Tallahassee, FL - Florida State landed three players on Baseball America’s Preseason All-America team as announced on Monday. Luke Weaver was named to the first team, while both DJ Stewart and Jameis Winston (utility player) garnered third team honors.
Baseball America annually polls major league scouting directors to vote on the team and make their selections based on performance, talent and professional potential. In the past, the preseason All-America team has been a predictor both of the first round of the draft and of team success.
Florida State was one of only three schools to have three or more players recognized on this year’s preseason team. Virginia led all schools with four selections, while the Seminoles and Cal State Fullerton had three apiece.
Stewart is coming off a freshman campaign in which he led the Seminoles in hits (82), batting average (.364), doubles (25) and slugging percentage (.560), while finishing second on the team with 59 RBI. For his efforts, Stewart garnered Freshman All-America accolades from Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball, NCBWA and Perfect Game.
The Yulee, Fla., native started 60 games in his first season at Florida State playing all three outfield positions. Stewart closed out the season swinging a hot bat hitting .564 over his final 10 games including a .636 average in the Tallahassee Regional that landed him a spot on the All-Tournament team. Stewart played over the summer in the Cape Cod League with the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox where he was named a Cape League All-Star after hitting .274 with four home runs, 11 doubles and 25 RBI in 35 games.
Weaver is coming off a spectacular sophomore season that saw the hard throwing right hander make 15 starts with a 7-2 record and a 2.29 ERA. The DeLand, Fla., native recorded 119 strikeouts in 98.1 innings, both team-highs, while holding opponents to a .221 batting average. Weaver finished the year ranked nationally in strikeouts (11th), strikeouts per nine innings (11th, 10.89) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (13th, 6.26). He yielded just 19 walks on the year.
Weaver was dominant in his start against Troy in the Tallahassee Regional recording a career-high 14 strikeouts, the most by a Seminole pitcher since 2006, as he allowed only four hits and no walks in an 11-0 win. He was named the Most Outstanding Player of Regional following his performance. Weaver also pitched for the U.S. Collegiate National Team this past summer making five starts and posting a 2.14 ERA in 21.0 innings of work.
Winston was a two-way player for the Seminoles during his freshman campaign appearing in 41 games, making 32 starts in the field while also making 17 relief appearances. The hard throwing right hander finished the season 1-2 with a 3.00 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 27.0 innings of work. Winston also collected two saves.
The Bessemer, Ala., native hit .235 with seven doubles and three triples. He scored 21 runs and walked 22 times en route to posting a .377 on-base percentage. Winston made a combined 22 starts in both right and left field and 10 starts as the Seminole designated hitter.
Florida State opens the 2014 baseball season at home on Friday, February 14 against Niagara at 4:00 p.m.