Entering his 21st season as an assistant coach, Mike Martin Jr. is widely recognized as one of the bright young coaches in the college game. A former All-American catcher with the Seminoles, he serves as FSU’s recruiting coordinator, who has placed each of his past seven recruiting classes in the Top 10 of at least one publication, including a No. 7 ranking in 2017 by Baseball America. Additionally, Martin Jr. works with the hitters and handles the Florida State catchers.
In 2017, Martin helped oversee the development of three hitters – Taylor Walls, Dylan Busby, and Quincy Nieporte – that were taken in the 2017 MLB Draft. Walls and Busby were both taken in the third round after helping lead Florida State to the College World Series for the first time since 2012. Jackson Lueck, returning for his third season in 2018, has led the team in hitting each of the past two years, while Busby hit .315 with a team-high 78 hits, 21 doubles and 15 home runs. Nieporte ranked second nationally with 82 runs batted in, including a towering home run in Omaha in his final collegiate at-bat.
Freshman Drew Mendoza, the top-rated high-schooler to attend college last season, overcame several injuries to hit .270 with 19 extra base hits. Busby and Mendoza both were named to the College World Series All-Tournament Team.
In his 20-year tutelage, the Seminoles have posted a .304 batting average, .474 slugging percentage and averaged 7.84 runs per game. Florida State has played in seven College World Series, 16 Super Regionals and 20 consecutive NCAA Tournaments. As the academic liaison, Martin Jr. and the Seminoles captured the Golden Torch Award in 2007 and 2008, posting the highest GPA among all men’s teams at Florida State. Two players have been named Capital One Academic All-America of the Year, seven Seminoles have garnered Academic All-America accolades and five times an FSU student has been named the ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year including four consecutive from 2011-2014 – James Ramsey (2011 & 2012) and Gage Smith (2013 & 2014). The Seminoles have placed 65 student-athletes on the All-ACC Academic Team since the awards inception in 2006 including a school-record nine in 2012.
Martin has coached 16 Major Leaguers, 15 Freshman All-Americans, 21 first team All-Americans and 38 student-athletes who have earned first, second or third team All-American accolades. In all, 67 Seminoles have earned All-ACC honors and 59 hitters have been selected in the Major League Baseball draft during that stretch. Four Seminole hitters have captured National Player of the Year honors including Shane Robinson, Tony Thomas, Buster Posey and most recently Ramsey in 2012.
Serving as FSU’s hitting coach over the last 20 years, Martin and the Seminoles have batted .300 or better 11 times and posted an on-base percentage of at least .400 17 times. Six of the top 11 hitting teams in FSU history have come under Martin’s watch. In 2009, he was named ACC Assistant Coach of the Year by SEBaseball.com, while being named one of 10 rising assistant coaches in the game by Perfect Game USA in 2013.
The 2007 and 2008 Seminoles established new school records for highest team batting average. In 2007, the Seminoles hit .350 in 62 games, shattering the previous record of .337 set in 63 games back in 1980. It also broke the ACC record of .347, set by Georgia Tech in 2001. The new standards stood for just one season as the 2008 Seminoles hit .355 over 68 games, leading the nation, as the Seminoles advanced to the College World Series.
The 2008 team was prolific offensively on every front. FSU’s 869 hits rank second in school history and its 12.8 hits per game established a new program standard. The Seminoles’ 103 home runs were the most since belting 111 in 1999, while the .565 slugging percentage ranks second in school history. The Noles also scored 663 runs, recorded 603 RBI and notched 45 sacrifice flies, all of which rank among the top three seasons in program history. Much of the success can be attributed to demonstrating patience at the plate, where the Seminoles drew a nation-leading 435 walks and were the only team in the country with fewer strikeouts than walks. Overall, the 2008 team led the nation in hits, runs and walks and ranked among the top five in doubles (2nd), sacrifice flies (2nd), scoring (3rd), slugging percentage (3rd) and home runs (5th).
Despite the 2011 bat restrictions, which has had a dramatic effect on offensive numbers across the nation, Florida State has ranked among the best in the country in terms of getting on base and manufacturing runs during that span.
In each of the last seven seasons, the Seminoles are the only Power Five conference program who’s finished the year ranked in the top 40 in scoring, runs scored, doubles, walks and hit-by-pitches. FSU has finished no lower than sixth in walks since 2008, leading the nation seven times during that nine-year span: 2008 (435), 2010 (402), 2011 (381), 2012 (386), 2014 (330), 2015 (379), and 2017 (396). In 2015, the Seminoles finished among the top five in the ACC in walks (379-1st), on-base percentage (.390-2nd), runs (435-2nd), RBI (387-2nd) and scoring (6.7-2nd).
The Seminoles’ statistical success – collectively and individually – is a tribute to Martin’s communication and teaching skills. It’s the area of player development which helps set Florida State apart from the masses.
In need of a catcher heading into the 2007 season, the coaching staff turned to Freshman All-American shortstop Buster Posey. With Martin serving as his mentor, the athletically gifted Posey blossomed into a two-time All-American. A Johnny Bench Award finalist in 2007, he won the award presented to the nation’s top catcher as a junior in 2008. Under Martin’s tutelage, the Leesburg, Ga., native was awarded the 2008 Rawlings Gold Glove Award for his outstanding defensive play from behind the plate. Posey posted a .989 career fielding percentage as a catcher, registered 12 pickoffs and held opposing runners at bay throwing out 40.8 percent of attempted base stealers.
In his final season, Posey, who set a single-season record by batting .463 in 2008, was the national leader in six offensive categories and just the fourth player in Atlantic Coast Conference history to win the Triple Crown.
In 2005, Robinson put together a school-record 40-game hitting streak and raised his average 147 points to a team-leading .427. He became the only FSU player to record more than 100 hits and 40 stolen bases in one season. Two years later, Tony Thomas, Jr. hit a career-high .430 – a 165-point improvement – while leading the nation in doubles per game (0.53). He became the first to record 30 doubles, 100 hits and 30 stolen bases in a single-season. Martin Jr. hit the ground running in his first season as an assistant helping both Brian Cox and Jeremy Salazar make major strides in their offensive production en route to All-America accolades in 1998. Cox raised his average 129 points during his senior season leading the team in average (.393), hits (112) and doubles (27). Salazar hit .337 as a senior, compared to a .297 average in 1997, with 19 home runs and 91 RBI.
Martin first distinguished himself as the Seminoles’ starting catcher from 1993-95, earning NCAA All-Tournament honors in each of his three seasons. He was the Most Valuable Player of the NCAA Atlantic II Regional in 1994, leading the Seminoles to the College World Series and earning second team NCBWA All-America honors. He was selected to the 1995 NCAA Atlantic I Regional All-Tournament Team as the Seminoles returned to Omaha for the second straight year. In 1993, Martin was a member of Team USA. He was drafted out of college by San Diego in the ninth round in 1995.
He began his collegiate career in 1992 at Manatee Community College, where he earned All-Conference honors. The Tallahassee native graduated from Maclay School, where he captained the 1991 state championship team as a senior and had his No. 10 jersey retired. He was drafted as a shortstop out of high school by Seattle in the 31st round.
Martin Jr. has two sons, Tyler (16) and T.J. (14), who are fixtures in the dugout, with their father and Hall of Fame grandfather, Florida State head coach Mike Martin.
|Totals as Player (3 years)||152-57-0||.727||44-25||12-6|
|Totals as Asst. Coach (20 years)||975-364-1||.728||376-168||85-48|
|Totals (23 years)||1,127-421-1||.728||420-193||97-54|