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Here’s where LSU’s players landed for summer baseball

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS --LSU head coach Paul Mainieri talks with his team in the top of the ninth  in LSU's 7-5 win over Alabama Sunday.

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS –LSU head coach Paul Mainieri talks with his team in the top of the ninth in LSU’s 7-5 win over Alabama

One day after learning its coach would remain in place, LSU released an early list of summer baseball destinations for most of its returning players.

In an interview after announcing he’d return for a senior season, shortstop Kramer Robertson said he’d take the summer off to put on weight and let his injured hand heal.

Here are those summer destinations:

CAPE COD LEAGUE 

Chatham Anglers

  • Jordan Romero, C
  • Caleb Gilbert, RHP

Harwich Mariners

  • Antoine Duplantis, OF
  • Austin Bain, RHP

Wareham Gateman

  • Cole Freeman, INF

Bourne Braves

  • Doug Norman, RHP
  • Brennan Breaux, OF
  • Greg Deichmann, INF

Brewster Whitecaps

  • Beau Jordan, OF
  • Bryce Jordan, C/INF

NORTHWOODS LEAGUE

Mankato MoonDogs

  • Bryce Adams, INF

St. Cloud Rox

  • Collin Strall, RHP

ALASKA LEAGUE

Anchorage Glacier Pilots

  • Cole McKay, RHP

Peninsula Oilers

  • Trey Dawson, INF

ALL-AMERICAN COLLEGIATE LEAGUE

New Orleans Boosters

  • Trent Forshag, C
  • Chris Reid, 3B

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA LEAGUE

Palm Springs Power

  • Cody Ducote, OF

 

LSU pitcher Parker Bugg signs with the Miami Marlins

Parker Bugg will sign with the Miami Marlins

Parker Bugg will sign with the Miami Marlins

Parker Bugg’s LSU career is over.

The lanky, 6-foot-6 right-hander will sign with the Miami Marlins, he told The Advocate on Friday. Bugg, who the Marlins drafted in the 27th round, said the decision to leave was a tough one but thought now was the time to begin a professional career.

“There were a couple different things,” Bugg told The Advocate on Friday when asked what swayed him to leave. “Outside of winning the national championship, I felt like I had a pretty successful career at LSU. I wasn’t content, but I was happy with how everything had gone. Realistically, I couldn’t ask for much more and there wasn’t a guarantee that I’d get drafted again.”

“It was a tough decision to leave a place like LSU, there’s no place like it.”

Bugg was one of coach Paul Mainieri’s most reliable end-of-game threats, notching four of the team’s 15 total saves across 39.1 innings of work with a 1.19 WHIP. The San Diego native flashes a fastball that touches 90 mph with a wipeout, putaway slider.

A three-year contributor out of the Tigers bullpen, Bugg made 26 appearances in each of his first two seasons before getting 28 this year. He was a 34th round selection of the Baltimore Orioles following his senior season in high school.

“They really are the best fans in college baseball,” Bugg said. “They’ve taken me in for three years and taught some kid from San Diego  what it really meant to be a Tiger. It’s something I’ll never forget and I’ll always remember.”

Bugg is the third Tiger to forgo his senior season and sign professionally, joining fellow bullpen arm Riley Smith and outfielder Jake Fraley.

Cole Freeman, Kramer Robertson and Greg Deichmann will all return for another season following their selections in last week’s draft.

LSU still awaits decisions from starting pitcher Jared Poche and reliever Jesse Stallings.

 

Cole Freeman will return to LSU for his senior season

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Cole Freeman celebrates his game winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning against Florida on Friday

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK — Cole Freeman celebrates his game winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning against Florida on Friday

LSU’s middle infield will return for one more year.

One day after shortstop Kramer Robertson announced he’d return for his senior season in Baton Rouge, second baseman Cole Freeman told The Advocate on Thursday he’d do the same.

“Kramer saying he’s going to come back was a big part of it,” Freeman told The Advocate on Thursday. “Playing next to him all year was one of the greatest times of my life and I’d like to have another year doing that. I think you could see how much (the team) grew throughout the year. Weekend by weekend we got better and we learned. We’re not going to have the growing pains next season, we’re going to be much better.”

Freeman, better known as “Drank” to fans and teammates, led the Tigers in batting average (.329), on-base percentage (.427) and batting average on balls in play (.363), occupying the last spot in the Tigers’ batting order for most of the season.

A junior college Gold Glover at second base, Freeman — who started his career at Delgado Community College — began this season at third base before briefly moving to shortstop.

He settled at second base — his most natural position — where he was named to the SEC’s All-Defensive Team and fielded at a .971 clip.

Freeman, one of four Tigers to start all 66 games, was drafted in the 18th round (No. 551 overall) by the Los Angeles Dodgers. He said the team offered him $102,500 — slot value for that pick — which he declined.

The team called back and asked if a more lucrative bonus would sway him, but Freeman had already decided to return. He’ll play summer baseball in the Cape Cod League.

“Just to be drafted was a dream come true for me and my family,” Freeman said. “(But next season) our expectations are just a little bit higher and I think we’ll be able to follow through with it a little more.”

With Freeman’s decision, LSU now returns its leading hitter (Freeman) and its leading home run hitter (Greg Deichmann) from a team that fell two wins short of the College World Series.

Jake Fraley, who said he would sign after he was drafted No. 77 overall by the Tampa Bay Rays, will join Riley Smith as the only two Tigers to sign professional contracts thus far. LSU still awaits the decisions of draftees Jared Poche, Parker Bugg and Jesse Stallings.

Draftees have until July 15 to sign with an organization.

 

 

Kramer Robertson will return to LSU for his senior season

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK --  Kramer Robertson celebrates in the eighth inning of Game 7 of the 2016 NCAA Baton Rouge Regional between LSU and Rice

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK — Kramer Robertson celebrates in the eighth inning of Game 7 of the 2016 NCAA Baton Rouge Regional between LSU and Rice

First Team-All SEC shortstop Kramer Robertson, who broke out for the most consistent season of his three-year LSU career, will return for a fourth.

Robertson, who was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 32nd round of last week’s MLB Draft, made the announcement Wednesday on Twitter.

The Midway, Texas product who began the year at second base before switching to shortstop, Robertson fielded .948 while developing as the Tigers’ most reliable clutch hitter.

One of three Tigers with more than 80 hits, Robertson hit .324 with 20 doubles and 39 RBI while starting all 66 games.

Robertson was named a semifinalist for the prestigious Brooks Wallace Award, given annually to the nation’s best shortstop. LSU coach Paul Mainieri lauded Robertson’s progress and maturation throughout the breakout season

The Tigers now await decisions of four other drafted players — Jared Poche, Cole Freeman,  Parker Bugg and Jesse Stallings. Greg Deichmann told The Advocate on Monday he will return for his junior season while Riley Smith announced he’ll sign with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Jake Fraley, who was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays with the No. 77 overall pick Thursday, told The Advocate that night he planned to forgo his senior season and sign professionally.

Greg Deichmann will return to LSU for his junior season

Greg Deichmann reacts while umpires debate his inside the park grand slam (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Greg Deichmann reacts while umpires debate his inside the park grand slam (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

LSU first baseman Greg Deichmann, the Most Outstanding Player of the Baton Rouge regional who had a torrid end to an otherwise inconsistent sophomore season, will return to school for his junior season, he told The Advocate on Monday

A draft-eligible sophomore, Deichmann was selected in the 26th round by the Minnesota Twins in last week’s MLB Draft. He said Monday he will play summer baseball in the Cape Cod League and it is a “done deal” that he will return to school.

Rotating between first and third base, Deichmann started 62 of LSU’s 66 games, leading the team with 11 home runs and 57 RBI. He ended the season on a six-game hitting streak, including four home runs in the Tigers’ six-game NCAA tournament run.

Deichmann, who finished the season at .288, hit .600 in the Tigers regional win and had 13 RBI across both the regional and super regional, where he and hitting coach Andy Cannizaro made a concentrated effort to expand his strike zone and pitch selection.

LSU coach Paul Mainieri said prior to the draft that, if Deichmann were to return, he could be “the best power hitter in the country.”

The Brother Martin product now gets that chance.

With Deichmann’s decision, the Tigers now await decisions of six other drafted players — Jared Poche, Kramer Robertson, Riley Smith, Parker Bugg and Jesse Stallings.

Jake Fraley, who was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays with the No. 77 overall pick Thursday, told The Advocate that night he planned to forgo his senior season and sign professionally.

Pregame: LSU vs. Coastal Carolina, Baton Rouge super regional Game 2

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Jake Fraley stands outside the LSU dugout in disappointment after Saturday's 11-8 loss

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK — Jake Fraley stands outside the LSU dugout in disappointment after Saturday’s 11-8 loss

The pregame blog will post a few hours before first pitch of each ballgame. Lineups will be added at the bottom when they’re made available. Check back for any additional updates.

  • When: 8 p.m. Sunday
  • Where: Alex Box Stadium
  • Rankings: LSU is ranked as high as No. 5 and as low as No. 6. Coastal Carolina is ranked as high as No. 11 and as low as No. 16
  • Projected Starters: LSU Jr. LH Jared Poche (9-4, 3.26 ERA) vs. Coastal Carolina Jr. RH Alex Cunningham (9-3, 3.66 ERA)
  • TV: ESPNU
  • Streaming:  Available online at ESPN3.com
  • Radio: LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates; 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge
  • Pre- and postgame coverage: blogs.theadvocate.com/linedrives;theadvocate.com/sports
  • In-game Updates: @Chandler_Rome@RabalaisAdv@RossDellenger

About Last Night

What to Watch

Postseason Poche: Poche’s been a steadying force throughout his three-year LSU career, especially when tasked with pitching in the postseason. The Tigers are 8-1 in postseason games he’s started and the veteran left-hander has a 2.19 ERA in 53.1 postseason innings. The Coastal lineup proved to skeptics Saturday night it can, in fact, hit the baseball outside of the Big South conference. Poche does not have the overpowering arsenal Alex Lange possesses, so he’ll have to mix his pitches and keep this free-swinging lineup guessing to avoid trouble.

His offense can help, too. The Tigers scored eight runs on 11 hits on the two best Chanticleers pitchers last night. LSU is the visiting team Sunday and Poche could use early run support to aid his cause.

Keep it in the Park: Even after its loss, Paul Mainieri stressed LSU played a tough, competitive game and was beaten in one category — home runs. Coastal gave itself the NCAA lead with three homers last night, which scored four of its 11 runs in an 11-8, three-run win. Poche’s surrendered just eight home runs in 96.2 innings but does thrive on contact and defensive plays. Keeping the ball low and limiting that hard contact will be paramount.

LINEUPS

LSU

  1. Antoine  Duplantis (RF)
  2. Jake Fraley (CF)
  3. Kramer Robertson (SS)
  4. Greg Deichmann (1B)
  5. Jordan Romero (DH)
  6. Beau Jordan (LF)
  7. Chris Reid (3B)
  8. Mike Papierski (C)
  9. Cole Freeman (2B)

Jared Poche (LHP)

COASTAL CAROLINA

  1. Anthony Marks (LF)
  2. Michael Paez (SS)
  3. Connor Owings (RF)
  4. Zach Remillard (3B)
  5. G.K. Young (DH)
  6. Billy Cooke (CF)
  7. Kevin Woodall, Jr. (1B)
  8. Cameron Pearcey (2B)
  9. David Parrett (C)

Alex Cunningham (RHP)

Pregame: LSU vs. Coastal Carolina, Baton Rouge super regional

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- LSU starting pitcher Alex Lange (35) works out in the bullpen before Game 4 of the 2016 NCAA Baton Rouge Regional between LSU and Rice

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK — Alex Lange  works out in the bullpen before Game 4 of the 2016 NCAA Baton Rouge Regional between LSU and Rice

The pregame blog will post a few hours before first pitch of each ballgame. Lineups will be added at the bottom when they’re made available. Check back for any additional updates.

  • When: 8 p.m. Saturday
  • Where: Alex Box Stadium
  • Rankings: LSU is ranked as high as No. 5 and as low as No. 6. Coastal Carolina is ranked as high as No. 11 and as low as No. 16
  • Projected Starters: LSU So. RH Alex Lange (8-3, 3.46 ERA) vs. Coastal Carolina Jr. RHP Andrew Beckwith (12-1, 1.82 ERA)
  • TV: ESPNU
  • Streaming:  Available online at ESPN3.com
  • Radio: LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates; 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge
  • Pre- and postgame coverage: blogs.theadvocate.com/linedrives;theadvocate.com/sports
  • In-game Updates: @Chandler_Rome@RabalaisAdv@RossDellenger

Pregame Reading

What to Watch

Pitching Backward: Lange was adamant he won’t adjust his gameplan or pitch timid toward a Coastal Carolina lineup that’s hitting .301 with 91 home runs.

“I don’t care if I’m pitching to Alex Rodriguez,” Lange quipped. “I’m sticking to my gameplan.”

Instead, he’ll need to pitch a little bit backward. Coastal swings freely early in the count, so Lange will counter with a bevy of breaking balls and changeups early in the count. He’ll still utilize his low-90s fastball, but look for him to throw it in the middle of counts.

Which Arm Angle: Beckwith will switch from a submarine, sidearm style delivery to a customary overhand throw throughout the game. LSU coach Paul Mainieri said this shouldn’t affect his left-handed hitters — Antoine Duplantis, Jake Fraley, Greg Deichmann and Chris Reid — but his other five right-handers will have to pick up his release point and the baseball quickly. Beckwith, who only has 59 strikeouts in 89 innings, enjoys weak contact and ground ball outs. LSU will need to hunt elevated fastballs and use its speed to turn some of those ground balls into base hits.

LINEUPS

LSU

  1. Antoine Duplantis (RF)
  2. Jake Fraley (CF)
  3. Kramer Robertson (SS)
  4. Greg Deichmann (1B)
  5. Bryce Jordan (DH)
  6. Chris Reid (3B)
  7. Beau Jordan (LF)
  8. Mike Papierski (C)
  9. Cole Freeman (2B)

Alex Lange (RHP)

COASTAL CAROLINA

  1. Anthony MArks (LF)
  2. Michael Paez (SS)
  3. Connor Owings (RF)
  4. Zack Remillard (3B)
  5. G.K. Young (DH)
  6. Seth Lancaster (2B)
  7. Billy Cooke (CF)
  8. Tyler Chadwick (1B)
  9. Matt Beaird (C)

Andrew Beckwith (RHP)

LSU signee Riley Pint drafted No. 4 overall by Colorado Rockies

Kansas pitcher Riley Pint was drafted No. 5 overall by the Colorado Rockies

Kansas pitcher Riley Pint was drafted No. 5 overall by the Colorado Rockies

LSU signee Riley Pint, a power right-handed pitcher who has touched 102 mph with an electric fastball, was drafted No. 4 overall by the Colorado Rockies in Thursday’s Major League Baseball draft.

Pint, a Kansas native, was widely seen as a top-10 pick and even generated buzz as a possible No. 1 overall selection. The No. 4 overall pick has a slot value of $5,258,700.

Neither LSU coach Paul Mainieri nor recruiting coordinator Andy Cannizaro did not expect Pint to attend school as part of the Tigers’ 16-man, 2017 signing class.

Mainieri said it would have taken a “Gerrit Cole” type situation for the Tigers to land Pint.

Cole, a former UCLA standout,  was drafted by the Yankees with the 28th pick of the 2008 MLB Draft, but instead opted to attend college, turning down a signing bonus well over slot value.

The Pittsburgh Pirates, for whom Cole still plays, drafted Cole with the No. 1 overall pick in 2011.

“It didn’t matter how much money he was offered out of high school, he was going to college,” Mainieri said of Cole. “He wanted the college experience. And was willing to wait. And it happens.”

“Obviously I think in Riley’s case that’s not the situation. Riley was upfront with us and honest all the way through, but as the spring has gone on, he’s allowed the scouting process to take place. A lot of organizations have invested a lot of time, a lot of effort into scouting him.”

Cannizaro said he “fully expected the Major League Baseball Draft to take care of Riley Pint.”

“If it works out for him the way that he wants it to, I wish him nothing but the best,” Mainieri said. “He’s a great kid, would have loved to have had him.”

MLB Draft Tracker: eight Tigers and six 2017 signees drafted

 (Eliot Kamenitz)

Paul Mainieri and recruiting coordinator Andy Cannizaro have more “wild cards” in this season’s MLB Draft than other years. (Eliot Kamenitz)

LSU had more “wild cards” in this season’s MLB Draft than in recent years.

Coach Paul Mainieri and recruiting coordinator Andy Cannizaro are almost certain to lose signee Riley Pint, the No. 2 overall prospect according to Baseball America who isn’t expected to fall out of the top-10 in tonight’s first round, which begins at 6 p.m.

Here is the slot value for 2016’s top-10 picks, courtesy MLB.com

Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 10.54.32 AM

Mainieri also “doesn’t doubt” juniors Jake Fraley and Jared Poche will sign professionally, a thought he’s maintained since before the season began.

The coach said gave Poche the opening night start against Cincinnati, in part, because it was “probably” his last season at LSU.

Fraley confirmed he’d forgo his senior season and sign with the Tampa Bay Rays shortly after the club selected him No. 77 overall.

Now attention turns to seven other signees ranked in the Baseball America Top 500 and a number of current players who have life-altering decisions looming. Aside from Pint, signees Nonnie Williams, Todd Peterson and Zack Hess appear to be LSU’s most coveted pledges.

Eight current players and six signees were drafted in the three-day draft. All are listed below

Signees

  • Riley Pint RHP, St. Thomas Aquinas
    • Selected No. 4 overall by Colorado Rockies — slot value of $5,258,700
  • Zack Hess, RHP, Liberty Christian Academy, Lynchburg, VA
    • Selected No. 1,058 overall (35th round)  by the New York Yankees
  • Kyle Weatherly, RHP, Grayson Community College
    • Selected No. 252 overall by the Toronto Blue Jays — slot value of $174,700
  • Hunter Kiel,  RHP, Pensacola State College
    • Selected No. 869 overall (29th round) by the Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Jake Slaughter, SS, Ouachita Christian School
    • Selected No. 1,094 overall (36th round) by the Chicago Cubs
  • Josh Smith, SS, Catholic High School
    • Selected No. 1,135 overall (38th round) by the Detroit Tigers

Sophomores

  • 1B Greg Deichmann
    • Selected No. 783 overall (26th round) by the Minnesota Twins as a third baseman
  • RHP Jesse Stallings
    • Selected No. 438 overall (15th round) by the Cincinnati Reds

Juniors

  • CF Jake Fraley
  • LHP Jared Poche
    • Selected No. 414 overall (14th round) by the San Diego Padres
  • 2B Cole Freeman
    • Selected No. 551 overall (18th round) by the Los Angeles Dodgers
  • SS Kramer Robertson
    • Selected No. 962 overall (32nd round) by the Cleveland Indians
  • RHP Parker Bugg
    • Selected No. 803 overall (27th round) by the Miami Marlins
  • RHP Riley Smith
    • Selected No. 719 overall (24th round) by the Arizona Diamondbacks

Jake Latz will start LSU’s regional championship game against Rice; full lineups included

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- LSU pitcher Jake Latz (67) pitches against Utah Valley during Game 1 of the NCAA 2016 Baton Rouge Regional

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK — LSU pitcher Jake Latz (67) pitches against Utah Valley during Game 1 of the NCAA 2016 Baton Rouge Regional

Redshirt freshman Jake Latz will start LSU’s 4 p.m. regional championship game against Rice, coach Paul Mainieri said during batting practice.

Latz, who started LSU’s SEC tournament opener against Tennessee, has yet to throw more than 36 pitches this season and has not pitched three full innings in an outing.

Coaches are bringing the prized left-hander back gradually after he had surgery in November to correct a stress reaction in his left elbow, which caused him to miss his true freshman season. Latz was an 11th round draft pick in 2014.

Latz struck out two in one inning of work during the Tigers’ 7-1, regional-opening win against Utah Valley. He’s got 10 strikeouts in 6.1 innings this season, most coming on his power curveball.

Latz gets the nod over fellow lefty Jared Poche, whom coach Paul Mainieri said was a “possibility” to return on three days rest for this afternoon’s winner-take-all game. Poche threw 92 pitches in the Tigers’ opening round win against Utah Valley.

Aside from ace Alex Lange, who threw 112 pitches against Rice on Sunday, LSU should have a plethora of pitching available. Parker Bugg, who has recorded ten-out saves this season, has not pitched in the regional. Hunter Newman, Mainieri’s closer, has thrown 12 pitches.

The Tigers used seven pitchers in their 10-6 loss to Rice on Monday, but none threw more than 34 pitches.

  • When: 4 p.m. Tuesday
  • Where: Alex Box Stadium
  • Rankings: LSU is ranked as high as No. 5 and as low as No. 10. Rice is ranked No. 21 in D1Baseball.com’s poll.
  • Projected Starters: LSU Fr. LHP Jake Latz (0-1, 2.84 ERA) vs. Rice So. RH Willy Amador (2-1, 5.58 ERA)
  • TV: ESPNU
  • Streaming:  Available  online at ESPN3.com
  • Radio: LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates; 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge
  • Pre- and postgame coverage: blogs.theadvocate.com/linedrives;theadvocate.com/sports
  • In-game Updates: @Chandler_Rome@RabalaisAdv@RossDellenger

LINEUPS

LSU

  1. Antoine Duplantis (RF)
  2. Jake Fraley (CF)
  3. Kramer Robertson (SS)
  4. Bryce Jordan (DH)
  5. Greg Deichmann (1B)
  6. Beau Jordan (LF)
  7. Chris Reid (3B)
  8. Mike Papierski (C)
  9. Cole Freeman (2B)

Jake Latz (LHP)

RICE

  1. Charlie Warren (RF)
  2. Grayson Lewis (2B)
  3. Ford Proctor (SS)
  4. Connor Teykl (3B)
  5. Tristan Gray (1B)
  6. Ryan Chandler (CF)
  7. Dominic DiCaprio (DH)
  8. Dayne Wunderlich (LF)
  9. Hunter Kopycinski (C)

Willy Amador (RHP)