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2018 Baseball Signees

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This is a GREAT class. Watch for big some news, on Wed, Sept 12th!

In this class there are 8 rhp's and 1 lhp. Seven of these pitchers are listed as 6'4" or 6'5".  

Three of the signees are listed as catcher. Two are listed solely as C, the third played 1B, OF, and C. As a side note I know which one I want to watch.  Saul Garza, from Edinburg, Texas, says one of his favorite things to do at home is go out and shoot rattlesnakes. This is my kind of young man!

Player to watch that was recruited as a power hitter is Cade Beloso, out of John Curtis HS. Played on the JCHS state championship team, and was the Louisiana Player of the Year.  Bats left handed. 

Drew Bianco is in this group of signees. Yes, that Bianco. Was the Mississippi Player of the year in Class 5A.


A lot more but I am short on time tonight. In the next few days, after the big news breaks, I will try to give a bit of a run down on each of the players in this class. Just wanted to hit a few of the highlights. But there are many.


Like I said, this is a great class! I think they are going to be fun to watch.


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That's the news! The coaches new it was official, but that the news was not going to be released until today.

I was watching for it to hit, then got buried in work and missed the announcement.





BATON ROUGE, La. – LSU is No. 1 in the 2018 Baseball America magazine recruiting ranking released on Wednesday, marking the Tigers’ fourth No. 1 designation since 2007.

LSU has now finished in the Top 5 of a recruiting poll seven times in the past 12 seasons, and the Tigers are in the Top 10 for the 11th time in the past 12 years.

The Tigers have finished No. 1 in the recruiting ranking in 2007, 2010, 2014 and 2018; No. 3 in 2009; No. 4 in 2012; No. 5 in 2017; No. 7 in 2011, 2015 and 2016; and No. 10 in 2013.

The 16-man recruiting class is composed of nine pitchers and seven position players, and it contains seven players that have been chosen in an MLB Draft – outfielder Giovanni DiGiacomo, catcher Saul Garza, left-handed pitcher Easton McMurray, right-handed pitcher Landon Marceaux, right-handed pitcher Cole Henry, right-handed pitcher Jaden Hill and catcher/outfielder CJ Willis.

LSU led all schools with eight recruits listed on the 2018 Baseball America Top 500, which is made up of all draft-eligible players.

“Our recruiting coordinator, Nolan Cain, and our associate head coach, Alan Dunn, did a tremendous job in securing the No. 1 class in the nation,” said 13th-year LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “Several members of the class could have signed pro contracts, but they wanted to come to LSU. They didn’t want to give up on the college experience and the opportunity to be a part of the LSU baseball program. I know that these decisions will work out best for them, because I know what’s in store for them as LSU student-athletes.

“We have very high standards here, so it’s going to be very challenging for the new players. It’s going to be very competitive, but it’s going to make them all better as players. We are extremely excited about this class and the immediate impact the players can make upon our program.”

The new Tigers have engaged in conditioning drills and individual workouts with the returning LSU players since late August, and the team will hold its first full-squad workout of the fall practice session on Sunday, September 23.

A new NCAA rule allows the Tigers to play two exhibition games this fall against another school. LSU will play a two-game exhibition series against the University of New Orleans – Game 1 will be on Sunday, October 14, at 3 p.m. CT in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field, and Game 2 will be on Saturday, October 27, at 1 p.m. CT at UNO’s Maestri Field.

Fall practice concludes with the intra-squad Purple-Gold World Series November 1-4, and the 2019 season opens on February 15 when the Tigers play host to Louisiana-Monroe in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.

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John Curtis HS

6-0, 220

4 year letterman, played on JCHS back to back state championship teams. 2018 All State MVP, Louisiana's Mr. Baseball and Player of the Year. Left handed throwing and batting. Power hitter. (Lettered in football at JC, playing outside linebacker.) Played in the Great Lakes Collegiate League, where through July 18, he was batting .327. 



#5, Drew Bianco, Inf

Oxford HS (Oxford, MS)

6-0 200

 Four time all-state player, and led his team to two state championsihps.  Player of the Year for 2018 in Mississippin Class 5A. (Also graduated with honors. Batted .409 in 2018. Played summer ball with the Danville (IL) Dans.




#29, Chase Costello, RHP

Pompano Beach HS (Pompano Beach, FL)

6-4, 210

Ranked the #62 RHP prospect in the nation, and #13 PHP in the state of Florida. A Rawlings Perfect Game 1st Team All American in the state of Florida. Recorded 46 strikeouts in 37 innings as a Sr, with a 2.27 ERA. Also batted .324 in 2018. Pitched back to back district title wins in 2017 and 2016. Son of Vincent Costello, who played outfielder for LSU in '84 and '85.




#7 Giovani DiGiacomo, OF

Canterbury HS (Naples, FL)

6-1 185

Selected in the 29th round MLB draft by Pittsburgh Pirates. Played summer ball for the Baithersburg (MD) Giants in the Cal Ripken Collegiate League. Batted .378 as a Sr in HS. Was on the Canterbury HS state championship teams for 2017 and 2018. Also played fb and ran track in HS.





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#6, Gavin Dugas, INF

Houma Christian HS 

5-10, 195

First team all-state in 2018. Four time all-district. Batted .452 his Sr year. Played summer ball for the Danville Dans in a summer collegiate league, where through July 18, was batting .342. According to CPM, has the ability to step in right away and make a difference.




#44, Jaden Hill, RHP

Ashdown HS (Ashdown, AR)

6-4, 215

Selected in the 38th round of the 2018 MLB draft the the St Louis Cardinals. Rated #1 player in Arkansas by Perfect Game and Prep Baseball Report.2018 Arkansas Player of the year, and 2017 All-America Recognition. In 2018 had a 7-0 record with a 0.51 ERA. Also batted .540 as a Sr in HS.  Coach Dunn says Jaden is probably the most versatile athlete in the 2018 class. Has a mid-90's fastball and an excellent chageup. His maturity on the mound should help him make a quick transition to college ball.


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20 minutes ago, La Tigresse said:


#5, Drew Bianco, Inf

Oxford HS (Oxford, MS)

6-0 200

 Four time all-state player, and led his team to two state championsihps.  Player of the Year for 2018 in Mississippin Class 5A. (Also graduated with honors. Batted .409 in 2018. Played summer ball with the Danville (IL) Dans.


I love this part 

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7 minutes ago, Fishhead said:

I love this part 

That is good for a chuckle. I will say, props to the Bianco family for letting this young man decide for himself, even though it meant elsewhere.

Side note, that is an even better laugh: Cole Henry (from Florence, AL) was asked why LSU and not 'Bama. His reply... "have you seen them play baseball?"  ?

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#13, Saul Garza, C

Edinburgh North HS/Howard JC (Edinburg, TX)

6-3, 225

Selected in the 31st round of the 2017 MLB draft by the St Louis Cardinals.  Batted .378 in 2018 at Howard Jr College, and was selected to the NJCAA Div I All-Region Team. Played summer ball in the Cal Ripken Collegiate League at the Gaithersburg Giants, where through July 18 he was hitting .282. Four year starter in HS where during his Sr year was selected as a member of the National team by the National High School Coaches Assn for Region 6. Three time All-State catcher in Texas, twice to the first team. 2017 District MVP and All-Area Offensive MVP while batting .530. According to CPM, Garza will be a force behind, and at, the plate. Very intelligent and mature with the ability to assert himself as a leader on the LSU team. 

Side note: first name not pronounced sahl, but sah-oohl.




#32, Aaron George, RHP

Ouachita Christian HS/San Jacinto College (Calhoun, LA)

6-5, 235

Fifty-three appearance on the mound in two seasons at San Jacinto, with a 3-1 record and 12 saves, and a 1.69 ERA. Ranked in Perfect Game's 2018 JUCO top 75 Prospect List. Pitched in the NJCAA Div I World series, where his team finished 2nd in 2017, and third in 2018. Four year starter at Oachita Christian with a 32-10 record and a 2.36 ERA. Three time All-State, Four time All-District. 2015 Louisiana Coaches Assn Pitcher of the Year. Helped lead his HS to the 2015 State Championship. Has a fastball in the low-90's. Experience at the college level will allow him to come in and immediately be a vital part of the bullpen.




#46, Rye Gunter, RHP

Coppell HS (Coppell, TX)

6-5, 210

Posted a 9-0 record as a Sr in 2018 with a 1.55 ERA. Voted a 2018 Texas HS Baseball Preseason 6A Top 50 Player. 2018 Texas All-State honors. Threw both a perfect game and a no-hitter in 2017. Mid-90's fastball, tight slider, and a good changeup. Should be able to compete as a starter.


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#18, Cole Henry, RHP

Florence HS (Florence, AL)

6-4, 205

Selected in 38th round of the 2018 MLB draft by the Detroit Tigers. A 2018 Perfect Game 2nd Team All-American. Ranked as the #79 player in the nation by Perfect Game. Posted a 5-3 record and a 1.82 ERA in 2018. Per Coach Dunn: Cole has a three-pitch mix of a mid-90's fastball, a hard 12-6 curveball, and a late fading changeup. His phisical attributes, combined with and advanced knowledge of pitching, will allow him to make a quick adjustment to the college came and be a pitcher that will be counted on the make an immediate impact. "The sky is the limit for Cole as I believe he will turn into a premier power pitcher in our league."




#11, Landon Marceaux, RHP

Destrehan HS (Destrehan, LA)

6-0, 185

Selected in the 37th round of the 2018 MLB draft by the New York Yankees. Listed as the #1 Player in Louisiana in the 2018 HS class by Perfect Game and by Prep Baseball Report. Listed as #50 overall, and #18 pitcher, by Perfect Game. Listed as #109 MLB prospect in 2018 by Baseball America. Three time selection to the NOLA.com All-Metro baseball team. 2018 BBA All-America recognition. Recorded 76 strikeouts and 5 walks in 49.2 innings in 2018 with a 5-0 record and a 1.26 ERA. Per Coach Dunn: landon is potentiallly the most polished pitcher in the class of 2018. He also competed on a very high level as he pitched for 18U USA Baseball, helping them win the World Cup during his Sr year in HS. He should transition very quickly and be in the mix to compete in the SEC as a freshman.

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#22, Brock Mathis, C

Fairfield HS/Northwest Florida State (Fairfield, OH)

Played this summer in the Northwoods Collegiate League. Batted .270 in the 2018 season at Northwest Florida State. In 2017 ranked as the #1 catcher in Ohio by perfect Game, and #4 overall prospect in the state. Voted 2017 and 2017 high school team MVP and Best Defensive player. 2016 Cincinnati Reds Showcase MVP award winner. According to CPM, Brock has the chance to have great impact on the 2019 Tiger team because of the postion he plays. He as all the tools to be a great leader on the team. Will compete for the starting job behind the plate hafter having his only JUCO season cut short due to a hand injury. Before his injury was swinging the bat with a lot of authority. 




#55, Easton McMurray, LHP

Liberty HS (Bakersfield, CA)

6-4, 210

Selected in the 37th round of the 2018 MLB draft the the Colorado Rockies. Earned All-America recognition in 2017 and 2018 by Rawlings-Perfect Game. Rated by Perfect Game as the #161 overall prospect and the #3 LHP in California. in 2017 posated a 6-1 record at Liverty HS with an ERA of 0.52. Son of Brock McMurray who played at SELU and spent 5 years as an outfielder in the Dodgers organization. According to Coach Dunn, Easton is very physically developed with a high-80's to low-90's fastball, slider, and changeup. He has a great work ethic and deameanor that will allow him to compete very quickly. He had limited innings in his Sr year in HS due to some nagging arm issues, however he is poised to get back on the mound in the fall to develop and reach the potential that the coaching staff believe he possesses.



#20, Will Ripoll, RHP

John Curtis HS

6-0, 185

In 2018 posted a 10-0 record and a 0.98 ERA. Was named the LHSAA Div I MVP and Pitcher of the Year in 2018. Voted the 2018 Perfect Game Louisiana Player of the Year. Ranked the #4 overall prospect in Louisiana by Perfect Game (and the #2 pitcher); ranked #114 prospect nationally. Ranked #183 in the Baseball America Top 500 Prospects. Per Coach Dunn: Will is a versatile athlete who was a two-way playter that helped lead his team to a state championship in his Sr year. On the mound, has an aggressive demeanor in which he attacks the zone with a high 80's fastball and a wipeout 12-to-6 curveball. He has the opportunity to compete for innings from the bullpen very quickly.

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#40, Riggs Threadgill, RHP

Fredericksburg HS (Fredericksburg, TX)

6-4, 215

2018 All-America recognition from Perfect Game. An 11-2 record as a Sr in HS in 2018 with a 1.82 ERA. Also batted.374 in 2018. Selected in 2018 for the Texas High School Coaches Assn All-Star Game. Named 2018 district MVP. Earned all-state honors as an outfielder in 2017. According to Coach Dunn, Riggs is a well-built power pitcher that uses his strong lower half to generat a low to mid-90's fastball. The continued development of his secondary pitches will allow him to excell either as a starting pitcher, or potentially into a bullpen arm that can come in to close out games.




#23 CJ Willis, 1B/OF/C

Ruston HS (Ruston, LA)

6-2, 190

Selected in the 39th round of the MLB draft the Tampa Bay. Rated #60 amont the nation's top players by Perfect Game. Voted 2018 Team MVP his Sr year, and batted .375. Earned All-America, All-State, and All-District honors during his HS career. A two-time Region Player of the Year, and a four time first team All-Region selection.  Per CPM: Unfortunately, CJ will begin this fall on the disabled list as the result of an injury he received as a Sr in HS. However, once he heals and is ready to go, everyone will be able to see an extremely talented and versatile baseball player. CJ can really swing the bat from the left side. The ball jumps off his bat, and he can be an impact hitter. He is in the development stages as a catcher, but has the potential to be a very althletic player behind the plate. He can also play both corner infield positions, as well as both corner outfield positons. At some point, his bat will force him into the lineup somewhere. Have to be patient and let him heal, and get a good look at him in the spring.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Another ranking of #1, this by Collegiate Baseball:


TUCSON, Ariz. — LSU landed the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation, according to Collegiate Baseball’s 2018 evaluation of NCAA Division I baseball classes.

It marks the Tigers’ fifth national recruiting title after also landing top classes in 2014, 2010, 2007 and 2004 by Collegiate Baseball. This is the ninth time in the last 10 years that a Southeastern Conference team has won the recruiting championship.

The Tigers landed an impressive haul of 16 newcomers that features seven drafted players. Six were drafted last June while another was chosen in the 2017 MLB Draft.

The players include: 
• RHP Landon Marceaux (Destrehan H.S., LA), 37th round Yankees
• RHP Cole Henry (Florence H.S., AL), 38th round Detroit
• C C.J.Willis (Ruston H.S., LA), 39th round Tampa Bay
• RHP Jaden Hill (Ashdown H.S., AR), 38th round St. Louis
• OF Giovanni DiGiacomo (Canterbury H.S., Naples, FL), 29th Pittsburgh
• LHP Easton McMurray (Liberty H.S., Bakersfield, CA), 37th round Colorado
• C Saul Garza (Howard J.C., TX), 31st round in 2017 St. Louis

Other superb members of this class include:
• 1B Cade Beloso (John Curtis H.S., New Orleans, LA), Gatorade Player of The Year in Louisiana.
• INF Drew Bianco (Oxford H.S.,MS), 5A Player of The Year in Mississippi.
• RHP Chase Costello (Pompano Beach H.S., FL), H.S. All-American.
• INF Gavin Dugas (Houma Christian H.S., LA), H.S. All-American.
• RHP Aaron George (San Jacinto J.C., TX), All-Conference.
• RHP Will Ripoll (John Curtis H.S., New Orleans, LA), H.S. All-American.

"This is a great class," said LSU assistant coach Nolan Cain. "We could not be more excited with the way the draft worked out and with the players we have coming in.

"We had quite a few draft risks in this class and were very excited with the outcome of only two signing (Brice Turang 1st round and Levi Kelly 8th round). We were able to land three catchers in this class, which was a very important position in our program to upgrade and improve. We landed nine high-level arms. Out of the top three, we were hoping to get one, and we got all three."


Fore the rest of the story:



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