Seven current Tigers, and nine futures ones got a call from Major League Baseball teams this week and that means the shuffle is on for coach Paul Mainieri’s roster.
The good news for LSU fans is that coach calls this year’s draft the luckiest one he’s had.
"The draft could not have gone any better for us," said Mainieri. "Of all of my years in coaching this is probably the luckiest been with the draft. The guys that got an opportunity to sign, I’m really happy for them and I’m glad they did…. They have until July 6th still to sign, but I don’t anticipate that Antoine or Zach Hess or Zach Watson will sign professionally. What a huge bonus that is for us."
Duplantis, Hess and Watson were considered LSU’s top prospects heading into the draft and will likely all be day-one picks in 2019. Coach added Thursday that Duplantis turned down a 7th round draft offer of around $200,000 before being selected in the 19th round.
Mainieri said he has suggested that Nick Bush (P, Rockies) Cam Sanders (P, Cubs) Hunter Feduccia (C, Dodgers) and Jake Slaughter (INF, Cubs) all sign their offers and leave Baton Rouge.
Of the nine LSU committed high schoolers, Mainieri said only one is for sure signing his deal. That is right-handed pitcher Levi Kelly who was taken in the 8th round by the Diamondbacks. He added that first round pick Brice Turang is likely to sign his offer from the Brewers, but did give LSU a "25-percent" chance at getting the man pegged as being the next Alex Bregman. Turang’s draft slot is worth $3 million. Mainieri said that is well below his asking offer, but add that Turang would be taken a big gamble on himself that he’d be a better pick after his junior year.