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Wednesday, September 04, 2013
Martin spent all spring in dugouts with Winston. Yes, Jameis Winston, he of the 25-for-27, 356-yard, four-touchdown, no-pick debut for the Seminoles football team, plays baseball at Florida State, too. It isn’t a lark, either, some side hobby. Winston genuinely loves the sport, and three scouts and executives who saw Winston play in high school told Yahoo Sports that if he had flipped his priorities – baseball as the top sport with football in the background – he would’ve been a first-round pick instead of a 15th rounder in the 2012 draft….
It’s not like the physical talent is lacking for Winston, either. One scout who saw Winston in high school filed a report that called Winston’s fastball a 60 (on the 20-to-80 scale) and a future 70, which means it profiles as a monster pitch, one of the best in the game if he can command it. With a hard curve that has turned into a mid-80s slider and a working-on-it changeup, the scout said, Winston had the upside of a No. 2 starter. Among the size, the stuff and the makeup, it was all there, and his 3.00 ERA and .176 batting average against with Florida State out of the bullpen was a preview of what could be.
The Rangers actually planned on making him a position player. Maybe more than any team outside the Phillies, they love raw athletes, and they’ve hit on a pair recently in Lewis Brinson and Nick Williams. The scout’s report on Winston dovetailed with his freshman-year performance, which showed just how green he was. While his frame projected significant power, Winston’s swing was unrefined to the point he was a 20 hitter. All the extra reps in the batting cage that help full-time baseball players smooth over the kinks in their swing simply weren’t an option for Winston. Something had to give. It wasn’t football. It wasn’t academics. (Winston reportedly was a 4.0 student in high school and carried above a 3.0 as a freshman at FSU.) Baseball bore the brunt of his time crunch, and so it was that Winston hit .235 without any home runs in 119 at-bats.
Florida State is known for breeding dual sport athletes. Remember Chris Weinke?
Oh and some Sanders guy. Keyon I think his name was?
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