Florida State’s all-time best MLB players â€” by position
Buster Posey already is a two-time World Series champion and National League MVP. The catcher has been named a rookie of the year and won comeback player of the year honors.
He’s accomplished more in just four major league seasons than many players. All by the age of 26 — with plenty of time ahead of him to add to his resume.
Article continues below ...
And now Posey is an All-Star for the second straight season, and will be a reserve for the National League in Tuesday night’s game on FOX.
“Going to it last year, I got to see how unique and special an event it is,” Posey told reporters in San Francisco after he was named to the All-Star team. “I’m looking forward to it.”
He probably would have made it to the majors as a shortstop, the position he played in his first season at Florida State. But assistant coach Mike Martin Jr. saw a talent — smarts and arm strength — and knew the Seminoles had a need at the position. Two years later, Baseball America considered Posey the best catcher in the 2008 draft.
Posey was one of the most decorated players in Florida State history. He was a freshman All-American in 2006, an All-American in 2007 and a unanimous All-American in 2008 (he hit .463 that season, the best in school history). He also won the Golden Spikes Award, college baseball’s Heisman Trophy, as a junior.
He indeed spent little time in the minors, as Posey was called up late in 2009 before sticking with San Francisco for the long haul in May 2010 and helping the Giants to a World Series title that season.
Although he has played just under 400 MLB games, Posey already has 446 hits through Tuesday’s game. And he’s a .315 career hitter with a .383 on-base percentage.
Posey headlines our list of the top major leaguers that played at Florida State:
1B Doug Mientkiewicz
Mientkiewicz led the Seminoles in hitting each of his three seasons (1993-95), leaving Tallahassee with a .348 career average. He was an All-American in 1993 and ’94, and ranks in Florida State’s top 10 in career batting average and slugging.
But one of his crowning achievements was helping the United States win the gold medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. Mientkiewicz had the game-winning hit to help Team USA advance to the gold-medal game.
Mientkiewicz was a career .271 hitter in 12 major-league seasons, which included a Gold Glove in 2001 (he had just 30 errors in nearly 1,000 major league games). He had 221 doubles and 405 RBI.
2B Jody Reed
A career .323 hitter in his two seasons (1983-84) at Florida State, Reed scored a team-high 97 runs as a junior. He also averaged nearly a walk per game, finishing his career with a .457 on-base percentage.
Reed was a career .270 hitter and scored 566 runs in his 11 seasons in the majors. He also led the American League in doubles with 45 in 1990 while in Boston. Reed was also a career .988 fielder, leading AL second basemen in fielding in 1993 and ’94.
SS Stephen Drew
Drew arrived in Tallahassee as “J.D.’s little brother,” but he soon made a name for himself. Stephen Drew was a freshman All-American in 2002 and then an All-American his final two seasons. He was a .354 career hitter but was able to get on base like few others – Drew had 246 hits and 112 walks in just 168 games.
A first-round pick by Arizona, he is a .263 career hitter with 441 runs scored and 380 RBI in eight seasons. Drew also hit for the cycle in September 2008 while with the Diamondbacks.
Drew was fourth in the National League with 44 doubles in 2008, and he placed second in the NL in triples from 2008-10. After being traded from Arizona to Oakland midway through 2012, Drew signed with Boston in the offseason. He has six triples (second in the AL) through Tuesday for the Red Sox.
3B Eduardo Perez
Perez was an All-American at first base and in the outfield from 1989-1991, helping the Seminoles reach the College World Series twice. He is a .328 career hitter that smacked 11 home runs as a junior in 1991.
A sure-handed fielder at both first base and third base over 13 major-league seasons, Perez was a career .247 hitter with 294 RBI and 238 runs. Perez also had 79 home runs and 88 doubles.
OF J.D. Drew
A freshman All-American in 1995 and a consensus All-American in 1996 and ’97, Drew had a .391 career batting average at Florida State. He also hit 31 home runs and 100 RBI in 1997, eye-popping numbers for a 67-game season.
Drew was drafted in the first round in 1997, at No. 2 overall, by Philadelphia but held out and eventually played for St. Paul in the independent Northern League. He was drafted again in the first round in 1998 by St. Louis, at No. 5 overall, where he signed and played for his first six seasons. Drew was a career .278 hitter in 14 seasons, smacking 242 home runs, 273 doubles, 1,437 hits and 795 RBI.
OF Deion Sanders
One of the few Division I athletes that have lettered in three sports (football-baseball-track), Deion Sanders is perhaps one of the best athletes ever to step foot on Florida State’s campus. While known as a shut-down corner and return specialist for the football team, Sanders played baseball in 1986 and ’87, hitting .281 with 62 runs in 76 games.
Sanders was a career .263 hitter in nine major-league seasons despite splitting time between football and baseball. He is the only athlete to ever win a World Series title (Atlanta in 1992) and a Super Bowl ring (San Francisco and Dallas in the 1990s).
He used his speed on the basepaths, hitting 14 triples to lead the NL in 1992 and grabbing 56 stolen bases in 1997 with Cincinnati (a mark that was second-best in the NL). Sanders also had 308 runs scored.
OF Matt Diaz
Matt Diaz made the most of his two seasons at Florida State. He hit .384 with 43 home runs, 41 doubles, 178 RBI and 147 runs, averaging more than an RBI and run per game (142 games). Diaz, a freshman All-American in 1998 and All-American in ’99, also helped the Seminoles to a pair of College World Series appearances.
Diaz broke into the majors with Tampa Bay in 2003 as part of an 11-year career, making two stops in Atlanta. He is a .290 career hitter, with 226 RBI. Diaz is in his first season as a reserve for Miami after being called up in May from Triple-A.
DH Paul Sorrento
Paul Sorrento hit .380 with 22 home runs in his junior season (1986), capping a career in which he had 222 RBI and scored 216 runs. Sorrento was a freshman All-American in 1984 and an All-American in ’86.
Despite his stellar junior season, Sorrento was picked in the fourth round by the California Angels in 1986. Sorrento was a versatile player who spent time in the outfield, at first and was a designated hitter (he was Tampa Bay’s DH in the team’s inaugural season).
Sorrento hit .257 with 166 home runs and 565 RBI in 11 seasons in the majors. He retired with Tampa Bay in 1999.
Pitcher Paul Wilson
One of Florida State’s top pitchers all-time, Paul Wilson was 27-11 with a 2.36 ERA from 1992-94. His junior season of 1994 was impressive, as the right-hander went 13-5 with a 2.08 ERA and had 161 strikeouts in 143 innings.
Wilson was the No. 1 overall pick by the New York Mets in 1994, the first and only time a Florida State player has accomplished that feat. He pitched just the 1996 season for the Mets, going 5-12 before suffering arm injuries.
He resurfaced in 2000 with Tampa Bay, starting for the next three seasons and winning 15 games. His best season was 2004, when he went 11-6 for Cincinnati. Wilson retired with a career 40-58 mark.
Reliever Randy Choate
Randy Choate won 29 games in his three seasons (1995-97) at Florida State, including 15 in 1996. An All-American in his last two seasons, the left-hander finished his career with 281 strikeouts in 305 innings.
Choate was a starter at Florida State, but in 13 major league seasons he has not started a game (he has 507 relief appearances). His career has included stops with the Rays (2009-10) and Marlins (2011-12). Choate is just 12-11 but he has 277 strikeouts in 327.1 innings.
It’s tough to pick one from this impressive list, but all have ties to Florida State. Three-time World Series champion Tony La Russa never played for the Seminoles, but has a law degree from the school (he attended classes in the offseason while in the minors).
Former Tampa Bay manager Larry Rothschild went 6-3 with a 3.66 ERA in two seasons at Florida State in 1974-75. Dick Howser, an All-American at Florida State, managed the Seminoles in 1979 before moving on to the majors with the New York Yankees and then Kansas City, where he won a World Series in 1985.