Mason Studstill’s last name fit his scouting report: he was a stud.
As a high school recruit out of Rockledge, Florida, Studstill was known as a two-way player, as he played third base along with pitching.
Studstill was a Junior World Series champion, helping his team complete the task when he hit a three-run homer in the championship game in 2012. In 2016, he signed collegiately to attend the University of Miami, who was coming off a College World Series appearance. He was also a 22nd round draft pick of the Cleveland Indians that year.
All was going right for Studstill.
At Miami, Studstill only received one inning of work all season: an outing against Rutgers where he allowed two runs on a homer. Studstill transferred to Eastern Florida State College, where he struggled, posting a 5.81 ERA in 57.1 innings his sophomore season.
But, when he transferred back to the Division-I level, Studstill found his fit.
Studstill found his home at Florida Gulf Coast. Now, in 2021, Studstill trots out to the mound once a week on a Friday night.
“The program as a whole has been great for me and all the players here,” Studstill said. “Once you step into the green and blue colors, you pretty much know that you have to work hard to be able to play. It’s a program of opportunity. As long as you work hard, you’re going to get your shot, and then you’ll have your time to shine.”
It didn’t take long for Studstill to work his way to a Friday night start, as in three of his first four starts he struck out at least 10 batters; being a crucial part of the FGCU team, they ended up winning the Atlantic Sun Regular Season Championship. In an abbreviated 2020 season, Studstill struck out 35 in 23 innings; only allowing three earned runs.
Studstill’s dominance hasn’t gone unrecognized.
FGCU’s fifth-year senior was named the Atlantic Sun Preseason Pitcher of the Year. FGCU is one of three teams who look to have a shot at the conference title, along with Stetson and Liberty.
Studstill’s most dominant feature on the mound is his ability to locate pitches. While his velocity may not rank among the best in Division-I baseball, his command certainly does.
“My command has gotten a lot better over the years,” Studstill said on his fastball. “It’s mostly mental and just things I’ve learned in college that have helped me out a lot more from Coach [Dave Tollett].”
Studstill’s offspeed pitches are what stands out the most, with his slider (that sits at 80-83mph) showcasing it all.
“Throwing my breaking balls have been something that’s been helping me out a lot the last couple of years,” Studstill said. “Getting older and learning what a pitch does and learning how to throw a pitch has helped me out the most. Just getting the experience of throwing it for a couple years and knowing what when you want to throw it, where you want to throw it.”
With these pitches, Studstill has a chance of being drafted in the upcoming MLB Draft. D1Baseball.com labeled Studstill as the #2 prospect in the 2021 Draft out of the Atlantic Sun Conference, only behind injured Daniel Paret from Stetson.
Regardless of the noise from the draft, Studstill’s focus remains on the Eagles 2021 season.
“I’m just looking forward to having fun with my baseball team. I mean, I’m not really pressuring about the draft at all. I’m going to go out there and try to win another championship and have fun with my teammates,” Studstill said. “If it happens, it happens. Butk, if not, I’ve had a good career here at FGCU. I’ve had a lot of fun and made a lot of really good family, friends and connections.”