Florida State’s baseball season got underway Friday with a 13-2 victory over Niagara. Heisman Trophy quarterback Jameis Winston made his season debut but had to wait until the eighth inning to do so. Winston entered the game for a pinch hit opportunity and drew a walk to get on base.
The ACC Football Player of the Year was recently named to the third-team preseason All-America team by Baseball Prospectus, a decision that raised some eyebrows wondering if Winston was thrown in to list simply to capitalize on Winston’s football achievements. Regardless, Winston is once again going to be playing a support role on the team as a relief pitcher and pinch hitter for the most part, and this should not interfere much with his football activity.
One of the reasons Winston wound up at Florida State was the school’s flexibility to allow him to play both football and baseball. The working relationship between football head coach Jimbo Fisher and baseball manager Mike Martin helps to make it all work.
Should Florida State fans be concerned about Winston playing baseball this spring? Of course there is a mild concern exposing one of the top football players to possible injuries in a different sport, but Winston is not going to be an every day player, so those concerns should be put at some ease. Winston is focused on football and says he wants to play two more years at Florida State before heading to the NFL. Whether you believe that or not is up to you, but playing baseball is not going to become much of a concern given his football success last fall.