I'll have the full list of summer league destinations for LSU players later, but before we get into that, let's put a bow on this year's MLB Draft. If you need a refresher, there were 11 current players and signees selected this year:
RHP Aaron Nola - No. 7 overall (1st round – Phillies)
1B Bobby Bradley - No. 97 (3rd round - Indians)
C Tyler Moore - No. 175 (6th round – Mets)
LHP Jake Latz - No. 324 (11th round - Blue Jays)
RHP Joe Broussard - No. 459 (15th round - Dodgers)
C Mike Papierski - No. 474 (16th round - Blue Jays)
LHP Mac Marshall - No. 616 (21st round - Astros)
RHP Jake Godfrey - No. 643 (21st round - Braves)
OF Sean McMullen - No. 886 (30th round - Astros)
RHP Nate Fury - No. 1,090 (36th round - Tigers)
IF Grayson Byrd - No. 1,183 (39th round – Braves)
The first two days of the MLB Draft went by without much cause for concern from the LSU perspective. Nola went in the first round, the second collegiate pitcher taken, and joins a Phillies' farm system in desperate need of pitching. He should receive the fast track to the major leagues, and it shouldn't be too long until we see him in the bigs.
Day 2 featured a pair of LSU prospects taken in Moore and Bradley. Both wasted no time in announcing they'd sign, as Moore accepted a $280,000 offer from the Mets while Bradley, a 2014 signee, agreed to a deal worth second-round money. While LSU was disappointed to lose its biggest power threat in the 2014 class, Bradley handled the process with honesty and respect, and there were no hard feelings from the LSU side to see him make that leap to pro ball.
But the final day of the draft created some anxiety as two LSU signees were taken with a legitimate chance of foregoing college. The Blue Jays selected Latz with one of the first picks of Day 3, and then selected his high school teammate Papierski five rounds later.
Latz actually turned down a significant offer from the Blue Jays on Friday, so Toronto knew exactly what Latz wanted when they selected him. That's leading LSU to believe the Blue Jays are willing to work with Latz on his number, and they expect negotiations to drag throughout the next month with the deadline on July 18. Toronto also hopes that getting Latz to sign would boost their chances of landing his battery-mate as well, and losing one or both would be a tough blow for the Tigers.
Paul Mainieri will fly up to Chicago on Monday to meet with both Latz and Papierski after their state playoff game. That'll be the first opportunity for the two sides to meet in-person and discuss where things stand between them and the Blue Jays.
Broussard, the third LSU underclassmen drafted, still has a decision to make as well. He'll begin discussions with the Dodgers on Monday, and LSU expects a final decision to come from him within the next couple days. They believe Broussard's leaning toward going pro, but him returning to LSU for one last year isn't out of the question.
As for the rest of the draft, seniors McMullen and Fury will get a chance to prolong their baseball careers after being taken in the late rounds. Three more signees were taken — Marshall, Godfrey and Byrd — but LSU has no risk of losing them. Marshall and Byrd are already on campus to begin summer school, and those selections were described as "courtesy picks."
Now looking ahead to the summer, the majority of LSU's team will head to various summer leagues for added competition during the offseason. Here's the complete list of players and their destinations:
Team USA: Alex Bregman
Midland Redskins: Greg Deichmann, Alex Lange
Cape Cod League:
Chatham Anglers – Jake Fraley
Harwich Mariners – Jared Poché, Danny Zardon
Wareham Gatemen – Kramer Robertson, Chris Chinea
Falmouth Commodores – Conner Hale
Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox – Andrew Stevenson, Hunter Devall, Parker Bugg
Battle Creek Bombers – Alden Cartwright, Andrew Mitchell, Cade Stone
St. Cloud Rox – Kade Scivicque
Texas Collegiate League:
Acadiana Cane Cutters – Russell Reynolds, Jesse Stallings
Alaska Baseball League:
Anchorage Glacier Pilots – Henri Faucheux
Bregman will play with the Collegiate National Team for the second consecutive season. The schedule this summer includes five-game series on home soil against Chinese Taipei and Japan. Then they'll travel to The Netherlands and Cuba for a little baseball abroad.
LSU will be well represented in the Cape this year. It's a big summer for freshmen Fraley, Robertson, Zardon and Bugg. The three position players will have an opportunity to be everday starters in 2015, and impressive showings this summer would go a long way in solidifying that. Bugg will be a key member on the staff next year, and he could very well be a closer candidate if he doesn't make a push for the roation.
Poché will have a light load this summer. He'll pitch only 20 innings — four starts of five innings apiece — then come back home. LSU doesn't want to have him overworked after a full season in the weekend rotation.
Looking at the other summer leagues, there'll be two interesting pitchers to follow in Acadiana, particularly Reynolds. Both he and Stallings are coming off injuries, so this will be the first time in a while that either will pitch consistently to test where they are in their development. Reynolds is a guy that could start on the weekend if his stuff returns to where it was pre-injury.
Speaking of injuries, pitchers Christian Pelaez and Hunter Newman will spend the rest of the summer in a rehab program as they recover from arm problems. LSU hopes to have both back by the fall.
The two signees on the list above, Deichmann and Lange, will play with a travel team based in Ohio. They'll participate in several big tournaments throughout the summer competing of other teams composed of incoming freshmen and top rising seniors from around the country.
Jared Foster is not listed above as LSU was expecting him to be drafted. He was not, so the coaches are currently working to find a place for him this summer.