Tallahassee – Rising junior Taylor Walls played with the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team this summer, which included stops in California, Taiwan, Japan, and Cuba. Walls, a First Team All-American shortstop for the Seminoles last season, hit .205 in 19 games played (14 starts), with three doubles and four RBI for Team USA. With the same strong eye he has shown at Florida State, he led the team with 14 walks and his .415 on-base percentage was second among regular players.
“I’m glad we selected him,” Team USA manager George Horton told USABaseball.com in July. “He came to the trials not guaranteed a spot and he just kept impressing us. He is out there getting better and he is going 100 miles an hour. He’s a guy that looks like he is in character in the box and wants to be the guy up in big situations. I love his makeup and his toughness and his attitude is contagious.”
Joining Walls for a one-game appearance in Taiwan against Chinese Taipei was rising sophomore Cole Sands. Sands’ 1.2 innings of scoreless ball on July 7 earned him the win in his only appearance of the summer for Team USA.
In total, 13 Seminoles returning for the 2017 were in action this summer. Three players, Steven Wells, Brian Bussey, and Matt Henderson played for the Santa Barbara Foresters in the California League, hosting Walls and Team USA for a pair of games in late June.
2016 Summer League
Name, Position, Team (League)
Dillon Brown, RHP, Winchester Royals (Virginia Valley)
Brown was 0-2 with a 4.37 ERA this summer for the Royals in the Virginia Valley league. He made seven starts over nine appearances, finishing with 29 strikeouts in 35 innings pitched. Arguably his strongest start of the season, Brown allowed just one earned run in six innings of an 8-2 loss against the Express in July.
Chase Haney, RHP, Amsterdam Mohawks (Perfect Game)
Playing for the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League’s Amsterdam Mohawks in Amsterdam, N.Y., Haney was stellar in 15 relief appearances, finishing with a 0.76 ERA over 23.2 innings. He allowed just two earned runs and struck out 38 batters while allowing two walks. He was 2-1 with four saves for the league champion Mohawks. He was named to the PGCBL All-League team at the conclusion of the season.
Tyler Holton, LHP/OF, Falmouth Commodores (Cape Cod)
Seeing time both on the mound and in the batter’s box, Holton was 1-1 with a 5.53 ERA in eight games for the Commodores. He struck out 14 batters over 13 innings. In his lone loss of the year, he allowed no earned runs in 2.2 innings and struck out three.
Batting, Holton was 3-for-19 with a run scored and four walks, three coming against Cotuit on July 18. The Commodores finished as league runners-up.
Cal Raleigh, C, Harwich Mariners (Cape Cod)
Raleigh, a Freshman All-American for the Seminoles in 2016, hit .204 in 27 games for the Mariners. He hit a home run and a pair of doubles in tallying nine RBI and eight walks. Behind the plate, Raleigh finished with a .983 fielding percentage in 113 chances. Ranked No. 66 in D1Baseball’s Cape Cod League prospects list, Raleigh “managed to show some of the most intriguing offensive upside in the league,” Frankie Piliere wrote.
Cole Sands, RHP, Falmouth Commodores (Cape Cod)
In addition to his appearance with Team USA in Taiwan, Sands was 2-0 in the regular season for Falmouth. Both wins came in relief of teammate Tyler Holton. Sands had an 18/5 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 14 innings. He ranked as D1Baseball’s No. 21 prospect in the Cape Cod League, and according to Frankie Piliere, “he’s a major 2018 arm to keep an eye on.”
Dylan Busby, 3B, Hyannis Harbor Hawks (Cape Cod)
Named an All-Cape Cod League selection, Busby hit .322 with four home runs, 10 doubles and 12 RBI for the Harbor Hawks. Playing in 29 games, Busby scored 16 runs and stole nine bases. Baseball America’s fourth-best prospect in the league and the No. 34 Cape Cod prospect by D1Baseball, Busby was “one of the best options” for an “athletically gifted, toolsy college position player.”
Andrew Karp, RHP, Chattam Anglers (Cape Cod)
Pitching for the Anglers, Karp was 1-3 with a 3.98 ERA in six starts. His best appearance came in his lone win, going 6.0 innings while allowing one run on three hits against Cotuit. He finished the summer with a 22/4 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Taylor Walls, 2B, Team USA
Made 14 starts in 19 games for USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team in Taiwan, Japan, and Cuba. He was second on the team with a .415 on-base percentage and hit .205 with four RBI. His 14 walks led the team. He showed flawless defense, posting a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage at second base, and was named Baseball America’s No. 14 prospect and D1Baseball’s No. 16 Team USA prospect at the conclusion of the summer.
Steven Wells, RHP/OF, Santa Barbara Foresters (California)
Seeing action primarily as a relief pitcher, Wells was 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in five appearances for the Foresters, finishing with 11 strikeouts and only two walks in 9.2 innings pitched. Wells was the victor in a 3-2 win over the Halos on July 20, throwing three innings of one-hit ball. The Foresters won the National Baseball Congress World Series in Wichita earlier this month.
Brian Bussey, C, Santa Barbara Foresters (California)
Bussey was a .213 hitter for the Foresters on the season, tallying 10 hits in 47 at-bats. He had four RBI and a pair of walks in 18 games.
Alec Byrd, LHP, Cotuit Kettleers (Cape Cod)
Rising senior Alec Byrd was great for the Kettleers this summer, ending with a 1.62 ERA over 16.2 innings and nine appearances. He notched a pair of saves and had 23 strikeouts to just five walks.
Matt Henderson, 2B/SS, Santa Barbara (California)
Henderson, from Chico, Calif., returned to his home state and was named an All-Star for the Forester’s this summer. He hit .349 with three doubles, a triple, and 17 RBI. He also finished with 17 walks and seven stolen bases in 29 games.
Quincy Neiporte, 1B/C, Green Bay Bullfrogs (Northwoods)
Neiporte hit .275 in 54 games for the Bullfrogs, tallying five doubles and seven home runs while driving in a team-high 40 RBI. He had 27 walks and only 12 strikeouts as Green Bay went 32-40.
For more information on Florida State baseball, check Seminoles.com for the latest news and scheduling information, or keep up with the team on social media through Twitter (@FSUBaseball), Facebook (/FSUBaseball), and Instagram (@NoleBaseball).