Martin Jr. thrilled to have veterans Albert, Lacey, Scolaro, Hare back

Florida State baseball had seven players selected in the 20-round MLB draft, all of whom signed pro contracts. But the Seminoles will also see their key undrafted veterans return. 

Third baseman/outfielder Logan Lacey, outfielder Reese Albert, left-hander Jonah Scolaro and right-hander/designated hitter Davis Hare will return to FSU for the 2022 season, coach Mike Martin Jr. said.

Albert hit .176 with four home runs in 26 games in 2021, missing time due to a concussion and knee injury. He is now coming off knee surgery and will miss the fall ball season. 

“We met the other day, and he’s coming back,” Martin Jr. said. “He has that desire and fire in his belly to give it another shot, and we’re excited to have him back. He ended up having knee surgery. He doesn’t know where he injured it. It could have been something over time, but they got in there and it was a little worse than the MRI had shown. They went on and did a surgery that takes longer to come back from, they sewed it instead of taking the cartilage out. He’s been really getting after it in rehab and it looks great. We’re pumped for him.”

FSU will miss hitters like catcher Matheu Nelson (drafted by Reds) and Elijah Cabell (drafted by Cardinals) from the lineup but there’s a mix of returning talent as well as an influx of transfers. Lacey hit .295 with a .364 on-base percentage, 10 home runs, 13 doubles, 39 RBI and 39 runs scored but he was also the Seminoles’ hottest hitter in May (.338 with four home runs and 18 RBI) as well as the Oxford Regional.

Hare hit .286 in 42 at-bats while also making 25 appearances (33 strikeouts in 27 innings) out of the bullpen. Scolaro had 26 strikeouts in 23.2 innings, making 31 appearances.

The Seminoles have also landed infielders Jordan Carrion (from Florida) and Brett Roberts (from Tennessee Tech) as well as first baseman Alex Toral (from Miami). A left-handed hitter, Toral hit .264 with seven home runs and 29 RBI as a junior. Carrion hit .244 with 15 runs scored as a freshman. Roberts hit .343 with five home runs, 39 RBI and 38 runs but has been one of the top hitters in the Cape Cod League this summer.

“Anytime you can hit over .300 at the Cape, you’ve done something,” Martin Jr. said of Roberts. “He’s an athletic kid that can play short, second or third. And he actually played a little outfield in the Cape as well. Jordan Carrion is another one that can float around to different infield positions. The most recent (transfer) is Alex Toral. One of the most feared hitters in the league, and with our ballpark I think it’s a perfect fit.”

The return of veterans like Lacey, Albert, Hare and Scolaro will help from the standpoint of production but also leadership, Martin Jr. said. After the 20-round MLB draft wrapped up, pro teams were only able to offer a max of $20,000 to sign an undrafted player. All four made a commitment to return to FSU.

“It does mean an awful lot because they’re workers too,” Martin Jr. said. “They don’t rely on their God-given ability. They work their tails off and the younger guys will see that and they’ll follow. And that’s what you want is those older guys to lead. There’s a lot of guys that will really be the ones that young pups look up to. Parker Messick and (Bryce) Hubbart and all those guys.”

Martin Jr. said first baseman Tyler Martin will miss the fall due to shoulder surgery that he is scheduled to have on Thursday.