FSU Signee Bios in PDF Format
Tallahassee, FL – Florida State baseball announced the signing of 12 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent Friday. The 2008 class features 10 players from the state of Florida and two from Georgia. Among the group is the top-rated pitching prospect in the nation, Michael Main of Deltona’s DeLand High School. The class also features Jack Posey, the brother of current FSU catcher Buster Posey and one of the top third baseman in Jacksonville’s Richie Lucas
“We are very happy because we have a little bit of everything in this class,” said FSU Associate Head Coach Jamey Shouppe. “Obviously pitching is a big part of every class but we also signed a catcher, a couple of infielders, an outfielder and a couple of pitchers that can do a little bit of everything as well. We have a lot of versatility in this class.”
“We felt like we really took care of some of our needs with this class especially with left-handed pitching in John Gast, Mark Petersen and Ryan Vigue. Those are guys that can really step in and help us at the get go,” said FSU Assistant Coach Mike Martin, Jr. “It is a good group of young men that are good students. They are solid people. We are excited about this class. It could be a really good one.”
Last season Florida State signed two of the top players in the nation in Cody Johnson and Max Sapp only to see both drafted in the first round and chose Major League Baseball over college. This class also features a group of players the FSU will have to wait to see if they end up in the pros come draft time.
“There are a couple of players we rolled the dice on in this class,” said Shouppe. “The biggest one is Mike Maine who a lot of people have listed as the No. 1 prospect in the country. Mike expressed a lot of interest and had a couple of brothers who went to school at Florida State. You never know what is going to happen but he is one of those guys you had to take a chance on.
“John Gast is another guy that fits that mold. He is extremely talented and a guy we may not see. If we do get these guys on campus, we are going to be a lot better off for it. They are both good students that are worth the gamble.”
The class is heavy on in-state players as only Posey and catcher Parker Brunelle were signed from out-of-state and both are from near-by Georgia. The class is heavily focused from the central and northern part of the state. The biggest signing of course is Main from DeLand but Florida State also reached into enemy territory once again and plucked a key player from Gainesville. Tyler Holt, the Gainesville Sun’s 2006 Large School Player of the Year, continues a trend of highly regarded prospects from Gainesville coming to Florida State. In 2000 the Seminoles signed Bucholz’s Tony McQuade and in 2003 in it was P.K. Yonge’s Ryne Malone. He is joined by Gainesville High School teammate Luke Smierciak.
“You have to do well in Florida as a state school,” said Shouppe. “With 11.7 scholarships you have to recruit in state but we also went out of state and got a very good catcher in Parker Brunelle.”
With the signing of Posey, the Seminoles also continued another theme of brothers coming to play for Mike Martin. Having relatives come and play in Tallahassee has been an important element to the Seminoles success. From Luis and Edwin Alicea to J.D. and Stephen Drew relatives of former Seminoles coming to play at FSU speaks to the respect Florida State alums have for the program.
“It is important to us to keep the FSU Baseball bloodline going,” said Shouppe. “The family connection is important to us. We have had so many brothers in the past that have played here. It is enjoyable because you know theses kids, their families and what to expect when they get here. We have always done that. It is remarkable the number of brothers we have had in this program. That is a testament to our program. The parents trust us with their first son and have such a positive experience with FSU that they trust us with their second son. That speaks volumes about this program.”
Snellville, GA (Wesleyan School)
Played catcher and first base in high school…listed at 6’2″ and 198 pounds…he is ranked as the 63rd-best prospect as a position player by Perfect Game…switch-hitting right-hander.
SHOUPPE ON BRUNELLE: “He is a switch-hitting catcher from Georgia. He is a guy we saw at the East Cobb Perfect Game Tournament. He throws well and has a lot of leadership qualities. We made the move to put Buster (Posey) behind the plate this year because of his leadership and this kid has very similar qualities. He is a football player, a very good athlete and the type of player you want behind the plate.”
MARTIN, JR. ON BRUNELLE: “This is a guy that is probably as fundamentally sound catcher as there is. He is not going to wow you with his power or arm strength. He is so steady though. He is the type of guy every good college program needs.”
Altamonte Springs, FL (Lake Brantley HS)
Named Seminole County’s Player of the Year… he struck out 85 batters in 572/3 innings and had a 1.18 ERA before he got his first loss against Jacksonville Bishop Kenney in April of 2006…joined fellow Seminole signee Michael Main to try out for the U.S. Junior National Team who competed in the 18-and-under World Championships in Cuba…pitched a one-hitter and struck out 17 batters with the Orlando Braves defeating Team California at the WWBA World Championships…named to the Florida Sports Writers Association’s High School Baseball 6A All-State Second Team.
SHOUPPE ON GAST: “One of the top left-handed pitchers in the country. He was a finalist for the junior Olympic team, which Michael Main played on. Tops out at 93 MPH and he is a highly-ranked prospect by Baseball America so we expect good things from this young man.”
Gainesville, FL (Gainesville HS)
The Gainesville Sun’s 2006 Large School Player of the Year…named to the Florida Sports Writers Association’s High School Baseball All-State team all three years at GHS, once as a designated hitter, and twice at his natural position, centerfield… named a 2007 Top Prospect by Sunshine State Baseball…hit .510 with 50 hits, 42 runs, 28 RBIs, nine doubles, five triples and two home runs during his junior season…swiped 32 bases for the Gainesville High, who finished 24-5 and won District 4-5A.
SHOUPPE ON HOLT: “He is an outfielder from Gainesville who will remind a lot of fans of Shane Robinson. He really runs. He has phenomenal speed. There are a lot of guys that run but they don’t know how to use their speed for baseball purposes. He uses his speed for the game of baseball very well. He knows how to steal bases, get leads and create havoc by putting pressure on a defense. He has been in our camp for years and we have seen him for several years.”
MARTIN, JR. ON HOLT: “He is going to be a big-time center fielder. He is kind of a late bloomer. The pro people are now starting to get interested in him and it will be a battle with them to get him on campus. He is extremely fast. He ran the fastest time this year at both the showcases I saw him at. He will remind people of a taller Shane Robinson because he can dominate opponents with his legs.”
Jacksonville, FL (Wolfson HS)
Perfect Game describes Lucas as a having a solid frame and strong build…good enough infielder and has the speed and athletic ability to play the outfield….good offensive type player that will take the extra base and is aggressive first to third who shows good anticipation and instincts…played with Wolfson in the 2004 Class 5A State Championship game…shows power potential and is a very interesting young “07”…has a high school GPA of 3.25.
SHOUPPE ON LUCAS: “He is the best third baseman in the country in my opinion. For a big guy he has the best, softest hands you will ever see in a big kid. He has Major League hands. If it hits his glove, you are out. He won’t bobble or miss many. He played shortstop in high school and could probably play there at this level if you wanted a 6’3″, 215 pound shortstop. If he isn’t that big, he sure looks it. He projects as an outstanding Division I third baseman.”
MARTIN, JR. ON LUCAS: “He is a big, physical third baseman. He is the truest third baseman I have seen in three years. When you look at him take ground balls you become even more impressed. He has great hands. He is an inside/out guy that will hit a lot of doubles off our screen. The way he swings the bat, the path of his bat and his approach to hitting, is very similar to Matt Diaz. That is what really intrigued us about him. He has a bright future. It will be a battle with the pros for him as well because he made a lot of noise at the last two showcases.”
Deltona, FL (DeLand HS)
Baseball America’s Prospect Plus No. 1 overall prospect in the 2007 class…Perfect Game No. 1 overall prospect in the 2007 class…Perfect Game’s No. 1 National Top 100 pitchers…an Aflac All-American who was named the Pitching Prospect of the Year in August of 2006… named a 2007 Top Prospect by Sunshine State Baseball…listed at 6’2″ and 180 pounds…Baseball America described Main as having a Mike Mussina-type body, a lightning quick, live arm and electric stuff…the magazine projects him to be a No. 1-type starter in the future…fastball topped out at 97 MPH and was consistently at 94…curve ball was clocked between 77-79 MPH with downward action… went 3-1 with a 1.44 ERA and 62 strikeouts in leading DeLand High to the Florida Class 6-A semifinals in Sarasota after returning from an injury his junior season…as a sophomore Main was 6-0 with a 0.70 ERA as he struck out 59 in 38 innings of work…named Baseball America’s top 15-year-old in its annual Baseball For the Ages feature…helped lead Team USA’s Youth National Team to a second-place finish in Mexico in a Pan-American qualifying tournament for the 2005 World Youth Championship…has played on four national AAU championship teams as a 9-, 10-, 11- and 14-year-old…played at the World Championships in Cuba with the U.S. Junior National Team.
SHOUPPE ON MAIN: “Most publications list him as the No. 1 prospect in the country. He is a guy with Florida State roots. He has been clocked up to 98 MPH. He has the fastest arm you will see. He can also play the outfield. If he weren’t a pitcher, he would probably be drafted between the fifth and tenth rounds as a position player. He is a great athlete.”
Port St. Lucie, FL (Port St. Lucie HS)
2006 Florida Sportswriter’s Association Class 5A All-State Second Team as a utility player…named all-state honorable mention in 2005 as an infielder…hit .400 with 16 RBIs and scored 28 runs as a junior…also hit three homeruns and stole seven bases…as a pitcher McGee was 7-4 with a 1.27 ERA striking out 81 in 66 innings…Palm Beach Post All-Area First Team…has hit over .400 for three straight seasons at Port St. Lucie High.
SHOUPPE ON MCGEE: “McGee is another guy like Luke Smierciak that you don’t really know where to project. He can play almost anywhere. He is a right-handed pitcher that throws 92 to 93 MPH. He is a floater. He is talented enough to play anywhere.”
MARTIN, JR. ON MCGEE: “McGee is a true two-way guy. Where we are going to play him, I don’t know? He could play anywhere including pitch. He is very talented. He provides so much flexibility. He runs well. He is going to be a good player for us.”
Zephyrhills, FL (Zephyrhills HS)
In 2006, went 10-3 with a 1.29 ERA for Zephyrhills High…threw a perfect game in the district quarterfinals…hit .481 with eight home runs and 35 RBIs…missed his sophomore season after suffering an elbow injury playing JV football…listed at 6’2″ and 225 pounds.
SHOUPPE ON PARKER: “A right-handed pitcher that has been clocked up at 92 MPH. He is a big, strong kid that we saw at our camps this summer. He has an outstanding breaking ball, one of the best in this class. He is going to be very good for us.”
Leesburg, GA (Lee County HS)
Two year starter for Lee County as a pitcher and shortstop…started the state championship as a sophomore on the hill…in his two year high school career Posey has hit .319 with 10 homeruns and 68 RBIs in 191 at bats…the last two seasons on the hill he went 6-2 in 48 innings with 54 strikeouts and 21 walks.
SHOUPPE ON POSEY: “Buster’s brother is a corner infielder and played shortstop in high school. He swings the bat extremely well. He is probably a little stronger than Buster even at this age. He pitches as well and clocks close to 90. He is a guy we will look at as a position player first at either first or third.”
MARTIN, JR. ON POSEY: “Jack comes in more physical than Buster was. He is a bigger, stronger guy. He has more power than Buster. We see him as a corner infielder. We may look at him behind the plate as well. We are excited about his future at FSU.”
Ft. Pierce, FL (Lincoln Park Academy)
Perfect Game ranks Peterson No. 38 among the top 100 pitching prospects…a 6’5″ lefty who weighs 180 pounds…2006 Scripps Treasure Coast Newspaper All-Area honorable mention…2006 Florida Sportswriter’s Association Class 4A third-team All-State.
SHOUPPE ON PETERSON: “He is a left-handed pitcher that throws in the upper-80’s. He is a real good competitor. He is another guy that had some brothers that went to Florida State and has a brother who I believe is here now working on his Doctorate Degree. He is a guy we have been looking at for a couple of years now. He is strong and has a good curveball. He has a very high ceiling. He is 6’5″ or 6’6″ so potentially the sky is the limit for him.”
Gainesville, FL (Gainesville HS)
Perfect Game calls Smierciak a `very good prospect’ with lots of quality tools…can play anywhere on the diamond…teammate of FSU signee Tyler Holt…clocked at 90 MPH with a very good curveball…listed at 5’10” and 170 pounds…named to Class 5A Florida Sportswriter’s Association second team.
SHOUPPE ON SMIERCIAK: “He is a teammate of Tyler Holt from Gainesville High School who is hard to list at any one position. You don’t know whether to list him as a RHP/position player or a position player/RHP. It is probably 50/50 as to where he will end up playing the majority of his time at Florida State. He can play anywhere. He could get behind the plate if he had to. He is not a very big kid but pound for pound probably as good a player as there is in the country. He also pitches and throws at about 90 MPH. His curveball is as good as Geoff Parker’s.”
Orlando, FL (Boone HS)
No player performed better at the 2005 Academic Showcase according to Perfect Game who called Tapley `an aggressive player with good bat speed who showed the ability to make the great play in the middle of the field’…member of the Apopka team that played Japan for the Little League World Series championship in 2001…named a 2007 Top Prospect by Sunshine State Baseball…Perfect Baseball rated Tapley as the fourth-best underclassman at the 2005 Academic Showcase…named All-Orange County First Team as a linebacker by the Orlando Sentinel.
SHOUPPE ON TAPLEY: “Taps is a guy I love. He is just a hard-nosed player. He played football in high school but had to stop playing his senior year because of an injury. He is a Pete Rose, Lenny Dykstra type of player. He is a big, strong middle infielder. He will run through a wall to win a baseball game for you.”
Merritt Island, FL (Merritt Island HS)
Went 9-1 as a junior with a 0.70 ERA…struck out 90 batters in 61 innings…part of a Merritt Island High team that won 22 games and reached the Class 4A semi-finals…listed as 6’0″ and 185 pounds…led the Central Florida Renegades in strikeouts and was the only underclassman in the regular starting rotation.
SHOUPPE ON VIGUE: “Vigue is a left-handed pitcher that comes in with an outstanding change-up. He throws in the mid to upper 80’s and has the best change of anyone in this class.”