July 13, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - As the signing deadline for the 2012 MLB First Year Player Draft expired at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, July 13, the Florida State baseball team and head coach Mike Martin received some good news. Justin Gonzalez will return to Florida State for his senior year.
A three-year starter, serving the last two years as the Seminoles' everyday shortstop, Gonzalez will bring a great deal of leadership inside the clubhouse to a team that will feature just four seniors in 2013. Next year's senior class will include Gonzalez, Scott Sitz, Seth Miller and Stephen Spradling.
"I am very excited that Justin has decided to come back to Florida State to get his degree and lead our team for the 2013 season," said head coach Mike Martin. "Knowing that we will have Justin in our line-up and out on the field certainly gives us a good feeling about the 2013 squad."
Gonzalez has appeared in 170 career games over the last three years making 144 starts. The Miami, Fla., native is a career .265 hitter with 142 hits, 116 runs scored and 103 RBI. Fifty of his 142 career hits have gone for extra bases including 19 home runs. Gonzalez established season-highs for home runs (9), RBI (42) and stolen bases (13) following his junior campaign as he played an integral part in getting the Seminoles back to the College World Series in 2012.
Once in Omaha, Gonzalez tied for the third highest batting average on the team hitting .412 in four games. He recorded a hit in all four games and finished the series 7-for-17 with a team-high five RBI. Gonzalez tied a season-high with three hits including two doubles in the final game of the season against Arizona.
"I am really excited about the decision to come back to Florida State," said Gonzalez. "It took a lot of thought and prayers, especially when I saw some of my teammates take that next step in their careers. I couldn't be happier for them, but I felt as though there was some unfinished business that needed to be taken care of at Florida State.
"It didn't feel right leaving without stringing together a season that resulted in a national championship for our team, coaching staff and fans. That was the goal when I stepped on campus and with the guys coming back and the newcomers arriving for the upcoming season; I feel that this year is going to be something special."
Pursuing a degree in sport management, Gonzalez is a two-time member of the ACC Academic Honor Roll and has maintained an overall GPA of over a 3.0.
Gonzalez was selected with the 836th overall pick in the 27th round by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012 MLB Draft.