LSU welcomes 12 new players to baseball team

Coach Paul Mainieri announced on Monday LSU’s incoming signing class was rated the No. 1 class in the nation by Perfect Game. Eight of the 12 new players enrolled at LSU last month, and the remaining four will join the Tigers in August.

“This is as good a class put together as is possible under the current NCAA rules governing roster sizes, scholarships, etc.,” Mainieri said. “We sort of gambled, and went after some really talented players that we knew would be draft risks who would possibly not ever make it to campus."

"However, in the months since they all signed with us last November, in the conversations we had with them and the actions they were displaying, I could start to sense this was a different group in that they would openly express their desire to be here, be a part of LSU, and understood the significance of being an LSU baseball player. And that’s what you dream of as a coach and what you want in the players’ attitudes as they join your team,” said Mainieri.

Perfect Game rates LSU’s class No. 1, followed by Arkansas, Miami (Fla.), Florida, South Carolina, UCLA, Virginia, Oregon State, North Carolina and Florida International. The class includes seven pitchers and five position players, and five of the new Tigers were selected in the 2014 MLB Draft.

“First of all, our top priority was we needed to add to our pitching staff some power arms that we thought could really make a difference,” Mainieri said, “and I feel we accomplished that goal as well as we could possibly have dreamed of doing. We’ve got a few guys that have the potential to be the next Kevin Gausman or Aaron Nola for us. Secondly, we needed to fill the voids created from losing some very good everyday players from the last two years. I couldn’t be happier than having these five position players join our group of athletes.”

The class was assembled by former recruiting coordinator Javi Sanchez, who departed LSU earlier this month to begin a career in business.

“What a tremendous parting gift Javi Sanchez left for the LSU Baseball program by orchestrating this class, which I truly believe may be the best in the country,” Mainieri said.

The Tigers begin fall semester classes on August 25 and will engage in conditioning drills and individual workouts. LSU begins its six-week, full-squad fall practice session on Monday, October 6. The 2015 season starts on February 13, when the Tigers play host to Kansas in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.

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