Round 4 (127): RHP Jacob Taylor (Pittsburgh Pirates) - LSU signee
Round 8 (235): SS Mitch Piatnik (Cincinnati Reds) - LSU signee
Round 9 (259): LHP Zac Person (Houston Astros)
Alex Bregman got it all rolling Monday night when he became the No. 2 overall pick to the Astros, the second highest LSU player ever taken in the draft. Andrew Stevenson heard his name called a few hours later, when the Nationals made him the No. 58 overall selection.
Stevenson didn’t hold a big draft party like Bregman did at Alex Box Stadium. He spent the evening with family back home in Lafayette because he wasn’t certain that he’d be taken on the first day of the draft. Projections varied, pegging him anywhere from Rounds 2-6.
Stevenson went at the upper end of that range though, and will sign with the Nationals. The slot value for his selection is $1.058 million.
“It was an awesome experience,” Stevenson said. “It’s something I’ll never forget. I’m just grateful for the opportunity the Nationals are giving me.”
The second day of the draft kicked off with an LSU signee hearing his name called. Pearl River CC pitcher Jacob Taylor became the first pick of the day when the Pittsburgh Pirates selected him with the No. 127 overall pick in the fourth round.
LSU considered him to be the biggest draft risk among its signing class. He will sign, as expected, to play professional baseball and forego coming to LSU.
Taylor wasn’t the only signee taken on Tuesday. Shortstop Mitch Piatnik got drafted in the eighth round, No. 235 overall to the Cincinnati Reds.
Piatnik was a late sign for the Tigers, only joining the class in April. They hoped he would be the heir at shortstop to Bregman but worried that he may opt to go pro. He was seeking a signing bonus in the sixth round range, between about $300K-$225K.
The slot value for his selection at No. 235 is $173K. Though that’s less than he initially sought, the Reds should be able to sign him. They did take some college seniors in the first 10 rounds, meaning they saved money on other picks to use on someone like Piatnik. So LSU does expect to lose him as well.
“Anybody drafted in the first 10 rounds is going to sign,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri.
Day 2 of the draft saw a run on players currently on LSU’s team.
Mark Laird was the second to last LSU player taken on Day 2 of the draft and the third underclassmen. The slot value for his selection at No. 264 overall is $162K. Though he could potentially return for another season, LSU expected him to sign going into the draft, and after going in the first 10 rounds, he will in all likelihood head to the next level.
Mark Laird expected to sign as a ninth-round pick
LSU also had four seniors drafted Tuesday.
Kade Scivicque was the first off the board, a fourth-round pick to the Detroit Tigers. He has one of the Cinderella stories of this draft. Originally from a Class B school in Maurepas, he then went to a small junior college before arriving at LSU last year. He wasn’t considered a pro prospect after his junior season, but he parlayed a big senior year into a future on the next level.
Scivicque, a finalist for the Johnny Bench Award given to the nation’s best catcher, was the eight player selected at his position.
“It’s a dream come true,” Scivicque said. “It still doesn’t seem real. It’s amazing.”
Other senior selected — Jared Foster to the Angels, Zac Person to the Astros and Conner Hale to the Mariners.
College seniors are valuable commodities in the draft. They typically sign for much less than slot value because they have no leverage, meaning schools can use the money they save on other prospects that are tougher to sign.
But these LSU seniors are all at least guaranteed to get a chance on the next level.
The draft concludes Wednesday with the final 30 rounds starting at 11 a.m. Chris Chinea is the most notable current player still available. It’s still possible that he chooses to sign with a pro club if taken on the final day.
Also keep an eye on the rest of LSU’s signees. Teams can take a gamble on them with no risk in the later rounds, hoping to have money available to offer that might lure them away. LSU does expect to retain the rest of its signing class though outside of the two junior college players drafted Tuesday.