Nov. 19, 2003
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State baseball program announced the signing of 14 players during the early signing period. The group consists of 10 players from the state of Florida, three from Georgia and one from California. The position breakdown is seven pitchers (four left-handed and three right-handed), three outfielders and four infield/utility players. In addition, two of the pitchers can hit and play other positions.
“I’m very impressed with the group that Jamey Shouppe and Mike Martin, Jr. have put together during the early signing period,” said head coach Mike Martin. “They did a real good job of filling our needs across the board. We will have 14 guys coming in next fall who should be able to step in and contribute right away.”
A complete alphabetical list of the 14 early signees follows along with some of their credentials.
LHP Barret Browning (6-3, 190)
Chipola JC/Wayne County HS (GA)
Notes: Drafted in the sixth round out of high school by the Boston Red Sox; drafted in the 22nd round by the Chicago Cubs last year; has been clocked at 91mph.
INF Charles Cleveland (6-2, 200, R/R)
Tampa Catholic HS
Notes: Hit .380, with 25 RBI (second in county), 12 doubles and three HR in 2003; three-year All-County and carries a .414 career batting average; 2003 All-Suncoast (Region); also pitches.
LHP D.J. Echols (6-0, 215)
Alabama Southern JC/Pensacola Washington HS
Notes: 6-0, 45.0 IP, 37 K, 3.18 ERA in 2003; crafty left-hander with velocity in the mid to upper 80’s; has a great change-up as his out pitch.
INF Nick Francis (6-2, 195, R/R)
Tallahassee Godby HS
Notes: Hit .370 with 30 RBI, 10 doubles and five home runs in 2003; first team All-Big Bend last year.
OF Mark Gildea (6-2, 190, S/R)
Tampa Middleton HS
Notes: Hit .367 with a .445 OBP, 25 RBI and went 15-of-16 on stolen base attempts in 2003; 2nd team All-County and 5A All-State honorable mention; the 65th ranked national prospect by Team One.
INF Dennis Guinn (6-0, 200, R/R)
Winter Haven HS
Notes: Hit .417 with eight home runs and 54 RBI in 2003; District Player of the Year and a second team All-State selection.
RHP/Utility Jeremy Haynes (6-1, 180, R/R)
Madison County HS
Notes: 5-2 with a school record 77 K’s in 2003; Hit .366 with four home runs and 27 RBI; All-Big Bend honorable mention; also holds school career strikeout record; fastball has been clocked at 93 mph.
RHP William Jackel (6-3, 225)
Kennesaw Mountain HS (Georgia)
Notes: 4-1 with a 2.14 ERA in 2003; fastball has been clocked as high as 94 mph; the first player in school history to letter in all four years.
INF Ryne Jernigan (5-11, 170, R/R)
Notes: Cousin of former FSU center fielder Karl Jernigan; like his cousin, Ryne is a stellar defensive player; a career .400 plus hitter who has led his team in batting average the last two years; led team in home runs as a sophomore.
LHP Brian Kelly (6-4, 195)
Daytona Beach Seabreeze HS
Notes: 6-4 with a 2.15 ERA and 53 K’s in 46.0 IP in 2003 despite arm problems; 9-0 during sophomore season with a no-hitter and a 1.18 ERA; has been clocked at 89 mph.
OF Christian Marrero (6-1, 185, L/L)
Miami Pace HS
Notes: Hit .400 with four home runs and 38 RBI in 2003; led team in hits RBI and HR; first team All-Dade County and second team All-State; invited to several national showcases.
LHP Stephen Ochs (6-0, 175)
Marietta Lassiter HS
Notes: 3-0 with a 1.75 ERA, 30 K’s in 24.0 IP in 2003; Velocity in the mid 80’s; father graduated from FSU.
OF Jack Rye (6-1, 190, L/L)
Woodbridge HS (California)
Notes: Hit .387 with a .483 OBP and went 14-of-14 on stolen base attempts in 2003; only 10 strikeouts in 188 plate appearances during last two years of high school; second team All-Southern California; attended FSU’s Advanced Baseball Camp.
RHP/Utility Ryan Strauss (6-2, 200)
Tampa Bloomingdale HS
Notes: 5-1, 69 K’s, 1.26 ERA in 50.0 IP; also hit .385 with 20 stolen bases in 2003; one of the top 100 players nationally according to Baseball America and Team One; has thrown a no-hitter in each of the last two seasons; expected to be a high pick in next year’s MLB Draft.