LSU optimistic for MLB draft

The Tigers have a real chance at keeping all 12 members of their impressive 2014 signing class.

The 2014 MLB Draft starts in just eight days (June 5-7), and the crunch time's felt from the tops of professional organizations all the way down to the college ranks.

Pro teams are in the process of finalizing their draft boards. Evaluations are for the most part complete, and now it's all about price tags and signability. For the college coaches, meetings continue with signees and their parents to gauge their chances of holding on to these top draft prospects.

When it comes to LSU, they've assembled a 12-man signing class that's received plenty of attention from those professional scouts. That'll make the next couple weeks a stressful time, particularly those first 10 rounds of the draft with several signees projected to land in that range.

But LSU's confidence has only grown in the weeks building up to the draft, and there's a real chance the Tigers keep all 12 members of their signing class.

"You work your ass off all this time, scouting and home visits, to put yourself in this kind of position," said LSU recruiting coordinator Javi Sanchez.

In case you need a refresher, here's the complete Class of 2014, and below we'll pass along the latest rumblings as it pertains to LSU's signees and the MLB Draft.

LHP Mac Marshall - Lilburn, Ga. – Parkview – 6-2, 185
SS Greg Deichmann – Metairie – Brother Martin – 6-2, 180
RHP Jake Godfrey - New Lenox, Ill. - Providence Catholic - 6-3, 215
3B Bobby Bradley – Gulfport, Miss. – Harrison Central – 6-2, 220
RHP Alex Lange – Lee's Summit, Mo. – Lee's Summit West HS – 6-3, 210
SS Grayson Byrd – Alpharetta, Ga. – Kings Ridge Christian – 6-3, 180
LHP Jake Latz – Lemont, Ill. – Lemont Twp – 6-2, 185
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


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Part of what has LSU so optimistic for the upcoming draft is the message they received from Mac Marshall over the weekend. The top prospect in LSU's class made a trip over to Hoover, Ala., to watch the final two games of the Tigers' SEC Tournament title run. While there, he informed the LSU coaches that he will be coming to college.

He even plans to send a letter to that effect to those MLB teams interested in drafting him. He went so far as to change his hometown on Twitter to Baton Rouge and his bio simply reads "LSU baseball." He'll also be in town this weekend for the NCAA Regional as he seems to be chasing the Tigers on their postseason circuit.

LSU has always felt they had a better chance at keeping him than they should considering how talented he is. But even then they weren't necessarily getting their hopes up. Now the excitement is starting to build, as they have every reason to believe they'll hold on to the gem of their class.

But they will remain cautiously optimistic throughout the process. Some teams may not be scared off by this recent development, and it may cause them to increase the amount of money they're willing to spend on him. LSU's been spurned before, but the coaches feel Marshall's always been honest with them when it comes to the draft, and they're very excited about the prospects of getting him to campus.

The primary goal for LSU in this signing class was to add elite pitching, and that's what they've done. They've hoped to hold on to at least two of their top three arms (Marshall, Jake Godfrey and Alex Lange), and they seem to be in good shape to do so. The coaches have never worried much about losing Lange. Most projections have him landing in the back end of the first 10 rounds, and he has a strong commitment to academics.

That shifts the attention to Godfrey, the most recent addition to LSU's class. When Godfrey committed to the Tigers in March, he relayed the message to the LSU coaches that he had every intention of coming to school. That's only got stronger throughout the spring, and he's left LSU with the impression that he isn't signing unless he goes in the first or second round.

Most projections have him going in the fourth or fifth round at best, but he hasn't had the strongest senior season. He's had better outings in recent weeks, but the MLB interest has tailed off enough that LSU doesn't expect him to be taken within the first 75 picks. Should that prove to be the case, then the Tigers sill have a very good chance at keeping all three of their top pitchers.

When it comes to position players, the two to watch are Greg Deichmann and Bobby Bradley. Both rank amongst the top MLB draft prospects with projections pegging them in the Round 3-5 range.

LSU has no concerns when it comes to Deichmann. The New Orleans native has always dreamt of playing for the Tigers, and LSU feels that in-state appeal will be enough to get him to college. Deichmann will consider going pro though if he's taken in the first round, maybe even in the early second, but that seems doubtful based on the projections.

Bradley's the one LSU still feels is a bit of a tossup entering the draft. He comes from a modest background, so LSU believes it may not take a lot of money for a pro organization to sign him. If that's true, then a fifth round selection may offer him enough to consider signing. LSU's still optimistic though, but Bradley seems to be the one that wouldn't surprise if he opted to not enroll in college.

As for the rest of the class, some prospects like Doug Norman and Austin Bain have received draft interest, with some projections having them sneak into the first 10 rounds. But both Norman and Bain have said they're coming to college, as have guys like Jake Latz and Grayson Byrd.

Anything can still happen between now and the deadline for draftees to sign (July 18), but as it stands right now with one week to go, LSU feels very good about its chances of bringing its full 12-man class to campus.

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LSU isn't finished recruiting for the Class of 2014. There are still a handful of prospects the Tigers are monitoring closely to possibly add late in the process. For more information on who LSU is still after, head to the TSD Message Board by clicking the link below for all the latest.



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