Paul Mainieri isn’t worried this year.
The pro signing deadline for draftees is Friday — a normally tense time for LSU and its staff as they hope major league teams don’t make a last-ditch run at their high school and junior-college signees.
Mainieri isn’t sweating this year, he said Wednesday afternoon.
LSU’s three unsigned drafted recruits remain committed to coming to school as the draft deadline, 4 p.m. Friday, nears. Those include right-handed pitchers Riley Smith and Cole McKay, and infielder Trey Dawson.
That doesn’t mean a team didn’t make a last-ditch run. Smith, a junior-college signee originally from Texas, turned down about $200,000 in a recent offer made by the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates selected Smith in the 31st round of the June draft.
“I’ve talked to Riley,” Mainieri said. “He’s told me, (pitching coach) Alan Dunn and (hitting coach and recruiting coordinator) Andy Cannizaro to our faces that he’s not signing. He’s definitely staying.”
Smith is one of nine signees who enrolled in summer school in June.
McKay, a top-100 player in the draft class, has been adamant that he will come to school. McKay, Mainieri said, was recently in Baton Rouge for freshman orientation.
McKay was requesting a signing bonus of “the top half of the first round,” Mainieri said. That’s more than $2 million.
“He’s all set to come to school,” Mainieri said. “I don’t have an ounce of doubt.”
LSU is expecting to avoid the anxious moments last season when the Houston Astros nearly signed right-handed pitcher Mac Marshall to a deal on the deadline day. The deal fell through because the Astros couldn’t sign Brady Aiken, their top pick in 2014, to a contract.
Marshall, the headliner of that No. 1-ranked 2014 signing class, transferred to a junior college in September to be eligible for the 2015 draft. He was selected in the fourth round of the draft in June and signed for $750,000, according to mlb.com.
Dawson, expected to compete to replace Alex Bregman at shortstop next season, turned down about $600,000 before the draft, Mainieri has said in the past.
LSU lost two signees to pro deals: Left-handed pitcher Jacob Taylor and infielder Mitch Piatnik.
Latz’s summer ball plans
Left-handed pitcher Jake Latz could join a summer ball team as soon as two weeks, completing what’s been a nearly six-month rehabilitation from a stress reaction in his elbow.
Latz is “feeling great,” Mainieri said. LSU pitching coach Dunn will visit Latz next weekend at his home in Chicago, where the pitcher has been rehabbing since school ended.
“He’ll watch him pitch against hitters in a simulated game,” Mainieri said. “If everything goes well,” Latz will join a summer ball team in Chicago, the coach said. “The progress seems to be coming along.”
Latz, who did not pitch this season after the injury flared up during preseason practice, was part of LSU’s top-ranked 2014 signing class. He turned down $900,000 before the 2014 MLB draft, choosing to come to school.
He was just as highly rated as Marshall and even more highly ranked than current LSU sophomores Alex Lange and Jake Godfrey.
Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter @DellengerAdv.