FSU baseball picks up 3 more commits

Kentucky Baseball

The baseball recruiting staff continues to eat up the recruiting trail. Mike Martin Jr.’s staff has picked up 3 more commits over the past 2 weeks. Not only is the staff picking up guys in numbers, but they continue to stick to their criteria and needs. From the start of the summer, I had mentioned I would expect FSU to pick up power RHP’s, projectable LHP’s, physically mature corner INF’s and catchers, and uber-athletic MIF’s and OF’s and so far they’ve been checking off those exact boxes. With the last 3 commits, we see 2 projectable, young lefties and an athletic CF with immediate impact potential.

Two weeks ago, LHP Jamie Arnold committed to the ‘Noles staff and pitching coach Jimmy Belanger. Arnold was a kid that generated a lot of buzz this entire summer and really jumped onto the scene. The Tampa native seemed like a no-brainer for the staff to offer, and once they did, he committed. Arnold is just 15 years old and 155 pounds, but he already stands 6-feet tall and runs his fastballs to the mid-high 80’s. Arnold has topped out at 87 with his FB and shows a plus feel for the off-speed that will only develop as he gets older and gets more coaching. Arnold has been showing out as of late, most recently making the All-tournament team at the 2019 WWBA Sophomore World Championship.

Arnold is another Tampa and Jesuit High School commit for the ‘Noles. Just a few weeks ago, fellow classmate Ryan Denison committed to Florida State, which currently holds three players from Jesuit. The Tampa high school is a pipeline the new staff will want to keep going as the school is coming off a State Championship and has produced the likes of Lance McCullers and Sam Dyson and many other major leaguers. As for Arnold, the stuff is just starting to show as the ball just jumps out of his hand. The FB velocity will come with physical maturation and it comes in a big way. Really nice pickup here for the staff.

On October 7th, the Seminoles got one of their more important verbal commitments from Rook Ellington on a visit to FSU. Ellington is a JUCO transfer who will join the roster in the fall of 2020 after a season with the State College of Florida. Even though he is an OF, this is another good job by Jim Belanger, as Ellington spent his freshman season at Kentucky with Belanger. The JUCO transfer is a Kentucky native and was rated as the best OF in the state coming out of high school. Last season at UK, the OF started 5 games and got just 18 AB’s but reached base 41.7% of the time. Ellington is an athletic OF that can play any of the 3 positions and can make an impact in all 3 phases of the game.

So why is this a very important commit for FSU one may ask? Well FSU will likely lose starting CF Reese Albert to the draft next year as well as draft-eligible sophomore Elijah Cabell. The ‘Noles are already very thin in the OF this year, but next year the outlook is even bleaker. The commit of Ellington gives the OF a big boost for the 2021 season. Ellington will surely have the opportunity to compete for a starting job. Recently in an interview, Jr. had said they’re trying to patch up the 2020 recruiting class with JUCO commits. So far he has backed that up while fulfilling roster needs with the recent commits of Ellington and JUCO catcher Colton Vincent. FSU fans can get their first look at Ellington (and other JUCO prospects that I’m sure the staff will have their eyes glued to) on Friday evening as the State College of Florida takes on the ‘Noles in their 2nd fall ball exhibition.

On Wednesday evening, FSU picked up their 3rd 2023 commit and first pitching commit of the class in Luke Dotson. Dotson is another extremely projectable lefty pitcher. The high school freshman already stands 6’3 but weighs just 160 pounds. The Lake City native is rated the 2nd LHP in the 2023 class due to how high his ceiling is. Dotson has been up to 83 MPH with his fastball while flashing a big breaking ball that has been effective on the travel ball scene. Dotson also has a bit of an unorthodox delivery as he drops his throwing hand behind his leg before whipping it over his head, making it quite hard for the batter to pick up. In the few clips I’ve seen of him, his extension really pops out to me, as his throwing hand is basically finishing wiping the dirt off the mound. With that type of extension from a 6’3 frame, the ball will jump on a hitter.

Between the 2022 and 2023 classes, the staff is keeping themselves very busy on the recruiting trail. Dotson is just the 3rd 2023 commit and 1st pitcher but as the spring comes closer, that number could pick up quickly. Right now the staff is focused on filling some holes on next year’s roster with JUCO commits but also remain focused on keeping that “often and early” recruiting agenda rolling. Dotson is a very good start for Jimmy B on the hill for the 2023 class.

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