College | Story | 4/15/2021

Scouting Notebook: Florida State

Kyler Peterson        
Photo: Matheu Nelson (Florida State Athletics)
College Player Report Database

Previously Featured:
April 3 Notebook: Tyler Ahearn
April 4 Notebook: Ross Dunn

Players Covered: Tyler Martin, Elijah Cabell, Matheu Nelson, Robby Martin

What Happened
A strong Florida State team did exactly as they should have and took two-of-three over a North Carolina team they are much more talented than. Parker Messick did as he always does and tossed a gem on Friday while veteran righty Conor Grady had perhaps his best outing as a Nole on Sunday. The power bats were there when Florida State needed it most. 

Carrying tool: Pitching depth. The weekend rotation for Florida State is very strong with Messick, Hubbart and Grady. The 'pen is also stacked with power arms Hunter Perdue, Davis Haire, and Jack Anderson. Freshman arms Ross Dunn and Wyatt Crowell also help fill out the 'pen. Florida State also rolls out one of the better freshman arms in the nation, Carson Montgomery, in midweek games.

Concerns: Swing-and-miss. With all the power that Florida State produces, you would expect big strikeout numbers. However, the swing-and-miss, particularly elevated fastballs, cause the offense to be very up and down. There are stints of time where the Florida State lineup is susceptible to be entirely shut down. The bloop and blast game that the Seminoles play is not ideal for late season and Omaha.

Best Player on the Field: Matheu Nelson. Nelson is a leader behind the plate and his power has exploded this spring. Despite fighting through nagging injuries, he is still near the top of the home run leader board. Nelson is also very solid behind the plate and is just overall hugely valuable to the Seminoles.

Matheu Nelson, C, 2021 Eligible

After starting 54 games behind the plate as a freshman in 2019 and a shortened 2020, Nelson is back at Florida State thanks to the five-round draft in which he was eligible to be selected in last year. To the delight of the Noles, Nelson has been better than ever.

Nelson spent his time in quarantine grinding in the gym, cutting down 20 pounds to become more explosive and agile. The new body has really worked for the catcher this spring as he has 13 home runs over a mere 96 at-bats. Nelson shows really good power to right-center field both in batting practice and in game. The majority of his home runs this spring have been to the opposite field. The Florida native starts from a wide base with an inverted front knee and high back elbow. Nelson’s bat is quick and short through the zone, anchored by a strong lower half.

The third-year sophomore is a natural born leader behind the plate. He shows average athleticism with an arm that is a tick above-average. Given the athleticism, work ethic, and leadership skills, Nelson is a lock to stick behind the plate. Although the power numbers have gone up, he does have his share of swing-and-miss, striking out at nearly a 30 percent clip thus far. Nelson offers considerable impact with the bat as a catcher and at this point, projects to come off the board within the first five rounds come July.

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