TSD's Hunter Paniagua spoke with a reliable source Tuesday to get the lowdown on how things are shaping up on the recruiting front, with the Tigers already building promising classes for both 2014 and 2015.
Here are some notes on how the future of LSU baseball is shaping up:
---LSU has 13 players committed for the 2014 class, which Perfect Game currently ranks as the fourth best in the country. Here's the full list:
SS Gregory Deichmann – Metairie – Brother Martin – 6-2, 180
LHP Mac Marshall - Lilburn, Ga. – Parkview – 6-2, 185
RHP Alex Lange – Lee's Summit, Mo. – Lee's Summit West HS – 6-3, 210
3B Bobby Bradley – Gulfport, Miss. – Harrison Central – 6-2, 220
SS Grayson Byrd – Alpharetta, Ga. – Kings Ridge Christian – 6-3, 180
LHP Jake Latz – Lemont, Ill. – Lemont Twp – 6-2, 185
LHP Hunter Van Horn – Tampa, Fla. – Jesuit – 6-3, 190
RHP Doug Norman – Fort Mill, S.C. – Ardrey Kell – 6-3, 175
SS Austin Bain – Geismar – Dutchtown – 6-1, 185
C Mike Papierski – Lemont, Ill. – Lemont Twp – 6-3, 205
OF Beau Jordan – Lake Charles – Barbe – 5-10, 195
3B Bryce Jordan – Lake Charles – Barbe – 5-10, 195
RHP Cameron Williams – Bastrop, Texas – Bastrop – 6-5, 195
---Our source said that LSU is currently in a "holding pattern" with the 2014 class. The staff doesn't plan to extend any new offers this fall, while waiting to see what happens with the current team and these players with the MLB draft. If attrition does force LSU to add players during the spring, they will likely come from the JUCO ranks.
---The staff really likes what it has assembled for 2014, not only from a talent perspective but also in terms of how likely they are to get to college. According to Scout's Kiley McDaniel, as many as six or seven of LSU's commits project to be early-round draft picks, but our source said they feel confident that most, possibly all, will eventually report to LSU.
One prospect that has told the coaches he will enroll in college is Alex Lange. The big-bodied righty from Missouri sits in the 88-92 range with his fastball and has topped off at 94. He'll need to continue developing secondary pitches, but he could be taken in the first 10 rounds of the draft. But based on his pledge to the coaches to report to LSU, that will likely affect his draft stock and he could be a weekend pitcher early in his LSU career.
Guys like Bobby Bradley and Grayson Byrd also project to be possible early-round draft picks, but our source mentioned those two as guys they're confident will go to college. Greg Deichmann from Brother Martin is probably one LSU will have to sweat. He has early-round potential, but the coaches are holding out hope that the home-state factor will get him to college.
LSU already has eight players committed for the 2015 class. Here's the list:
RHP Cole McKay – Spring Branch, Texas – Smithson Valley – 6-5, 205
SS/3B O'Neal Lochridge – Lafayette – St. Thomas More – 6-1, 200
C Dominic DiCaprio – Coral Springs, Fla. – Marjory Stoneman Douglas – 6-0, 210
RHP Caleb Gilbert – Hoover, Ala. – Hoover – 6-1, 170
MIF Lenni Kunert – Denham Springs – Live Oak – 5-7, 165
CF/LHP Brennan Breaux – Lafayette – St. Thomas More – 6-0, 183
LHP Kale Breaux – Sulphur – Sulphur – 5-11, 155
MIF Christopher Reid – Baton Rouge – St. Michael – 5-10, 175
---It's obviously still very early for the 2015 class, but most analysts consider three players in this group as possible early-round draft picks.
O'Neal Lochridge comes from nearby Lafayette, but Kiley McDaniel has him as one of the South's top prospects for the 2015 draft. The LSU staff thinks he can either be a 3B or SS and he projects to have plus-power potential with good bat speed and a mature, developed body. LSU locked him in early, and as the coaches do with all in-state prospects, they'll hope the Louisiana draw comes through if Lochridge continues to scale the ranks of professional draft boards.
Dominic DiCaprio is another that could project to an early-round draft pick when his time comes. DiCaprio is one LSU's more recent commits, making his pledge earlier this summer after making a visit to campus in the spring. DiCaprio has a strong arm behind the plate and can control the running game. Offensively, he makes good, line drive contact with the potential to add power as his swing develops.
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