The best college football player and best college baseball player were on Florida State’s diamond Saturday. Two-sport Seminoles star Jameis Winston only accounts for half of that equation, too.
Winston, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner and early favorite for the NFL’s No. 1 pick in 2015, threw three innings for No. 2 Florida State this weekend against No. 7 NC State. In his final inning, the right-handed reliever squared off against the Wolfpack’s Carlos Rodon in a tie game in extra innings. For those unfamiliar with the MLB draft, Rodon is a near lock to go No. 1 this summer.
And Winston struck him out. (Disclaimer: Rodon projects as a power-pitching left-hander, but he is hitting .500 in his limited number of at-bats this year and ESPN Scouts Inc.'s Keith Law writes he has a “pretty good swing too.”)
Rodon can take some solace in it, though, as he was not the only one Winston struck out. Winston fanned seven NC State hitters. He struck out the side in both the ninth and 10th innings.
It is unique that two potential No. 1 picks in different sports faced each other in such a head-to-head manner. It is even more compelling that the part-time football player got the best of full-time baseball player. Law writes Rodon “is far and away the best available player in this draft class.”
No matter the playing surface, NC State assuredly is tired of seeing Winston. In October on the football field, Winston threw three first-quarter touchdowns in a 49-17 rout of NC State.
While Winston’s spring still is not up to par with his fall, he is proving he is certainly worthy to be a part of the Noles’ prestigious baseball program. He has appeared in seven games, tossing 10 2/3 innings. Of Florida State’s pitchers with at least four innings pitched, Winston has allowed the fewest runs (one), walks (one) and leads the team in batting average against (.132) and ERA (0.84). He also has 13 strikeouts to just one walk.