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Raider pitchers named among top MLB prospects

Jake Cosart

Seminole State College of Florida has a strong tradition of developing baseball pitchers into pro prospects. The list stands to get a little bit longer after the 2014 season.

Two right-handed Raider pitchers are expected to be strong contenders in the early rounds of the 2014 Major League Baseball (MLB) draft. Redshirt freshman Jake Cosart, of Friendswood, Texas, and sophomore Gianni Zayas, of North Bergen, N.J., were recently ranked Nos. 2 and 7, respectively, on Perfect Game’s Top 200 JUCO Prospects list.

“Both Cosart and Zayas have the potential to have very successful years,” says Raider Assistant Coach Doug Freeman. “Their pitching is very good, and with more innings, they should continue to get better and better.

Gianni Zayas

Cosart and Zayas were profiled recently in the national magazine Baseball America (“Seminole State Features Exciting Righthanders”). They both have spectacular skillsets that will be refined and improved with considerable time on the mound during the 2014 season, Freeman says.

“Cosart has an extremely quick arm and is very athletic,” Freeman says. “As the off-speed pitches continue to improve and he continues to get innings, he’ll keep improving. He’s got a very high ceiling. And Zayas has a plus-breaking pitch he can throw for strikes consistently, which, combined with the potential for a power fastball, gives him a lot of opportunity to succeed.”

Cosart is a gifted two-pitch player whose fastball tops out at 98 mph. Although his breaking ball is raw, coaches and scouts expect Cosart to polish a variety of pitches to add to his repertoire en route to an MLB career. Baseball may be in his genes: Cosart’s older brother, Jarred, plays for the Houston Astros with former Raider baseball phenom Brett Oberholtzer, and his younger brother, Jansen, plays third base for Seminole State.

Zayas, a transfer from North Carolina State, has a fastball that hits the mid-90s and impeccable control over his curveball and slider. His low-80s changeup is developing into a pitch that can baffle opposing batters.

“Both guys have a ton of ability and will be a lot of fun to watch, the more innings they throw,” Freeman says.

The Raiders will be back in action at home Friday at 2 p.m., when they take on Hillsborough Community College.

All Raider home events are free to Seminole State students, faculty and staff with a valid Blue & Gold Card, the Seminole State ID. Admission is also available to the general public for a small fee. For more information, and to view the Raiders' complete season schedule, please visit the Seminole State baseball home page.

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