After losing thirteen players to the MLB draft in the past two seasons, the LSU Tigers are faced with the problem of rebuilding, hopefully to contend for an SEC Championship and, ultimately, a National Championship. In the realm of Southeastern Conference sports, the only way to survive is to recruit and develop the best talent in the country. After an early and frankly embarrassing exit in the Regional round to Houston, this years’ Bayou Bengals will be quick to avenge their disappointing 2014 season. And here’s five reasons why.
1. New Stars Are Born.
Newcomer Greg Deichmann from Brother Martin High School is a very talented recruit who played shortstop all throughout his high school career. He is currently behind former Freshman of the Year, Alex Bregman, who has been a star since he stepped foot onto LSU’s campus two years ago. He’ll likely be picked up by any pro team that needs a dominant shortstop. Luckily, LSU will have Deichmann locked and loaded.
LSU has also developed quite the recruiting pipeline from Barbe High School in Lake Charles, Louisiana. This season, LSU has recruited twins Beau and Bryce Jordan, who play outfield and catcher respectively. LSU has to fill holes in their pitching staff due to the departure of ace Aaron Nola and the highly competitive Nathan Fury. Sean McMullen, who played outfield and swung a consistent bat, will be severely missed and it will be interesting to see who fills that void in the lineup this upcoming season.
2. Pitch Me Something, Mister.
Major League Baseball has a healthy habit of drafting LSU starting pitchers. Aaron Nola was drafted seventh overall. Ryan Eades was drafted early in the second round in 2013 and current Baltimore Oriole Kevin Gausman was taken fourth overall in the 2012 MLB Draft. When it comes to LSU baseball, it’s simply a matter of reloading and relying on the younger guys to step into the massive shoes of former players. Coming off a nine-win season last year, Jared Poché is the likely ace on the new LSU staff. Following the lefty from Lutcher high school will be senior Kyle Bouman. Bouman is another lefty who posted five wins last season and a very impressive 2.12 ERA finishing only second to Aaron Nola for the team lead. The bullpen will hopefully be loaded again, this time led by Zac Person and rising star Parker Bugg.
3. Department of Defense.
Baseball is the only game where the defense has the ball. This season, Coach Paul Mainieri looked to his experienced defense to get his pitching staff out of trouble. Mainieri has figured out a winning recipe, as he is second all-time at LSU in winning percentage, winning 70% of the time. He is second only to the greatest coach in college baseball history, Hall of Famer Skip Bertman, who won 73% of the time. LSU has so much experience coming back to its infield and could possibly have the most athletic outfield in the entire country: one that includes Laird, Foster and Stevenson. Bregman and Connor Hale will helm the middle infield and Mainieri will most likely find a rotation of corner infielders to battle the opposing pitchers. And an experienced LSU defense will greatly help this young pitching staff. There’s more!