TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State baseball coaching staff announced the signing of 12 players to National Letters of Intent on Tuesday. The 2001 signing class is made up of eight high school and four junior college student-athletes. Middle infielder B.J. Upton is regarded as the top player in the class, ranked the No. 3 overall high school prospect by Baseball America. Upton started at shortstop on the 2001 Junior Olympic Team.
“We are very excited about this year’s signing class,” said Florida State recruiting coordinator/pitching coach Jamey Shouppe. “Our main areas of concern were outfield and pitching. By signing three outfielders and seven pitchers, we feel comfortable that we’ve met those needs with this year’s class. However, we will probably attempt to sign another middle infielder in the next signing period.”
Joining Upton in the Baseball America high school prospect rankings are outfielder Eddy Martinez-Esteve (No. 42), right-handed pitcher/infielder Mark Sauls (No. 43) and right-handed pitcher Kyle Patrick (No. 124).
“We have several signees rated among the best in the country,” said Shouppe. “B.J. Upton from Chesapeake (Virginia) is ranked the highest, so to actually have a player of his ability turn down the money he will be offered by professional baseball and attend college is a long shot.”
Florida State finished 2001 with a 47-19 record and won the ACC regular season title with a conference mark of 20-4. The Seminoles were ranked in the Top 10 in all three of the final polls. FSU checked in at No. 9 in the final Collegiate Baseball poll to extend its streak of Top 10 finishes in that poll to eight seasons – the longest current run in the country.
Listed below are Florida State’s 12 fall signees:
Name Ht.-Wt. Pos. Hometown (HS/JC)
Eddie Cannon 6-0, 170 RHP Sebring, FL (South Florida JC)
Mark Culp 5-11, 170 LHP Coral Springs, FL (Coral Springs HS)
Matt DiBlasi 6-2, 180 LHP Clearwater, FL (Countryside HS)
Rhett James 6-1, 190 RHP Pensacola, FL (Pensacola JC)
Eddy Martinez-Esteve 6-2, 195 OF Miami, FL (Westminster Christian)
Kyle Patrick 6-4, 195 RHP Apopka, FL (Apopka HS)
Mark Sauls 6-4, 215 RHP/INF Panama City, FL (Bay HS)
Matt Sauls 6-2, 215 OF Panama City, FL (Gulf Coast CC)
Derrick Smith 5-11, 185 OF/1B Vienna, GA (Dooly County HS)
Drew Stilley 6-8, 220 LHP Jacksonville, FL (Bishop Kenny HS)
B.J. Upton 6-3, 180 MINF Chesapeake, VA (Breenbrier Christian)
Danny Wardell 6-2, 215 1B Zephyrhills, FL (Pasco-Hernando JC)