LSU sets Opening Day batting order

Paul Mainieri has set his batting order for Opening Day. Check out the lineup and get the coach's thoughts on how each player fits as LSU prepares for Kansas this weekend

Paul Mainieri has set the Opening Day batting order for LSU’s series opener against Kansas on Friday night. Below you’ll find the lineup, each player’s stats from 2014 and some quotes from Mainieri explaining why he slotted certain players in their respective spots.

1. Mark Laird, RF (.298, 27 RBI, 25 BB, 23 K, 38 R)

“He’s not afraid to work counts. He handles the bat really well, good base runner, base stealer. I’d prefer to see our leadoff hitter work some counts and sometimes not run because of the hitters behind him.”

2. Alex Bregman, SS (.316, 47 RBI, 6 HR, 27 BB, 21 K, 35 R)

“He’s going to have the weight of the would on his shoulders this year. Anything I can to do relieve just a tad of pressure off of him, I’m going to do. Last year, I felt like I put too much pressure on him. He puts so much pressure on himself. When I hit him three-hole, he felt like he had to drive in every run our team scored. And when he didn’t do that, he felt like he was letting the team down. So I just want to take the pressure off him a little bit. He wants it on him, but it’s the prudent thing to do.”

3. Conner Hale, 1B (.306, 29, RBI, 4 HR, 10 BB, 17 K, 38 R)

4. Chris Chinea, DH (.250, 13 RBI, 2 HR, 7 BB, 4 K, 9 R)

“Conner Hale will be a really good three-hole hitter. Chinea has a chance to be a force with the bat as well. So we have the luxury of [hitting Bregman second] this year.”

5. Jake Fraley, LF (.372, 29 RBI, 3 HR, 9 BB, 16 SO, 31 R)

6. Andrew Stevenson, CF (.335, 32 RBI, 14 BB, 29 SO, 41 R)

“I’m going to let Andrew run wild. I’m not going to worry about taking the bat out of someone’s hands if he gets thrown out. Hitting him sixth, I can just let him play. I don’t have to make him take pitches. I don’t have to pull the reins on him from stealing bases. You’ll see his true greatness come out better in that spot.”

7. Kade Scivicque, C (.304, 31 RBI, 7 HR, 13 BB, 19 SO, 32 R)

“Kade Scivicque is a player on our team I admire as much as anybody. There’s been a lot of hoopla about Mike Papierski, and Kade Scivcique has helped him and taken him under wing, and yet he’s taken the challenge and raised his game as well. He’s played as well as Papierski or better in these intrasquad games. He’s played great and deserves to be the starting catcher.”

8. Danny Zardon, 3B (.268, 10 RBI, 1 HR, 6 BB, 9 SO, 8 R)

9. Kramer Robertson, 2B (.200, 20 RBI, 1 HR, 17 BB, 21 K, 19 R)

“The 8-9 hitters define what kind of team you have. If you want to have a championship-caliber offense, just look at the eight-, nine-hole hitters. If they’re really good, you’ve usually got a pretty good team. If they’re automatic outs, then you’re probably pretty average.”

“Zardon and Robertson have a chance to be really good. You can look at Robertson as almost another leadoff hitter…If they’re good, then it turns the lineup over to your best hitters. That’s how you can have a really good offensive team.”

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