Coach Martin addresses media after first week of practices

Baseball season is quickly approaching for the Florida State Seminoles. First pitch of the 2016 season is less than two weeks away and Coach Mike Martin spoke to the media after the first week of official practices.

Coach Martin emphasized the fact that the 2016 team is a mix of young and old. When speaking of the team and how much he has learned he stated, “We still have a long way to go. There are so many mistakes being made, it makes me understand and realize we have a long way to go.”

While the pitching staff seems to be the strength of the 2016 Seminoles, the offense may be a liability. Coach Martin mentioned when speaking of the concerns on offense, “We’ve got a chance to be a lot better. The young hitters are still feeling their way through.”

The Seminoles’ freshman phenom Cole Sands has been projected to be a bright spot for the 2016 Seminoles. Projected to be the 2016 ACC Freshman of the Year by Baseball America, the North Florida Christian product has been a subject of interest as to whether he would start in the rotation to begin the year. Speaking to Sands’ development, Coach Martin said, “Each day he’s improved. One day his breaking ball will be very effective and he flashes signs of being a 1-2-3 guy but he’s also a young man experiencing this level of baseball for the first time in his career.”

While centerfield is solidified with Ben DeLuzio, the corner outfield positions have been subjects of controversy. Coach Martin detailed the candidates for each position with Gage West and Jackson Lueck leading in left field and Donovan Petrey, Steven Wells, and Darren Miller leading for right field.

The leadoff hitter was something of an enigma heading into early practices, however Coach Martin admits that it appears transfer player Matt “Chico” Henderson has emerged as the favorite to be the leadoff hitter. Coach Martin admits, “Bennie (DeLuzio) has been getting better offensively, Taylor (Walls) has been progressing very well, and Matt Henderson has the inside track to be the leadoff hitter.”

After the departure of closer Billy Strode to the MLB draft, the closer’s position has been in question. According to Coach Martin, the Seminoles may not have their closer figured out for the first few weeks of the season. One name that Coach Martin mentioned was Dylan Silva. “Dylan Silva was a very important part of the success of the team. We may move Dylan to the closer role.”

The Seminoles kick off their 2016 season on February 19th against the University of Rhode Island at 4:00PM at Dick Howser Stadium.

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