Ex-LSU assistant Javi Sanchez: Mark Laird, Chris Chinea would benefit by staying in school another year _lowres

Advocate file photo by CATHERINE THRELKELD -- LSU hitting coach Javi Sanchez

Former LSU baseball assistant coach Javi Sanchez said Wednesday that he thinks Tiger players Mark Laird and Chris Chinea would benefit from staying another year at LSU, rather than leaving for the pros.

Sanchez, interviewed on “After Further Review” on 104.5/104.9 FM ESPN in Baton Rouge, said he isn’t surprised by the success of this year’s team, many of the players he helped recruit. “It’s exciting just looking at it from the outside,” he said.

As for Laird and Chinea, “You’d like to at least have them consider and weigh out the pros and cons of signing professionally now after their junior year or coming back for their senior year,” he said. “If they were to take the time, and write it down, I think they’d see a lot more things pointing in the direction of come back for your senior year.”

He said LSU has a lot left to offer the two juniors.

“If you take money out of it, just the experiences that they will have in their senior year,” he said. “I think it would just prepare them for life after that, you know, getting closer to their degree, being around that program, you know, tutoring the younger guys in the program and being essentionally a local celebrity in that town and a good ambasssador for LSU baseball.”

Chinea, a first baseman, was drafted in the 17th round by the St. Louis Cardinals and is expected to sign a professional contract and forgo his senior season.

Laird plans to forgo his senior season and sign a pro contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. They took him with the No. 264th pick overall Monday.