NoleGameday

Top 5 Seminole alumni currently in MLB

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

With pitchers and catchers set to report for Spring Training in a couple of days, there are some Florida State alumni getting ready to suit up for their teams and begin their season. The Florida State baseball program has historically been able to churn out talented athletes and there are still some quality alumni playing in today’s league. Listed below are my top 5 players currently on a major league roster who played for the FSU baseball team. Remember now, this is not the be-all-end-all, however it is simply my personal list, so naturally the entire list will be wrong.

 

Shane Robinson

5. Shane Robinson, OF (Cleveland Indians)

2015 Stats (Minnesota Twins): .250/.299/.322 0HR 16RBI WAR 0.3*

Years at Florida State: 2004-2006

Drafted: 2006 MLB Draft St. Louis Cardinals Round 5 Pick 30

Shane Robinson is still looking for a job for this upcoming season. After electing free agency following his demotion to AAA with the Twins, Robinson has received a Spring Training invite from the Cleveland Indians. The former collegiate Player of the Year is going to have to really impress this spring to even make the Indians 40 man roster. The future looks grim for Robinson, but being a former high draft pick might be enough to have him stick on a roster as a 4th/5th outfielder.

 

Stephen Drew

4. Stephen Drew, 2B (Washington Nationals)

2015 Stats (New York Yankees): .201/.271/.381 17HR 44RBI 0.4WAR*

Years at Florida State: 2002-2004

Drafted: 2004 MLB Draft Arizona Diamondbacks Round 1 Pick 15

Stephen Drew’s days as a starting second baseman seem to be numbered. Drew has had a rough patch the past couple of years with the Yankees, but he hopes to have a fresh start as he signed a one year deal with the Nationals over the winter. The former first round draft pick has been disappointing offensively, but last year provided some value with his power as although he managed to hit 17 homeruns despite his near Mendoza-line batting average. Drew is slotted to be the backup/utility infielder for the 2016 Nats as newly-signed postseason machine Daniel Murphy will presumably be the starting second baseman. Going forward, if Drew has a bounce-back season he could hang around the league a few more years as a quality utility man or even land another starting gig.

 

Sean Gilmartin

3. Sean Gilmartin, RP (New York Mets)

2015 Stats: 3-2 Record 2.67ERA 57.1IP 1.1WAR*

Years at Florida State: 2009-2011

Drafted: 2011 MLB Draft Atlanta Braves Round 1 Pick 28

Sean Gilmartin’s future is going to be an interesting one to follow. After being selected by the Mets in the Rule 5 draft, he was used primarily as a reliever in his rookie 2015 campaign. Last season Gilmartin was a key cog in the Mets bullpen during their World Series run as he was arguably the most consistent reliever behind closer Jeurys Familia. The path to the rotation for Gilmartin seems to be blocked as Matt Harvey, Jacob DeGrom, Noah Syndegaard, Steven Matz, and Zack Wheeler (once he returns from Tommy John surgery) all being under team control for at least the next 3 seasons. On top of that, the presumable set up man for the Mets, Jenrry Mejia, was just issued a lifetime suspension last week so Gilmartin is now the second most valuable bullpen piece for a team that is expecting to compete for the World Series. For the immediate future, look for Gilmartin to be a valuable bullpen piece while not being limited as just a lefty specialist.

 

2. Devon Travis 2B, (Toronto Blue Jays)

2015 Stats: .304/.361/.498 8HR 35RBI 2.4WAR*

Years at Florida State: 2010-2012

Drafted: 2012 MLB Draft Detroit Tigers Round 13 Pick 26

Devon Travis ranks this high on the list simply because of position availability and impressive statistics in a small sample size. Travis jumped onto the scene the first two months of the 2015 season hitting as arguably the best second baseman in baseball. Travis absolutely raked for the short time he played, but lost the rest of his season due to a pair severe shoulder injuries. Looking forward to the 2016 season, Travis is projected to miss the beginning of the season, but should be back before the All-Star Break and the Blue Jays are expected to compete for a World Series. The future for Travis hinges on his ability to get healthy, once that happens he should be able to hit enough to be an everyday second baseman.

 

Buster Posey

1. Buster Posey, C (San Francisco Giants)

2015 Stats: .310/.375/.484 19HR 95RBI 6.1WAR*

Years at Florida State: 2006-2008

Drafted: 2008 MLB Draft San Francisco Giants Round 1 Pick 5

Fun fact: Tampa Bay Rays fans still cringe at the name “Tim Beckham” and the missed opportunity to draft the local star Buster Posey. Posey is arguably the best catcher in baseball and possibly the most decorated. Being a 3-time all-star, MVP, Rookie of the Year, and 3-time World Series champion he has collected a multitude of awards despite being only 28. The former Golden Spikes winner has seen some time at first base over the past couple of seasons (in an effort to lessen the physical demand of catching) but still ranks in the upper echelon of the MLB in terms of framing statistics. Going forward Posey is well on his way to a possible Hall of Fame career and might end up being a 4-time World Series champion at the end of this season (hey it’s an even year right?).

 

Honorable Mention: Kevin Cash, Manager (Tampa Bay Rays)

2015 W-L: 80-82 (.494%)

Years at Florida State: 1997-1999

Kevin Cash doesn’t *technically* count because he’s not a player, but I thought I would give him a shout out regardless. One of the key contributors to the 1999 College World Series team, Cash finished off his first season as manager of the Tampa Bay Rays by finishing 80-82. Cash had to deal with a rash of injuries in his first season as manager and seemingly has job security going forward for the next couple of seasons. The AL East is very crowded and Tampa is not expected to compete near the top, but Tampa has always been known for finding ways to compete with young, namely cheap, talent.

 

The future appears to be bright as two former Seminoles as they could be on the fast track to the big leagues. Former first rounders D.J. Stewart and Luke Weaver have been making progress in the Baltimore Orioles’ and St. Louis Cardinals’ systems respectively. Until then the FSU alums are led by Buster Posey with the rest of the pack following behind.

*All stats and WAR calculations courtesy of Baseball Reference
All images courtesy of Seminoles.com

Vinnie Cervino
Lead Baseball Writer, Perpetually Pessimistic Sport Fan, Proprietor of My Own Delusions and Fallacies, 80 Grade Takes. Twitter @cervino_vinnie.

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