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2018 LSU Baseball Preview


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It's that time of year again for Tiger fans!  LSU Baseball 2019 is upon us!  There have been scrimmages, practices, Fan Fests, etc, but very soon, it'll be time to LITERALLY "Play Ball" in Alex Box Stadiium!

The expectations are lofty for the Tigers, even more so than usual as of late.  The Tigers are pre-season #1-2 depending on which publication you choose to follow.  

USA Today, Collegiate Baseball, and Perfect Game #1 to start the season.  Nobody will get caught sleeping on the Tigers. 

LSU returns key players such as P Zack Hess, OF Zach Watson,  OF Antoine Duplantis, and OF Daniel Cabrera.  But perhaps even more importantly, LSU was able to keep a vast majority of its incredible recruiting class with impact players such as Gavin Dugas, Saul Garza, Gio DiGiacomo, Cade Beloso, and Drew Bianco (son of Ole goldenshower HC Mike Bianco).  

Obviously the OF is stacked with returning talent.  The infield, however, could look a lot different.  

As we look back to last season, Josh Smith started at SS and was injured early on.  He's back and will be a part of the left side of the infield.  SS?  I dunno. Maybe 3rd?  Guys like Brandt Broussard and Hal Hughes may have to play different roles this season, but will likely get first look at 2nd/SS if Smith plays 3rd.  Although both played well in the field last season, neither lit the world on fire at the plate.  This year's version of the Tigers has a different feel heading into the season. 

Looking at the roster, Cade Beloso is the only name with "1B" next to it.  However,  guys like Drew Bianco and Gavin Dugas may be too good offensively to keep out of the lineup this season and either could see action at 1st.  Brock Mathis is likely your catcher, but Saul Garza will either DH or play some catcher as well. 

Perusing the stats from recent scrimmages revealed a pleasant surprise.  Trackman exits speeds from a couple of scrimmages include numbers like this...

105.3 mph
101.1 mph
104.2 mph

from names like this...

Drew Bianco
Cade Beloso
Gavin Dugas

New guys with POP! 

I believe CPM is again changing the philosophy offensively after watching the evolution of power with the new balls and sees an opportunity to go farther in Omaha using power.  Remember it wasn't long ago with the advent of BBCorp bats CPM decided to go small with regards to recruiting, but that experiment appears to be over.  Will be interesting to watch for sure going forward.


Then regarding pitching, obviously Zack Hess coming back is huge.  He's a legit Friday night ace in a league full of great pitching.  Eric Walker , Ma'Khael Hilliard, and Todd Peterson all back as well.  Walker missed all of last season, and Hilliard was injured at the end of the season.  Todd Peterson is most famous for "I hit bombs, coach".  That said, Peterson's numbers from scrimmages are incredible. 

Aside from these veterans, though, are the guys with another year in the system or brand new to the program that most fans know little about. 

In the most recent scrimmage, here's some pitching numbers.  Get to know Landon Marceaux, but check out Devin Fontenot's strikeout per IP ratio!

Landon Marceaux 3.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 K's

Aaron George 2.2 IP 0 H, 0 R

Rye Gunter 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R

Devin Fontenot 1.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 K's

K Lady may just have her hands full this year and require an assistant!

As good as Hilliard was last year for the Tigers (that hook!!), I honestly don't see a weekend starter this year with him.  Assuming his injury is fully healed, which is still a question, I see him in more of a middle reliever role this year. 

EARLY weekend rotation guess and batting order prediction:

Zack Hess IS the Friday night starter.  I guarantee that much. 

Landon Marceaux will probably be the Saturday night guy, with Eric Walker taking Sundays again.  CPM has alluded to this as well.

Lineup prediction: 

1) Antoine Duplantis (this isn't prediction, this is fact)
2) Josh Smith (lefty behind Duplantis will help Twannie's base stealing)
3) Saul Garza (BIG bat)
4) Daniel Cabrera (per CPM, Garza could bat cleanup but you don't want 3 lefties in a row)
5) Zach Watson
6) Beloso, Bianco, Dugas...whomever is manning 1st base, I guess
7) Mathis if he's behind the plate, could bat higher but CPM knows he'll be tired late in games, so lower in the lineup for him

Again, not sure how long those guys remain in the lineup, but to start the season, this is my prediction. 

So who's ready??











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  • Fishhead pinned, unlocked and featured this topic

Damn fine assessment, young man.

Magic will be in the air...Spring nights with a hint of Summer's heat lingering later and later in the evening...the smell of hot dog and peanuts of the tykes sitting in front of you with their eyes aglow for errant pop flys heading their way...the old timer with hair growing out his ears clutching his clipboard and copiously grabbing any stats he can...and the "POP" when a fastball stops on arrival in the catcher's mitt.

Who isn't ready?

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