Consider this your reminder that Russell Wilson isn't the only recent championship-winning quarterback who also knows his way around a baseball field. Jameis Winston, who guided Florida State to college football's BCS Championship, has been named a preseason third-team All-American by Baseball America going into his sophomore season.
A preseason third-team nod isn't as grand as that Heisman Trophy he won, but it does show that scouts believe Winston can play baseball too. He was a relief pitcher and outfielder on the Seminoles baseball team as a freshman before his historic college football season.
His baseball performance? Not so historic. He hit .235 at the plate, scoring 21 runs with seven doubles and three triples. On the mound, he had a 3.00 ERA in 27 innings. Of course, the raw athleticism is more important to many scouts than the numbers. Winston has a great arm (he can throw a baseball 95 mph) and is quick.
Given his football success, you might think the Baseball America nod to Winston is just a nice gesture aimed at a big name. And maybe it is. Either way, here's how Baseball America chooses its preseason All-Americans:
Baseball America annually polls major league scouting directors to vote on the team and make their selections based on performance, talent and professional potential. In the past, the preseason All-America team has been a predictor both of the first round of the draft and of team success. For example, 11 members of last year’s preseason teams went on to become first-round picks, and two others were taken in the supplemental first round.
Winston has said he wants to be like another former Florida State star, Deion Sanders, and play baseball and football as a professional. Playing quarterback in the NFL while also playing MLB would be unprecedented — and highly unlikely.
There's a reason Russell Wilson is only going to MLB training camp. Quarterbacking in the NFL is demanding and dangerous. Good luck finding an NFL head coach or general manager who would be OK with sending his franchise QB off to play baseball during the football offseason.
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