LSU’s 2018 baseball recruiting class is ranked where the Tigers hope to finish after the 2019 season: number one.
Baseball America magazine released its top 25 recruiting rankings Wednesday, putting LSU on top. It is the fourth time since Paul Mainieri became coach in 2007 that LSU has been No. 1 and the 11th time LSU has been in the top 10 in that span.
“Our recruiting coordinator, Nolen Cain, and our associate head coach, Alan Dunn, did a tremendous job in securing the No. 1 class in the nation,” Mainieri said according to a university news release. “Several members of the class could have signed pro contracts, but they wanted to come to LSU. They didn’t want to give up on the college experience and the opportunity to be a part of the LSU baseball program. I know that these decisions will work out best for them, because I know what’s in store for them as LSU student-athletes.
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“We have very high standards here, so it’s going to be very challenging for the new players. It’s going to be very competitive, but it’s going to make them all better as players. We are extremely excited about this class and the immediate impact the players can make upon our program.”
The 16-man recruiting class includes nine pitchers and seven position players, and contains seven players chosen in a major league baseball draft: outfielder Giovanni DiGiacomo; catcher Saul Garza; catcher/outfielder CJ Willis; left-handed pitcher Easton McMurray; and right-handed pitchers Landon Marceaux, Cole Henry and Jaden Hill.
LSU led all schools with eight recruits listed on the 2018 Baseball America Top 500, which is made up of all draft-eligible players.
The Tigers also finished No. 1 in the recruiting rankings in 2007, 2010, 2014; No. 3 in 2009; No. 4 in 2012; No. 5 in 2017; No. 7 in 2011, 2015 and 2016; and No. 10 in 2013.
As always, much of the rest of the Southeastern Conference was not far behind. Vanderbilt was at No. 2, joined in the top 10 by No. 5 Florida and No. 7 Texas A&M. Mississippi State came in at No. 12, followed by Alabama at No. 15, Auburn at No. 17, South Carolina at No. 21 and Kentucky at No. 23.
LSU will hold its first full-squad fall workout on Sept. 23. Under a new NCAA rule allowing teams to play two fall exhibition games, LSU will play UNO at 3 p.m. Oct. 14 in Alex Box Stadium and at 1 p.m. Oct. 27 at UNO’s Maestri Field. The Tigers then have their intra-squad Purple-Gold World Series, Nov. 1-4.
LSU opens the 2019 season Feb. 15 at home against UL-Monroe.
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Baseball America 2018 recruiting rankings
3. Florida State
7. Texas A&M
12. Mississippi State
14. Southern California
16. Cal State Fullerton
18. Texas Tech
19. Florida International
21. South Carolina
22. North Carolina
25. Coastal Carolina