Baseball Prospect Journal

Bryce Hubbart focusing on FSU’s success

Bryce Hubbart Ken Lanese, FSU Athletics

Bryce Hubbart is one of the top pitchers in college baseball. The Florida State left-handed pitcher’s skills and potential have put him on the radar of professional scouts.

Scouts have Hubbart on their must-see list for the spring season, as he’s considered a potential first-round pick in the 2022 MLB draft.

Despite the outside expectations for Hubbart, the lefty is not focusing on the attention. Instead, he hopes to pitch well and lead FSU deep in postseason play.

“It’s not my mission right now,” said Hubbart on the draft. “The only expectation I have is for myself. I am not there yet. I don’t need to worry about it. Whatever can bring a national championship to Tallahassee is what I am concerned with right now.”

Hubbart struggled in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. As a freshman, he posted a 6.48 ERA with 13 strikeouts and eight walks allowed in seven games in 8 1/3 innings.

He took a step forward as a sophomore last year. Hubbart recorded a 3.80 ERA with 94 strikeouts and 29 walks allowed in 71 innings.

Hubbart throws a four-seam fastball, curveball, slider, and changeup from a high three-quarters arm slot. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound left-handed pitcher uses a smooth delivery that he repeats well. His delivery also features some deception.

Hubbart uses his fastball a high percentage of the time. His fastball sits in the low-90s and hits the mid-90s. It’s his best pitch and plays up due to his control and deception.

Besides his fastball, Hubbart has relied on a curveball and changeup in previous years. Both pitches are reliable offerings that generate swings and misses.

While Hubbart plans to use both of those pitches throughout his junior year, he will also mix in a newly-developed slider this spring. Last summer, Hubbart started developing a slider to incorporate a horizontal breaking pitch into his mix of vertical breaking pitches.

“I thought it would play well off my changeup,” Hubbart said. “I decided to throw it hard and like a curveball. That pitch has really helped me get some different kinds of hitters out. A hitter can see when someone will throw a curveball like mine. You can’t really see a curveball because it looks like a fastball. My slider throws hitters off.”

Hubbart does a great job attacking the zone and throwing strikes. He has an exciting mix of pitches and a proven ability to strike out plenty of batters, giving him intriguing potential.

Although Hubbart has made strides throughout his time at FSU so far, Hubbart hopes to refine his skills and show an attacking mindset on the mound this season.

“I have worked on the mental aspects of my game so I can consistently become better,” Hubbart said. “It’s weird how not having little things affect you can change the way your outing is going. The mental aspect has helped me minimize damage.”

Florida State has qualified for the NCAA tournament 43 consecutive times. It is the longest active streak for consecutive postseason appearances and one short of tying the NCAA record of 44 straight NCAA tournament berths.

Despite the Seminoles success qualifying for postseason play, they have never won a national championship. They finished as the runner-up in 1970, 1986 and 1999.

The Seminoles last qualified for the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, in 2019. They hope to return to the CWS and win the championship this year.

“Our key will be the pitching staff and limiting free passes,” Hubbart said. “Our offense is going to be good. We will win games by more than two or three runs. The key will be our pitching staff.”

Read more in-depth stories on top 2022 MLB draft prospects at Baseball Prospect Journal.

Video of Bryce Hubbart

Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for seven years. He has interviewed 356 of the top draft prospects in that period, including four No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today, MLB.com and The Arizona Republic, have quoted his work, while he has appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.

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