By: Fletcher Keel | WCTV Eyewitness Sports
June 20, 2018
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Mike Martin has announced 2019 will be his final year as skipper of the Florida State baseball team.
Eight months before the start of FSU's 2019 campaign, we're not quite sure what the Seminoles are going to look like, but fans seem to have gotten used to what a Mike Martin squad can do (something that isn't out of the question after 40 years), and think the Noles will at least crack the post season.
40 percent of fans in a WCTV Sports Twitter poll say they think FSU will turn in another 40-win season and make it to a regional before Martin's tenure comes to an end.
Close to 16 percent of fans think it'll be a rough season, and a season that'll mark the first time in 11's career that he doesn't reach 40 victories.
44 percent of fans think the Noles are Omaha bound in Martin's last rodeo: 26 percent say they make the final eight, while 18 percent say it's his national title to lose.
But, before next February, a lot of dust has to settle.
We're still waiting word on the futures of Cal Raleigh and Cole Sands after they were selected in this month's MLB Draft but have not signed deals.
If the duo does return, that's 13 home runs and 54 RBI returning from Raleigh's bat along with six wins, 17 starts and 72 strikeouts from the arm of Sands.
If they're gone, that means only one returning player over .300- Drew Mendoza. Mendoza hit .313, second-best on the team behind Cal Raleigh. Mendoza's 44 RBI would also be the most of any returners and he and Reese Albert would tie for the most returning long balls (seven each).
It isn't all gloom and doom when looking at next year's roster. Drew Parrish and his 2.52 ERA will return, as well as his 5-1 records and 128 strikeouts (the second-most in the ACC, just two off the pace from Wake Forest's Griffin Roberts). So too are relievers C.J. Van Eyk (7-0, 2.86 ERA in 19 appearances) and Clayton Kwiatkowski (4-1, 3.18 ERA in 27 appearances).
It may be a long road to hoe, especially with names like Rhett Aplin, Jackson Lueck and Tyler Holton gone, but it isn't impossible to think the '19 squad can rally around Martin for a truly special victory lap.