Baseball Takes Recruiting Title Again

by Bill Franques
Baseball Takes Recruiting Title Again

BATON ROUGE — For the second time in four years, the LSU baseball program has landed the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation, according to Collegiate Baseball newspaper.

Eight players in LSU’s 2010 class were drafted, another was the NJCAA Division II Player of The Year last season and two others were named their respective high school state Players of The Year.

“It’s a phenomenal class,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “All the credit in the world goes to (LSU associate head coach) David Grewe, who coordinated the class and worked endless hours. He did everything that was necessary to evaluate the players and bring them into our program. David was capably assisted by (LSU assistant coach) Javi Sanchez, who did a tremendous job and has become a veteran recruiter with David’s guidance.”

The class features 19 student-athletes, including 11 freshmen, six junior college transfers and two four-year transfers. The newcomers and returning LSU players have been engaged in individual workouts since late August. LSU begins its five-week fall practice period at 1 p.m. Sunday in Alex Box Stadium. The 2011 season opens on Feb. 18 when the Tigers play host to Wake Forest.

“The coming season marks a transition to a new era in our program,” Mainieri said. “We only have two players remaining from our original signing class that arrived in the fall of 2007. That class was rated No. 1 in the country and was instrumental in us winning the national championship in 2009.

“Hopefully, this new class will have the same significant impact on our program that the original class had. I think there is a really good chance for that to happen.”

Seven LSU newcomers were selected in the 2010 Major League Draft, including:

  • RHP Kevin Gausman, Grandview H.S. (Centennial, Colo.), sixth round, Dodgers.
  • INF/SS/RHP JaCoby Jones, Richton H.S., Miss., 19th round, Astros.
  • RHP/INF Ryan Eades, Northshore H.S. (Slidell, La.), 19th round, Rockies.
  • RHP Tyler Jones, Madison Area Tech J.C. (Madison, Wisc.), 21st round, White Sox.
  • LHP Mitch Hopkins, LSU-Eunice J.C., 42nd round, Reds.
  • C Tyler Ross, Barron Collier H.S. (Naples, FLa.), 46th round, Phillies.
  • RHP/OF Jimmy Dykstra, Yavapai JC, Ariz., 50th round, Rockies.

Another player, 1B/LHP Jamie Bruno, a transfer from Tulane, was previously chosen in the 15th round of the 2008 draft by the Mets.

Other quality players joining the Tigers this season include:

  • INF/OF Raph Rhymes, LSU-Eunice JC (NJCAA Division II National Player of the Year, .483, 31 doubles, 12 HR, 98 RBIs, 15 SB).
  • C Jackson Slaid, Lakeside H.S. (Sibley, La.), All-State, 2008, 2009, 2010.
  • C Jordy Snikeris, Texarkana JC, 1st team All-Region, two-time All-Conference.
  • RHP Kurt McCune, Destrehan H.S., La., 1st team All-State 2009, 2010.
  • INF/RHP Kevin Koziol, Brother Rice H.S. (Chicago, Ill.), 2009 Illinois Player of the Year, All-State three years.
  • OF Marcus Davis, Princeton H.S. (Cincinnati, Ohio), All-State 2009.
  • RHP Nick Rumbelow, Bullard H.S., Texas, All-State 2010.
  • RHP/INF Kirk Cunningham, Delgado JC, La., NJCAA Academic All-American 2010.
  • RHP/INF Joe Broussard, Holy Cross H.S., La., All-State 2010, All-Metro Pitcher of Year.
  • RHP Kevin Berry, transfer from Univ. of New Orleans, All-State 2008, H.S. District Player of Year.
  • RHP/C Sam Peterson, Rosepine H.S., La., All-State 2009, 2010, Player of Year.