Tallahassee Community College reliever Collin Strall officially signed his letter of intent with LSU on Wednesday, and he will join the team this fall.
Strall appeared in 24 games for TCC this past season, primarily out of the bullpen, and struck out 63 batters in 60 1/3 innings with a 2.54 ERA. He's someone the Tigers tracked closely through the spring, with Javi Sanchez traveling to his hometown near Atlanta last month to meet with him.
Once Joe Broussard opted to sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Sanchez extended an offer to Strall, who accepted it on the spot.
Strall, a right-handed pitcher, has an unorthodox sidearm delivery with a fastball that sits 87-89 mph and can touch the lower 90s. He also has solid feel for his change-up and slider, which makes him tough on right-handed hitters.
LSU pitching coach Alan Dunn will find a role for him out of the bullpen, and Strall should be a candidate to close once the team begins practices in the fall.
Strall's addition brings the 2014 signing class back to 12. The Tigers lost only one signee in the MLB Draft (Bobby Bradley, third-round to the Cleveland Indians), and don't anticipate any more before the July 18 deadline to sign.
LSU had five other signees drafted, but all five have given their assurance to the Tiger coaches that they will come to college.
There was a bit of sweat though after the Toronto Blue Jays selected high school teammates Jake Latz and Mike Papierski on Day 3 of the draft. Latz had rejected a significant offer from the Blue Jays earlier in the draft, and he turned them down a second time, staying firm with his commitment to LSU.
Both Latz and Papierski are expected to fly down to Baton Rouge on Sunday to begin summer school once their high school season concludes this weekend. They've reached the semifinal round and will begin their quest for a state title Friday at 10 a.m.
Once Latz and Papierski arrive, it'll bring the total of high school signees on campus to eight. Two of the other three — Greg Deichmann and Alex Lange — are playing summer ball with the Midland Redskins, and Jake Godfrey opted to stay home for one last summer.
But the Tigers may not be done adding players for the 2014 class. LSU's also closely monitoring St. Amant pitcher Brennan Grant, and Coach Dunn will soon go see him throw in-person. Grant originally signed with Louisiana Tech before their head coach was fired this past season.
LSU doesn't plan to add a player just for the sake of adding one, but they feel if Grant can contribute as a freshman or show real potential, then LSU will take a serious look at bringing him into the class.
LSU signs JUCO reliever
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