilder (2016)
SO 3B Andrew Knizner (2016)
SO OF Garrett Suggs (2016)
SO 1B Preston Palmeiro (2016)
SO RHP Joe O’Donnell (2016)
SO LHP Ryan Williamson (2016)
SO LHP Cody Beckman (2016)
FR RHP/INF Tommy DeJuneas (2017)
FR RHP Evan Mendoza (2017)
FR OF Storm Edwards (2017)
FR 3B Joe Dunand (2017)

Notre Dame

rSR RHP Cristian Torres (2015)
JR RHP Nick McCarty (2015)
SR RHP Scott Kerrigan (2015)
JR RHP David Hearne (2015)
JR LHP Michael Hearne (2015)
JR LHP/OF Zac Kutsulis (2015)
SR OF/LHP Robert Youngdahl (2015)
SR 3B Phil Mosey (2015)
SR OF/1B Ryan Bull (2015)
SR OF Mac Hudgins (2015)
SR OF Blaise Lezynski (2015)
SR OF Conor Biggio (2015)
JR SS Lane Richards (2015)
JR C/OF Ricky Sanchez (2015)
SO RHP Ryan Smoyer (2016)
SO 2B/SS Kyle Fiala (2016)
SO 2B/3B Cavan Biggio (2016)
SO C Ryan Lidge (2016)
rFR OF Torii Hunter (2016)
FR RHP Peter Solomon (2017)
FR RHP Brad Bass (2017)
FR RHP Brandon Bielak (2017)
FR LHP Sean Guenther (2017)

Pittsburgh

SR OF Boo Vazquez (2015)
SR 1B Eric Hess (2015)
SR SS/2B Matt Johnson (2015)
JR C Alex Kowalczyk (2015)
JR RHP Marc Berube (2015)
JR RHP Aaron Sandefur (2015)
JR LHP/OF Aaron Schnurbusch (2015)
SR RHP Hobie Harris (2015)
SO RHP Sam Mersing (2016)
SO RHP TJ Zeuch (2016)
FR 3B/SS Charles LeBlanc (2017)

Virginia

JR OF Joe McCarthy (2015)
JR 2B/3B John LaPrise (2015)
SO SS/3B Daniel Pinero (2015)
SR 3B Kenny Towns (2015)
JR C/RHP Robbie Coman (2015)
JR LHP Brandon Waddell (2015)
JR LHP Nathan Kirby (2015)
JR RHP Josh Sborz (2015)
JR LHP David Rosenberger (2015)
SO RHP Connor Jones (2016)
SO C Matt Thaiss (2016)
SO RHP Jack Roberts (2016)
SO RHP Alec Bettinger (2016)
FR 2B Jack Gerstenmaier (2017)
FR 1B/RHP Pavin Smith (2017)
FR RHP Derek Casey (2017)
FR RHP Tommy Doyle (2017)
FR OF/LHP Adam Haseley (2017)
FR LHP Bennett Sousa (2017)
FR 3B Charlie Cody (2017)
FR C/2B Justin Novak (2017)
FR OF Christian Lowry (2017)
FR 2B/OF Ernie Clement (2017)

Virginia Tech

rSO OF Saige Jenco (2015)
SR 2B/SS Alex Perez (2015)
rSR OF Kyle Wernicki (2015)
rJR OF Logan Bible (2015)
SR 1B/RHP Brendon Hayden (2015)
rSO 1B/LHP Phil Sciretta (2015)
SR LHP/1B Sean Keselica (2015)
rSO LHP Kit Scheetz (2015)
rJR LHP Jon Woodcock (2015)
SO RHP Luke Scherzer (2016)
SO SS Ricky Surum (2016)
SO RHP Aaron McGarity (2016)
SO 3B Ryan Tufts (2016)
SO OF/LHP Tom Stoffel (2016)
SO 3B/OF Miguel Ceballos (2016)
SO RHP Ryan Lauria (2016)
FR C Joe Freiday (2017)
FR 3B Max Ponzurik (2017)

Wake Forest

JR RHP/C Garrett Kelly (2015)
SR RHP Matt Pirro (2015)
rSO LHP Max Tishman (2015)
rJR RHP Aaron Fossas (2015)
rSR OF Kevin Jordan (2015)
JR OF/2B Joey Rodriguez (2015)
JR OF Luke Czajkowski (2015)
SO C Ben Breazeale (2016)
rFR RHP Chris Farish (2016)
SO 2B/OF Nate Mondou (2016)
SO 3B/RHP Will Craig (2016)
SO RHP John McCarren (2016)
SO RHP Connor Johnstone (2016)
SO RHP Parker Dunshee (2016)
FR OF Stuart Fairchild (2017)
FR INF Bruce Steel (2017)
FR 1B Gavin Sheets (2017)
FR SS Drew Freedman (2017)

2015 MLB Draft Prospects – Florida State

JR OF DJ Stewart (2015)
rSR 1B Chris Marconcini (2015)
JR 2B/SS John Sansone (2015)
SR C Daniel De La Calle (2015)
SR OF Josh Delph (2015)
rJR RHP Mike Compton (2015)
SR LHP Bryant Holtmann (2015)
JR RHP/OF Jameis Winston (2015)
JR LHP Alex Diese (2015)
JR LHP Dylan Silva (2015)
SR LHP Billy Strode (2015)
SO RHP Taylor Blatch (2016)
SO LHP Alec Byrd (2016)
SO RHP Boomer Biegalski (2016)
rFR RHP Andy Ward (2016)
rFR RHP Ed Voyles (2016)
SO RHP Jim Voyles (2016)
SO OF/SS Ben DeLuzio (2016)
SO 1B/C Quincy Nieporte (2016)
SO C/OF Gage West (2016)
SO INF Hank Truluck (2016)
FR RHP Cobi Johnson (2017)
FR RHP Andrew Karp (2017)
FR RHP Drew Carlton (2017)
FR SS Dylan Busby (2017)
FR SS/2B Taylor Walls (2017)
FR C/1B Darren Miller (2017)
FR OF/RHP Steven Wells (2017)

Florida State is a machine. Star recruits in, high draft picks/future big leaguers out. This may be a bit of a down year on that future big league player side of the equation, but it’s more than made up for by the influx of star recruits armed and ready to lead the team back to the top. Since 2017 is over two years away, we’ll wait a bit on the young guys and focus on the slightly less young guys who are eligible to be drafted this June. The main attraction for scouts visiting Tallahassee this spring is quite clearly JR OF DJ Stewart. Let’s compare Stewart to another potential first round ACC outfielder, Joe McCarthy of Virginia. Here’s what they’ve done so far…

DJ Stewart

2013: .360/.469/.551 – 40 BB/38 K – 8/12 SB
2014: .351/.472/.557 – 40 BB/30 K – 4/5 SB

Joe McCarthy

2013: .363/.495/.480 – 57 BB/31 K – 12/13 SB
2014: .301/.417/.449 – 35 BB/34 K – 11/12 SB

Both are likely left fielders professionally, though McCarthy has some chance at playing right (better arm) or even some center (more athletic, though Stewart is vastly underrated in this area in my view). Stewart has more raw power (above-average to plus compared to McCarthy’s average, though the latter may have untapped upside if the right swing adjustments are made), a fact that’s nicely reflected in their numbers so far. The same is true when speed is compared: McCarthy has more (above-average to plus) than Stewart (average at best), and it’s reflected in the stats to date. Both are big strong men (6-4, 225 for McCarthy, 6-0, 230 for Stewart) with pretty swings that should push them towards and above an average hit tool. A case could be made for either as top outfielder in the conference with much of the disagreement on the two coming down to personal preference (speed, approach, defense versus POWER), though there is a good bit of overlap between the two skill sets. I think the need for POWER in pro ball is great enough that Stewart will wind up the preferred prospect come June, a choice that I would not personally disagree with.

rSR 1B Chris Marconcini, a transfer from Duke, saw his power numbers slip enough last season that his prospect stock heading into this season is way down. There’s still some hope that his above-average raw power and a big senior season will help convince teams once again he can make it as a potential platoon player/bench bat. JR 2B/SS John Sansome has flashed some utility player upside and the Florida State staff seems willing to ride or die with him in the infield, but he’ll need a much better season across the board in 2015 to garner any meaningful draft buzz. For all the good things I’ve heard about him, he really needs to start showing something with the bat after almost 400 below-average at bats through his first two years on campus. The high hopes I had for SR C Daniel De La Calle heading into last year were quickly dashed by his struggles at the plate (.224/.315/.241). He’s still so good behind the dish that a professional future can’t be ruled out, but even a pro backup has to hit a little bit. SR OF Josh Delph has done FSU proud by consistently showing the kind of plate discipline (68 BB/46 K the last two seasons) the program values so highly, but a lack of power upside makes him more of a good college bat than a future professional contributor.

The Florida State 2015 pitching class lacks the star power of a DJ Stewart, but is otherwise very similar to the hitting group. There are lots of solid college pitchers, but no sure-fire future pros at this point. SR LHP Bryant Holtmann has the size teams covet (6-5, 200) and it doesn’t hurt that he’s coming off a nice junior season. He’s flashed some interesting stuff in the past (mid- to upper-80s fastball, good cutter), so a team could like him as a senior sign reliever this June. rJR Mike Compton is one of my favorite college pitchers to watch — there’s something especially entertaining about watching a man with plus FB command carve up jumpy college hitters — but he’s never shown the requisite bat-missing ability needed to thrive in pro ball. Another season removed from Tommy John surgery could help him see an uptick in that area because his pitchability, deception, and secondary stuff, especially his low-70s curve, is top notch. JR LHP Dylan Silva and SR LHP Billy Strode jumped out at me as statistically impressive, but I don’t have anything on either beyond that right now. Another player I don’t have much on but am very, very intrigued by is JR LHP Alex Diese. Diese has the secondary stuff (plus CU, above-average CB) and enough fastball (88-92) to do big things in his first year as a Seminole.

The only two underclassmen that I see that have performed well when given the chance so far are SO LHP Alec Byrd (13 K/8 BB in 15 IP) and SO OF/SS Ben DeLuzio (.281/.371/.398 in 171 AB). Byrd’s got some projection left in him (already upper-80s) and DeLuzio (speed, size, bat speed, defensive upside) is a potential star with a chance to go very high in 2016. rFR RHP Andy Ward is a name to watch as he returns to health after Tommy John surgery and SO C/OF Gage West feels like the next in line of patient Florida State hitters. The freshman class is particularly loaded with future first day pick RHP Cobi Johnson the headliner. There’s also high hopes for FR RHP Andrew Karp, a pitcher who, like Johnson, has the chance for three above-average or better pitches by the time his draft year comes back around. For as much upside as Karp has, the foremost concern for him and the program is working together to get him healthy after a recent accident.

Oh yeah, there’s also a QB/RHP on the roster that is a tad famous. JR Jameis Winston, the likely 1b to Marcus Mariota’s 1a on most NFL teams QB draft boards, is a very real MLB draft prospect in his own right. I won’t touch on his many off-field incidents because I can only judge a player based on what I know (or think I know) — at best he’s an immature kid, at worst he’s a criminal who should be behind bars — but there’s been nothing but positive things said about his on-field makeup. That’s not necessarily enough to sway me into using a valuable early pick on him (trust me when I say I don’t make light of some of the charges against him), but it does me make wonder why he can’t be given a fair shot like anybody else if all the background checks on him come out clean. If a team does their homework and deems him an unemployable candidate, so be it. Players are employees who must represent the company, after all. Speaking strictly about his ability on the diamond, however, he’s an easily identifiable draftable talent. Too many of the national draft pundits have completely dismissed him because they don’t seem to like the amount of hype he gets relative to his peers; I get that, and I’m preemptively frustrated for the aftermath of if/when he’s picked and he instantly becomes the draft’s top storyline on a national/casual fan level. I don’t think it’s fair, however, to besmirch the man’s talent because the media is likely to get carried away with him. He didn’t ask for the hype, so holding it against him personally is silly. There isn’t always a need for the push-back that counters the over-the-top reaction from one side because it often winds up being equal to or greater than the initial uproar.

There are real risks involved with selecting Winston, of course. The big one was outlined above: if he’s not the kind of person you want to employ, move on and don’t think twice about it. If my favorite team passed on him for that reason, I’d be proud. If my favorite team did as much homework on him as possible and determined he’s an individual worth taking a chance on, well, that’s fine, too. The other big risk with Winston is the obvious downside to drafting a player that will always put baseball second. I don’t mean that as a knock on Winston, as he’s indicated a genuine passion for baseball on multiple occasions. It’s just that football is his best sport and where he’ll make his millions. As a pitcher — a reliever at that — I think a two-way professional athlete can exist in today’s game. The lost developmental time isn’t as big a factor for a pitcher with limited bullets in the chamber as is.

It’s next to impossible to assign any player a round value at this point in the process. Winston’s unique situation makes it even more difficult. At this point, I think I’d be willing to use a late-single digit round pick (8th, 9th, 10th round) on Winston if he’d be willing to go underslot like a senior might. Figure that’s earlier than he’d expect to get selected, money won’t be that big an issue to him after getting his NFL bonus a month or so prior, and it’s not such a high pick that you’re passing up a surer thing. As a baseball player he’s not a projected star like in football (and even that’s up for debate at this point), but I’ll take an athletic 6-4, 220 pound righthanded pitcher who has hit 95/96 in the past (and shown a promising breaking ball) coming off a season like the one he just had (31 K and 7 BB in 33.1 IP) in any draft. If, and I can’t stress this enough, and only if the background checks on him come back 100% to my liking.

2011 Quick Draft Thoughts – Florida State Seminoles

1. This list took me a really long time to put together because Florida State has a ton of mid-round draft candidates who are really, really hard to separate. It also took me a long time to complete because I kept getting sucked in to reading the commentary at the many devoted Florida State baseball websites out there. I’ve admitted my lack of knowledge about the actual ins and outs of college baseball already – embarrassing admission, but it would take me a minute to remember what two teams played for the championship last year – but I had no idea that so many fans see the Florida State program as one settling into second-tier baseball school status. Recruiting has slipped in the past few seasons and the star quality players that once beat a path to Tallahassee are now finding homes elsewhere. I think getting a pair of potential plus bats on campus in consecutive years (Jayce Boyd last year, Eric Arce this year) is noteworthy, but on the whole there does seem to be a pretty big gap between upperclassmen and underclassmen talent. Any Florida State fans out there able to confirm or deny any of what I’ve read?

2. How did Tyler Holt fall to the tenth round last year?

3. I’ve always considered this site to be somewhat unique in the way player statistics drive the way college prospects are evaluated. I wish I was motivated and/or smart enough to make a little table, but here’s the gist of the stats/scouting Punnett square that I consider every time I think about a college player:

  1. Good Numbers + Good Scouting Reports = BUY
  2. Good Numbers + Questionable Scouting Reports = HOLD
  3. Lackluster Numbers + Good Scouting Reports = HOLD
  4. Lackluster Numbers + Questionable Scouting Reports = SELL

Players that fall under the first or last categories above are easy to sort out. Anthony Rendon is really, really good and, though I suppose there is some sport in figuring out how good “really, really good” actually is, there isn’t much debate about players in this category beyond that. Prospects in the last category don’t really exist, at least not in a world where we are being picky about using the word “prospect” to describe them; these college players are better at baseball than 99% of the general population, but aren’t talented enough to even get mentioned by anybody outside of their immediate family. Players in the middle two categories are where guys like me earn our imaginary internet cash money. Typically, I’m more willing to give the players in group two the benefit of the doubt over group three, but there is no hard and fast rule. It all comes down to the scouting reports, really; where they are coming from, whether or not they are firsthand accounts, the particular tools being praised or knocked, reasons for the players better/worse than expected output, the list could go on forever. For example, let’s say there is a player at State University that you happen to see play and fall in love with. You are convinced he has what it takes to be a pro, but his numbers don’t match up with what you’ve witnessed in front of you. That’s great! Sure, our eyes fool us plenty and sometimes we only see what we want to see, but the opposite is absolutely true as well. It’s not quite scouts vs stats, but more like projection vs production. I’m straying too far from where I want to go with Florida State now, so I’ll close with what I hope is one last succinct thought: just because Player X has hit better than Player Y as an amateur doesn’t mean that he’ll continue to do so, or even get the chance to do so, as a professional.

When making any kind of ranking or list, I almost always start by leaning towards production, but ultimately wind up working my way back towards favoring upside projection. The reason why I bothered to rehash this tired “debate” in the first place is to say that Florida State has a ton of fascinating production vs projection draft battles currently on the roster. I guess that what happens when you rely so heavily on junior college transfers like they do. SR RHP Daniel Bennett has been counted on in many big spots (10.40 K/9; 3.22 BB/9; 3.49 FIP; 36.1 IP) as the Seminoles primary non-closer relief pitcher. Versatile JR LHP Brian Busch has always gotten good results (8.65 K/9; 3.62 BB/9; 4.40 FIP; 77 IP) when called on. SR RHP Tyler Everett offers more (8.32 K/9; 4.26 BB/9; 3.37 FIP; 44.1 IP) of the same. Last year alone, that veteran trio pitched over 150 effective major college innings. Production! Then you have three new Seminoles with a combined total of zero innings pitched for Florida State: JR LHP Connor Nolan, JR RHP Adam Simmons, and JR RHP Gary Merians. To claim any of the three “untested” pitchers should rank over any arm in the more established trio would be a pretty clear win for projection over production, right?

Nolan intrigues the heck out of me. His fastball sits in the upper-80s, touching 91. His slider is a potential plus pitch. He also throws a curveball for strikes. Equipped with a three-pitch mix of his own (low-90s fastball and a good changeup/slider combo) Simmons isn’t too far behind. Merians has been on the radar since his high school days and more recently his stay in junior college. He has the plus arm strength that teams covet in potential back of the bullpen arms. Projection! Meanwhile, Bennett’s biggest strength is his deceptive sidearm delivery, Everett is a pitchability guy all the way, and Busch’s decent curve grades out as his only present above-average offspeed offering. I currently have them ranked, in order: Nolan, Bennett, Simmons, Merians, Busch, and Everett. I think all six players have a reasonable shot to be drafted this June, with Busch, second to last on my personal list despite his likely status as Florida State’s Saturday starter, probably the safest bet once you take everything into account.

Early 2011 Draft Guesses

The biggest sure thing on Florida State’s roster heading into 2011 is JR LHP Sean Gilmartin, a four-pitch Friday night starter that I can’t help but consistently underrate. Even though he has a very good mid-70s changeup and an above-average low-70s curveball, his inconsistent fastball, both in terms of velocity (sits mid- to upper-80s, peaks at 91-92) and command, worries me against professional hitters. Does a so-so fastball really undo the positives that three other potentially average or better (his low-80s slider isn’t great presently, but has the upside as a usable fourth pitch) secondary pitches bring to the table? As a guy who championed the pre-velocity spike Mike Minor, I’m inclined to say no, yet my instincts keep me away from endorsing Gilmartin as a potential top three round prospect. JR RHP Hunter Scantling’s quick report from last year holds up pretty well today: Scantling is huge (6-8, 270 pounds) and athletic, but his stuff still doesn’t quite match his imposing frame. That could change in a hurry, but for now he’s still sitting in the same upper-80s with iffy breaking stuff that he was at back in high school. It’ll be interesting to see if he’ll get more consistent innings as a starter or if Florida State opts to keep him coming out of the bullpen in 2011.Since then, his fastball has upped a bit in velocity (peaking 91) and his slider has markedly improved. The lack of an effective third pitch ought to keep him in the bullpen for now. Those are the only two locks to get drafted on the pitching side, in my view. The six pitchers mentioned above (Nolan, Bennett, Simmons, Busch, and Everett) all will be in the draft mix, but a lot will come down to their usage this spring. Believing that, I’d say Busch is the most likely of the sextet to go after Gilmartin and Scantling, but don’t rule out a name like Merians or Nolan jumping all the way up and becoming the second or third Seminole pitcher drafted.

The hitters are a lot more difficult to judge. There could be as many as ten Florida State position players selected in this year’s draft, a crazy number for any college team but even crazier for a good but not great college team. SR OF/RHP Mike McGee is a lock to get redrafted, but it’s not yet known if teams will ultimately prefer him in the outfield (like I do) or on the mound (like in last year’s draft). Either way, he’s one of the country’s best college players and a lot of fun to watch play. JR 2B Sherman Johnson is a huge personal favorite because of his outstanding plate discipline and above-average defensive tools. A second Seminole infielder, SR 3B Stuart Tapley, could hear his name crackled over the speaker phone; he’s got the skill set that could work as a four-corners bench bat as a professional. Florida State’s senior catchers – Parker Brunelle and Rafael Lopez – have both played below expectations in Tallahassee, but each player has shown flashes of their high level prep ability at times. Instinctually, I prefer Brunelle to Lopez, but both guys have strong points (Brunelle: athleticism and defense; Lopez: quick bat and strong arm) in their favor. In addition to McGee, the Seminoles return two additional outfielders with a chance to get taken in the draft. JR OF Taiwan Easterling reportedly scared off a team interested in drafting him in the fourth last year because of his extravagant bonus demands. If that story is true, one can only imagine what kind of attention the super toolsy former football player could draw with a big spring on the diamond. As is, the plus runner is almost a complete tools gamble. On the opposite end of the spectrum we have JR OF James Ramsey. Ramsey’s only above-average tool is his bat, but his prowess at the plate (.307/.453/.560; 51 BB/41 K; 218 AB) isn’t so great that teams will see much value in this limited to leftfield prospect. I suppose the direct comparison of Easterling and Ramsey is yet another example of projection over production, huh? I’ve left off, for now, talented junior college transfer Taed Moses and JR UTIL Jack Posey. Moses has gotten lots of positive buzz since enrolling at FSU; unfortunately, that’s the limit on what I know about him to this point. Posey is a super duper darkhorse prospect who might get overlooked by some who see him simply as Buster’s younger brother. Posey could get drafted late in 2011 by, say, the defending World Series Champions for that reason alone, but he’s actually a skilled ballplayer in his own right who hasn’t had the chance to show his abilities because of injury.

2010 College World Series – Florida State’s 2011 MLB Draft Players of Note

I’m a little bit at a loss as I try to decide my next move with the site. 2010 draft recaps, 2011 early previews, college team profiles…I’m not really sure what I want to do. In the meantime, here’s something quick on one of the eight remaining teams in the 2010 College World Series. Ideally I’d do one of these for every team. We’ll see. Also, comments and emails will be answered over the next few days.

2011 MLB Draft Players to Know – Florida State

SO LHP Sean Gilmartin (4.73 FIP; 9.12 K/9; 2.68 BB/9; 100.2 IP)

SO 2B Sherman Johnson (.335/.449/.513; 44/36 BB/K; 7/10 SB; 224 AB)

SO RHP Hunter Scantling* (5.00 FIP; 7.98 K/9; 2.66 BB/9; 44 IP)

SO OF James Ramsey (.291/.443/.539; 48/41 BB/K; 10/11 SB; 206 AB)

JR RHP Daniel Bennett* (3.56 FIP; 10.06 K/9; 3.18 BB/9; 34 IP)

SO LHP Brian Busch* (4.36 FIP; 8.74 K/9; 3.99 BB/9; 70 IP)

JR 3B Stuart Tapley (.281/.419/.454; 40/57 BB/K; 7/9 SB; 185 AB)

JR RHP Tyler Everett* (3.46 FIP; 7.92 K/9; 4.47 BB/9; 44.1 IP)

JR C Rafael Lopez (.290/.405/.427; 20/29 BB/K; 0/0 SB; 131 AB)

JR C Parker Brunelle (.222/.297/.395; 8/13 BB/K; 0/1 SB; 81 AB)

JR RHP Andrew Durden* (3.84 FIP; 7.71 K/9; 4.82 BB/9; 9.1 IP)

JR LHP Tye Buckley* (5.27 FIP; 5.40 K/9; 8.78 BB/9; 13.1 IP)

JR LHP Robby Scott* (2.19 FIP; 10.80 K/9; 7.20 BB/9; 5 IP)

JR OF Robby Stahl (.000/.250/.000; 2/3 BB/K; 0/0 SB; 5 AB)

JR OF Jack Posey: Fall 2009 Tommy John surgery

Gilmartin throws an upper-80s fastball with the potential for three average or better secondary pitches (low-70s curve, mid-70s changeup, slider) in time. Johnson, a former walk-on, is one of my favorite college position player sleeper prospects heading into 2011. He’s taken to the patented ultra-patient Florida State approach like he’s been doing it all his life while still showing off tremendous bat control and an advanced feel for what opposing pitchers want to do against him. He’s also got the defensive tools to be well above-average at both second base and third base, though he could ultimately work best as a smooth fielding shortstop. If nothing else, his defensive talent at multiple infield spots makes a utility future seem like a decent floor projection. I won’t lie and claim to have a comprehensive knowledge of all 2011 college middle infield prospects at this point, but I’d be hard pressed to come up with as well-rounded a player as Johnson. The rising junior has enough of every tool to succeed at the next level. Scantling is huge (6-8, 270 pounds) and athletic, but his stuff still doesn’t quite match his imposing frame. That could change in a hurry, but for now he’s still sitting in the same upper-80s with iffy breaking stuff that he was at back in high school. It’ll be interesting to see if he’ll get more consistent innings as a starter or if Florida State opts to keep him coming out of the bullpen in 2011. Ramsey is generally seen as one of the better 2011 college outfield prospects, but at this point in his development he’s little more than an above-average bat to me. His arm is currently average at best and his range in the outfield is below-average. In addition, he’s a decent runner who picks his spots on the bases well. College players limited to leftfield need to be able to hit a ton to make it in pro ball.

Bennett has been counted on in many big spots as the Seminoles primary non-closer relief pitcher. His deceptive sidearm delivery, above-average fastball, and impressive junior year peripherals make him one to watch. The former Tallahassee Community College standout should get first crack at reclaiming the closer’s job he lost to Mike McGee this season in 2011. Busch won’t wow you with his stuff, but he does have a decent curveball and good command. Tapley is a favorite among coaches, scouts, and fans for his superior work ethic, hustle, and on-field demeanor, so it’s easy to believe he could be in store for a quick return trip back up teams’ draft boards with a big senior season. He’s not a third baseman long-term, but a utility future could be in the cards if he can show any kind of aptitude at second. If that doesn’t work, he could be a four-corners bench bat type. Tapley was one of the last few cuts from my 2010 list of top 30 college third basemen, for what it’s worth.

Everett has done a good job over the years for the Seminoles, but has done it more with pitchability than stuff. Lopez is a really good defender with a strong throwing arm, but little projection with the bat makes his best case scenario that of a backup catcher. It seems there were plenty of 2010 surprise senior breakout players among college catchers, so maybe there is hope for Lopez after all. Brunelle, a top high school prospect way back when, has disappointed since enrolling at Florida State. He’s still an outstanding athlete with a line drive swing, so there may still be some hope he’s another late blooming catching prospect. Unfortunately, the lack of power and an average at best throwing arm represent two major strikes against him. I liked Durden more as a position player out of high school, but he’s shown enough on the mound in limited action to be worth a look as a potential mid-round senior sign relief project. Buckley has received some positive buzz as an effective LOOGY out of the pen, but his numbers leave much to be desired. Scott, Stahl, and Posey all received little to no playing time in 2010. Posey’s excuse, Tommy John surgery in late 2009, is understandable.