FSU baseball: Noles ranked top 15 in two preseason polls

I feel like preseason polls in all sports are a waste of time, but FSU baseball finds itself with two top-15 rankings going into the 2022 season.

The Noles opened the 2021 season ranked No. 21 and ultimately finished the season (31-24, 20-16 ACC) and a loss in the regionals.

The team featured some of the best pitchers in college baseball, but a streaky offense and poor defense kept them from winning more games.

They find themselves ranked No. 15 by Perfect Game and No. 12 by Collegiate Baseball.

The good news is the majority of the pitching staff returns, along with a few key additions. The bad news is I don’t know where much of the offensive productions will come from with the losses of Matheu Nelson, Robby Martin, and Elijah Cabell to the MLB Draft.

Those three players account for 61 percent of the home runs from last year and 51 percent of the RBI’s. The Noles will return Logan Lacy, Tyler Martin, and hopefully, Reese Albert can find the form he had before injuries made him a non-factor the last year or so.

They’ll need those guys to take the next step, coupled with some new faces emerging as viable offensive threats. FSU has added some transfer players from Miami, Florida, Oklahoma State. It’ll likely be up to the pitching staff to carry the team early on, and hopefully, the defense will find a way to improve the 65 errors (.968 fielding percentage).

The team leader in errors, Nander de Sedas, decided to hit the transfer to Missouri, and Florida transfer Jordan Carrion will look to sure up the shortstop position with an above-average glove.

The Noles will open their 2022 season on Friday, February 18, with a three-game weekend series hosting James Madison. The first game will see the first pitch at 6 p.m. ET.