BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri said Friday that the 15-man class of newcomers enrolling next month provides exactly what the Tigers need - speed on the bases and in the outfield, power hitting and additional pitching prowess.
The new group of Tigers includes seven pitchers and eight position players. Two of the players - infielder Alex Bregman and right-handed pitcher Will LaMarche - were selected in the 2012 MLB Draft and elected to enroll at LSU instead of beginning a pro career.
"We are very excited to see what kind of impact this class will make upon our program," said Mainieri, who led the Tigers to the 2012 SEC championship. "I truly believe we've addressed our needs in all phases of the game, and I know our fans will enjoy watching these young men perform in Alex Box Stadium very soon."
The 15 newcomers start classes at LSU on August 20 and will join the returning players for conditioning drills and individual workouts.
The Tigers begin their six-week, full-squad fall practice session on September 23. The 2013 season starts on February 15 when the Tigers play host to Maryland in Alex Box Stadium.
LSU was the No. 7 National Seed in the 2012 NCAA Tournament and fell just one win shy of reaching the College World Series. Mainieri said the Tigers are looking forward to the opportunity to reach the CWS in Omaha, Neb. in 2013.
"In a lot of ways we overachieved last year," Mainieri said, "and we came so close to realizing all of our goals. However, we recognize there are areas in which we need to improve and we're confident that we're heading in the right direction with this signing class."
Mainieri also sent congratulations Friday to ace pitcher Kevin Gausman, who signed a contract with the Baltimore Orioles. Gausman, a 2012 first-team all-American with a 12-2 mark and a 2.77 ERA, was the fourth overall selection in last month's draft.
"I'm so proud of Kevin, and he's earned everything that's coming his way," Mainieri said. "He developed so much both as a pitcher and as a young man during his time here, and I know the Orioles will benefit tremendously from having Kevin in their organization. I think it says a lot about our program that a young man of Kevin's ability came to LSU and grew both professionally and personally in very significant ways."
2012 LSU Baseball Signing Class
No. Name, Pos., B-T, Ht., Wt., Cl. Exp., Hometown (High School/Previous School)
30 Alex Bregman, INF, R-R, 5-11, 180, Fr., HS, Albuquerque, N.M. (Albuquerque Academy)
40 Taylor Butler, RHP, R-R, 6-1, 180, Fr., HS, Lake Charles, La. (Barbe HS)
20 Chris Chinea, C, R-R, 6-0, 205, Fr., HS, Miami, Fla. (Gulliver Prep School)
12 Hunter Devall, LHP, L-L, 5-10, 180, Fr., HS, Clinton, La. (Centreville Academy)
14 Christian Ibarra, INF, R-R, 5-7, 155, Jr., JC, La Puente, Calif. (South Hills HS/Rio Hondo College)
16 Geonte' Jackson, INF, R-R, 6-0, 170, Fr., HS, Sugarland, Texas (Elkins HS)
9 Mark Laird, OF, L-L, 6-2, 180, Fr., HS, Monroe, La. (Ouachita Christian School)
36 Will LaMarche, RHP, R-R, 6-3, 220, Jr., JC, Pleasanton, Calif. (Chabot College)
41 Jamie McClure, RHP, R-R, 6-2, 180, Jr., JC, Baton Rouge, La. (Catholic HS/Panola JC)
7 Sean McMullen, OF, L-L, 5-8, 175, Jr., JC, Metairie, La. (Brother Martin HS/Delgado CC)
55 Hunter Newman, RHP, R-R, 6-4, 180, Fr., HS, Bloomingdale, Ga. (Calvary Baptist School)
45 Russell Reynolds, RHP, R-R, 6-3, 175, Fr., HS, Baton Rouge, La. (Parkview Baptist HS)
29 Chase Rivett, OF, R-R, 5-10, 175, Fr., HS, Gonzales, La. (East Ascension HS)
27 Mitchell Sewald, RHP, R-R, 6-5, 180, Fr., HS, Mandeville, La. (Rummel HS)
6 Andrew Stevenson, OF, L-L, 6-0, 170, Fr., HS, Youngsville, La. (St. Thomas More HS)
2012 LSU Draft Summary
LSU Players selected in the 2012 MLB Draft
Kevin Gausman, RHP, 1st Round, Baltimore, 4th selection, signed with Orioles
Austin Nola, SS (Sr.), 5th Round, Miami, 167th selection, signed with Marlins
Nick Goody, RHP, 6th Round, New York Yankees, 217th selection, signed with Yankees
Raph Rhymes, OF, 30th Round, New York Yankees, 937th selection, returning to LSU
Tyler Hanover, INF (Sr.), 33rd Round, Detroit Tigers, 1024th selection, signed with Tigers
LSU Signees selected in the 2012 MLB Draft
Joey Gallo, INF/RHP, Comp Round A, Texas, 39th selection, signed with Rangers
Jesmuel Valentin, INF, Comp Round A, Los Angeles Dodgers, 51st selection, signed with Dodgers
Hayden Jennings, OF, 6th Round, Washington, 204th selection, signed with Nationals
Will LaMarche, RHP, 18th Round, Minnesota, 550th selection, enrolling at LSU
Alex Bregman, INF, 29th Round, Boston, 901st selection, enrolling at LSU
LSU Signee Quick Facts
30 Alex Bregman, INF,
R-R, 5-11, 180, Fr., HS,
Albuquerque, N.M. (Albuquerque Academy)
29th round selection of Boston Red Sox in 2012 MLB Draft
Led 18U U.S. National Team to a gold medal last fall at the International Baseball Federation World Championships
First team All-State each of last two years
Batted .678 as a junior in 2011 and set a New Mexico season record with 19 HRs
2010 - USA Baseball Player of the Year - Richard W. "Dick" Case Award
Received All-Metro honors and All-District honors
Helped lead team to high school state championship in 2009
Head Coach Paul Mainieri on Bregman:
"Alex is a very polished hitter and infielder from Albuquerque, New Mexico. He has been touted by many sources as one of the best, if not the best, hitter in the 2012 high school class. We were very fortunate that Alex slipped to the 29th round in the 2012 MLB Draft because he had been projected as a top 2 round draft pick since he was the MVP of the 16U Team USA team in 2010. His strong commitment to attending LSU was what ultimately made MLB scouts pass on Bregman until the 29th round. He is very versatile defensively as he can play anywhere on the field. We will first look at him on the left side of the infield. Needless to say, we are extremely excited about Alex starting his career as a Tiger and we expect him to have a stellar one."
40 Taylor Butler, RHP,
R-R, 6-1, 180, Fr., HS,
Lake Charles, La. (Barbe HS)
Earned three wins on the mound during the 2012 Class 5A state tournament, helping lead Barbe to the state title
Threw five scoreless innings of relief and earned the win over Rummel in the 2012 state title game
Head Coach Paul Mainieri on Butler:
"Taylor is a right-handed pitcher that helped lead Barbe High School to a state title in 2012. His fastball sits in the mid to high 80's, occasionally touching 90 mph, and uses a big 12-6 breaking ball in any count, and he shows a good change up. Taylor has a lot of experience pitching in big games and he will add depth to our talented pitching staff."
20 Chris Chinea, C,
R-R, 6-0, 205, Fr., HS,
Miami, Fla. (Gulliver Prep School)
2012 - Hit .542, 12 doubles, 1 triple, 9 HR, 38 RBI
2012 High School All-American
2011 1st Team Rawlings Perfect Game All American
2010 2nd Team Rawlings Perfect Game All American
2010 - Hit .597 with 15 doubles, 6 HRs, 55 RBI
2010 - 3A All Dade County Player of the Year
2009 - Hit .495 with 13 doubles, 5 HR's, 44 RBI
Head Coach Paul Mainieri on Chinea:
"Chris is a stout, very strong catcher from Miami, FL who runs well for a catcher and is athletic enough to play multiple positions. His ability to really hit, as well as run above average, will open up his options to play early on as a freshman at places other than catcher. Chris has been a very advanced hitter his whole life and has hit on every team he's ever been on. He and Bregman come into LSU as the power threats that we so desperately need. We definitely see that trend continuing for him at LSU. Only his strong commitment to LSU kept him from being drafted in the top 10 rounds. He was names 2nd team All-America by Baseball America magazine. "
12 Hunter Devall, LHP,
L-L, 5-10, 180, Fr., HS,
Clinton, La. (Centreville Academy)
2011 Perfect Game Underclass High Honorable Mention
2010 Perfect Game Underclass World Championships Most Valuable Pitcher
Head Coach Paul Mainieri on Devall:
"Hunter is a lefty from Clinton, La. but attended Centreville Academy in Mississippi. He is an absolute bulldog on the mound who believes he can get anyone out in any situation. He has a ¾ arm slot from the left side and a good breaking ball that is very tough on left-handed hitters. He is a guy that we are going to look for to be reliable out of the bullpen in intense situations, probably even as a freshman."
14 Christian Ibarra, INF,
R-R, 5-7, 155, Jr., JC,
La Puente, Calif. (South Hills HS/Rio Hondo College)
Regarded as the best junior college shortstop in California in 2012
A"plus" defender with a big-time arm at shortstop
Excellent baseball instincts and savvy in the infield
Head Coach Paul Mainieri on Ibarra:
"Christian is a smooth, sure-handed middle infielder that comes to us from Rio Hondo Community College in southern California. Although he is small in stature, Ibarra makes all of the defensive plays look easy and has arm that touches 90 mph across the infield. After the departure of Austin Nola, we are looking forward to Ibarra possibly being able to step in and fill that always important defensive role at shortstop."
16 Geonte' Jackson, INF,
R-R, 6-0, 170, Fr., HS,
Sugarland, Texas (Elkins HS)
2012 - Hit .347 with 1 HR, 16 RBI, .387 OBP
2011 - Hit .412 with 3 HR, 25 RBI, .394 OBP
2011 2nd Team All-District
Head Coach Paul Mainieri on Jackson:
"Geonte' is a very athletic infielder that we were able to get out of the baseball talent-rich Houston, Texas area. He has very loose actions in the infield and moves very well laterally at third base. At the plate, Geonte' is a gap to gap hitter who we believe will develop into more of a power threat as his career goes on and he gets stronger from being in the weight room. He has quick hands and a flat bat that will bode well for getting hits against the tough SEC pitching."
9 Mark Laird, OF
L-L, 6-2, 180, Fr., HS,
Monroe, La. (Ouachita Christian School)
2012 Louisiana Class 1A Most Valuable Player
2012 MVP of Louisiana state football title game as a wide receiver and DB
Head Coach Paul Mainieri on Laird:
"Mark is one of the fastest players you will ever see on a baseball field. He will bring a left-handed hitting presence to the lineup that can handle the bat and absolutely fly around the bases. A standout wide receiver and center fielder at Ouachita Christian High School, Mark was named the LHSAA 1A MVP in baseball in 2011-2012. He also was the MVP of the state championship football game as a wide receiver and defensive back. Laird is one of those guys a coach loves to have on his team because he possesses a tool that cannot be taught, game-changing speed. How quickly he adapts to SEC caliber pitching will determine his playing time."
36 Will LaMarche, RHP,
R-R, 6-3, 220, Jr., JC,
Pleasanton, Calif. (Chabot College)
Selected in 18th round of 2012 MLB Draft by the Minnesota Twins
Worked 19 innings in 11 relief appearances this spring at Chabot CC as he worked his way back from Tommy John surgery
Has maintained a 4.0 GPA while 30 credit hours at Chabot CC
Head Coach Paul Mainieri on LaMarche:
"Will is a hard throwing right-hander out of Chabot Community College in California whose fastball routinely sits in the mid-90s and has topped out at 97 this summer. He attended Long Beach State out of high school and then had Tommy John surgery after his freshman year. He then transferred to Chabot CC for this past year, which is where recruited him from. In addition to a mid-90s fastball, Will also has very hard and sharp breaking ball that he can use as a strikeout pitch. We are extremely excited about the progress that LaMarche will make this season under pitching Coach Alan Dunn."
41 Jamie McClure, RHP,
R-R, 6-2, 180, Jr., JC,
Baton Rouge, La. (Catholic HS/Panola JC)
2012 1st Team All-Conference Region 14 East at Panola JC
Fastball clocked at 92 mph with potential to reach 94 mph
Head Coach Paul Mainieri on McClure:
"Jaime is a local product of Catholic High School in Baton Rouge but has attended Panola Junior College in Texas the last couple of years. He has fought through some injuries in his career and is now ready to blossom into the pitcher many believed he would become. We have had good fortune with previous Catholic High grads. Hopefully, Jaime is the next in line to help the Tigers. He has a live arm and is a tremendous competitor. I am excited to see how he can contribute to our squad in 2013."
7 Sean McMullen, OF,
L-L, 5-8, 175, Jr., JC,
Metairie, La. (Brother Martin HS/Delgado Community College)
2012 - Hit .452 with 21 doubles, 9 triples, 5 HRs and 37 RBI
2012 All Conference Team
2012 All Div. I Region 23 Team
2012 All-American Honorable Mention
2012 NJCAA Award for Superior Academic Achievement
Head Coach Paul Mainieri on McMullen:
"Sean is another left-handed hitting outfielder who comes to us from Delgado CC in New Orleans. Sean also possesses outstanding foot speed; he is an advanced hitter at this point and has a lot of pop in his bat for his size. Sean hit .452 with 21 doubles, 9 triples, and 5 homeruns last year at Delgado; and was a 2nd team JUCO All-America. We are expecting Sean to come in and be a big offensive contributor right away."
55 Hunter Newman, RHP,
R-R, 6-4, 180, Fr., HS,
Bloomingdale, Ga. (Calvary Baptist School)
2012 - Posted a 6-2 record with a 1.51 ERA and 114 Ks in 73.2 innings; hit .482, 20 doubles, 6 HRs and 60 RBI
2011 & 2012 - 14-4 with 125.2 IP, 1.77 ERA, 188K and .160 Opposing Average
2011 Savannah Morning News Player of the Year
GHSA All-Region 3-A East for two consecutive years
2011 Perfect Game Underclass Honorable Mention
Head Coach Paul Mainieri on Newman:
"Hunter is a tall, slender, right-handed pitcher who we were able to recruit out of the great baseball state of Georgia. Hunter has a very fluid delivery and loose arm action that will enable him to increase his arm speed and velocity in his time at LSU. He already has a fastball that sits 89-91 mph and locates it well in the zone. We are excited about Hunter working with Alan Dunn to sharpen up his off-speed pitches and make him into a possible weekend starter down the road."
45 Russell Reynolds, RHP,
R-R, 6-3, 175, Fr., HS,
Baton Rouge, La. (Parkview Baptist HS)
2012 Under Armour All-American
2012 1st Team All-State Outfield
2012 - 8-2 with 44 IP, 88 K, 1.90 ERA
2012 - Hit .370, 2 HRs, 30 RBI
2012 1st Team All-District Pitcher; 2012 1st Team All-District Outfield
2012 District MVP; 2012 1st Team All-Metro Pitcher
Head Coach Paul Mainieri on Reynolds:
"Russell is an athletic right-hander from right here in our own backyard and had a great career Parkview Baptist in Baton Rouge. Russell has been committed to us for two years now and we are very excited to finally have him on campus. He features a low 90's fastball and a hard, wipeout slider that he uses to get a lot of strikeouts. Russell is another guy that has a lot of potential and we cannot wait to see how he develops under Alan Dunn."
29 Chase Rivett, OF,
R-R, 5-10, 175, Fr., HS,
Gonzales, La. (East Ascension HS)
2011 Perfect Game Underclass All-American
Head Coach Paul Mainieri on Rivett:
"Chase is a physical, right-handed hitting outfielder from an area that has a rich LSU history in Gonzales, La. He attended the same school as former Tiger great Buzzy Haydel, East Ascension High School. He is also an above average runner who will add to our team speed this year. Chase has big time power and will need to demonstrate it against the caliber of pitching he will see at this level."
27 Mitchell Sewald, RHP,
R-R, 6-5, 180, Fr., HS,
Mandeville, La. (Rummel HS)
2012 - 5-1 with 64 IP, 88 K, 0.98 ERA, and .120 opponent batting average
Fired a perfect game in 2012 season opener vs. West Ouachita HS
2012 1st Team All State
2012 1st Team All District
2012 1st Team All New Orleans Metro
Head Coach Paul Mainieri on Sewald:
"Mitchell is a 6'5 right-handed pitcher who comes to us from Rummel High School in Metairie. He is the classic case of a guy whose body is continuing to mature as he came onto the recruiting scene relatively late. In just one year's time, Mitchell went from throwing 83-85 mph as a junior in high school to throwing 90-94 mph as a senior this past year. He also features a 12-6 breaking ball which he can locate in the zone and drop in for a strike whenever he wants. Mitchell has a very high ceiling as a pitcher and we are ecstatic to see him fulfill his potential at LSU."
6 Andrew Stevenson, OF
L-L, 6-0, 170, Fr., HS
Youngsville, La. (St. Thomas More HS)
2012 1st Team All-State
2012 - Hit .546, 11 doubles, 5 triples, 1 HR and 20 RBI
2012 1st Team All-District (Class 5-4A); 2012 All-District MVP
2012 1st Team All-Acadiana; 2012 All-Acadiana MVP
2012 Louisville Slugger - High School All-American; 2012 Baseball America - 3rd Team All American
2011 - Hit .460, 7 doubles, 3 triples, 3 HR's, 22 RBI and 34 R's
Head Coach Paul Mainieri on Stevenson:
"Like Laird, Andrew is another speedy, left-handed, in-state outfielder from St. Thomas More High School in Lafayette. He is a very hard-nosed player who hustles everywhere and plays the game with great intensity and passion. With the ability to line the ball in the gaps once in a while, Stevenson will be another guy we will want to handle the bat well from the left side, put the ball on the ground, and use his speed to create consistent offense. He brings to our team qualities that we needed very much...great outfield speed/defense, a left-handed bat, ability to bunt for hits, and speed on the bases. He was named 3rd team All-America by Baseball America magazine."