LSU coach Paul Mainieri said he believes there's still a chance star signee and first-round draft pick Brice Turang bypasses pro baseball to come to Alex Box Stadium.
The Milwaukee Brewers took Turang, a shortstop, with the No. 21 overall pick in the Major League draft this week, at a slot value of $3,013,600.
Mainieri said the slot value is well below Turang’s asking price. It might be a long shot, Mainieri said, but he's holding out hope Turang will turn down a deal with the Brewers.
“I think there’s still a possibility that he comes to school,” Mainieri said. “I’m not going to say it’s 75-percent probability. I’m not saying it’s 50-percent probability. It might be 25-percent probability. But for him to come to school, he’s going to have to walk away from a lot of money. ... He’d have to really be gambling on himself that three years from now he’s going to be a much better player, worth a lot more and travel through the minor leagues at a rocket pace.”
Turang, a native of Carona, California, was at one point projected as the No. 1 overall pick, but an underwhelming senior season prompted a brief slide on draft day.
Knowing Turang was asking for a large sum of money to bypass college, Mainieri figured the only MLB teams with a shot at the prep infielder were teams with large bonus pools, which they could manipulate to fit Turang's demands.
If a player selected in the first 10 rounds doesn't sign, his pick's value is subtracted from his club's pool.
However, the Brewers have one of the smaller pools in the league at just $6,611,900 to sign all picks in the first 10 rounds.
“For three years he’s been hearing he’s going to be the first player taken in the draft,” Mainieri said. “So when we signed him in November, I thought there was very little chance, 5-percent chance, that he'd be coming to school.”
Kelly, Cabell not coming to LSU
At least two signees won’t play for the Tigers this spring.
Mainieri confirmed pitcher Levi Kelly will sign a professional deal with Arizona after being taken in the eighth round.
“We weren’t really surprised,” Mainieri said. “I don’t think he was as convicted of coming to LSU as some of these there kids were. He did what he wanted to do, and I wish him well."
LSU also released outfielder Elijah Cabell from his national letter of intent. He was drafted by Milwaukee in the 14th round. If he does not sign, Cabell is free to sign with another school.
Two Tigers to transfer
LSU will also lose a pair of veteran players in Nick Webre and Taylor Petersen, who are free to transfer after being released.
Webre did not travel with the team to the Corvallis regional because he violated an unspecified team rule. That ultimately led to Webre's decision to leave the program.
“Very disappointed. I did not expect that,” Mainieri said of Webre.
Here's a list of all known summer plans for LSU baseball players, according to Mainieri.
- AJ Labas - Summer school
- Caleb Gilbert - Off
- Clay Moffitt - Summer school
- Devin Fontenot - Shut down
- Eric Walker - Summer school - (“Probably could've pitched some this summer if we had pushed the envelope a little bit, but there was no reason to do that. He’s going to start throwing bullpen in July and he’ll be fully ready to go in August.” - Paul Mainieri)
- John Kodros - Valley League: Charlottesville TomSox
- Ma’Khail Hilliard - Off
- Matthew Beck - Texas League: Acadiana Cane Cutters
- Nick Storz - Recovery from injury
- Taylor Petersen - Released
- Todd peterson - Shut down
- Trent Vietmeier - Great Lakes League: Lima Locos
- Zack Hess - Cape Cod League: Harwich Mariners (more to be announced soon)
Position players (current)
- Braden Doughty - Great Lakes League: Lima Locos
- Brandt Broussard - Northwoods League: Wisconsin Woodchucks
- Daniel Cabrera - Cape Cod League: Bourne Braves
- Hal Hughes - Northwoods League: Rockford Rivets
- Josh Smith - Rest
- Nick Webre - Released
- Zach Watson - Cape Cod League: Harwich Mariners (more to be announced soon)
Position Players (signees)
- Brock Mathis - Northwoods League: Rockford Rivets
- Cade Beloso - Great Lakes League: Lima Locos
- Drew Bianco - Prospect League: Dansville Dans
- Gavin Dugas - Prospect League: Dansville Dans
- Giovanni DiGiacomo - Cal Ripken League: Gaithersburg Giants
- Saul Garza - Cal Ripken League: Gaithersburg Giants