LSU coach Paul Mainieri formally welcomes 12 new players to baseball squad: 2015 schedule released

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Monday, July 21, 2014 - 11:36am

Coach Paul Mainieri announced on Monday LSU’s incoming signing class, rated the No. 1 class in the nation by Perfect Game. Eight of the 12 new players enrolled at LSU last month, and the remaining four will join the Tigers in August.

“This is as good a class put together as is possible under the current NCAA rules governing roster sizes, scholarships, etc.,” Mainieri said. “We sort of gambled and went after some really talented players that we knew would be draft risks who would possibly not ever make it to campus. However, in the months since they all signed with us last November, in the conversations we had with them and the actions they were displaying, I could start to sense this was a different group in that they would openly express their desire to be here, be a part of LSU, and understood the significance of being an LSU baseball player. And that’s what you dream of as a coach and what you want in the players’ attitudes as they join your team.”

Perfect Game rates LSU’s class No. 1, followed by Arkansas, Miami (Fla.), Florida, South Carolina, UCLA, Virginia, Oregon State, North Carolina and Florida International. The class includes seven pitchers and five position players, and five of the new Tigers were selected in the 2014 MLB Draft.

“First of all, our top priority was we needed to add to our pitching staff some power arms that we thought could really make a difference,” Mainieri said, “and I feel we accomplished that goal as well as we could possibly have dreamed of doing. We’ve got a few guys that have the potential to be the next Kevin Gausman or Aaron Nola for us. Secondly, we needed to fill the voids created from losing some very good everyday players from the last two years. I couldn’t be happier than having these five position players join our group of athletes.”

The class was assembled by former recruiting coordinator Javi Sanchez, who departed LSU earlier this month to begin a career in business.

“What a tremendous parting gift Javi Sanchez left for the LSU Baseball program by orchestrating this class, which I truly believe may be the best in the country,” Mainieri said.

The Tigers begin fall semester classes on August 25 and will engage in conditioning drills and individual workouts. LSU begins its six-week, full-squad fall practice session on Monday, October 6. The 2015 season starts on February 13 when the Tigers play host to Kansas in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.

2014 LSU Baseball Signees

No. Name Pos. B-T Ht. Wt. Cl. Exp. Hometown (High School/Previous School)
18 Austin Bain P/INF R-R 6-2 200 Fr. HS Geismar, La. (Dutchtown HS)
10 Grayson Byrd INF L-R 6-3 185 Fr. HS Milton, Ga. (King’s Ridge Christian HS)
7 Greg Deichmann INF L-R 6-2 190 Fr. HS Metairie, La. (Brother Martin HS)
29 Jake Godfrey RHP R-R 6-3 215 Fr. HS New Lenox, Ill. (Providence Catholic HS)
24 Beau Jordan OF R-R 5-10 195 Fr. HS Lake Charles, La. (Barbe HS)
25 Bryce Jordan C/INF R-R 5-10 195 Fr. HS Lake Charles, La. (Barbe HS)
35 Alex Lange RHP R-R 6-3 205 Fr. HS Lee’s Summit, Mo. (Lee’s Summit West HS)
67 Jake Latz LHP R-L 6-2 185 Fr. HS Lemont, Ill. (Lemont HS)
14 Mac Marshall LHP R-L 6-2 185 Fr. HS Lilburn, Ga. (Parkview HS)
21 Doug Norman RHP R-R 6-3 178 Fr. HS Fort Mill, S.C. (Ardrey Kell HS)
2 Mike Papierski C S-R 6-3 205 Fr. HS Lemont, Ill. (Lemont HS)
30 Collin Strall RHP R-R 5-10 170 So. JC Suwanee, Ga. (South Forsyth HS/Tallahassee CC)

LSU Signees Selected in 2014 MLB Draft
3rd rd. (97), Bobby Bradley, 1B, Cleveland Indians (signed with Indians)
11th rd. (324), Jake Latz, LHP, Toronto Blue Jays (enrolled at LSU)
16th rd. (474), Mike Papierski, C, Toronto Blue Jays (enrolled at LSU)
21st rd. (616), Mac Marshall, LHP, Houston Astros (enrolled at LSU)
21st rd. (643), Jake Godfrey, RHP, Atlanta Braves (enrolled at LSU)
39th rd. (1183), Grayson Byrd, SS, Atlanta Braves (enrolled at LSU)

18
Austin Bain, RHP/INF
6-2, 200, R-R, Fr., HS
Geismar, La. (Dutchtown HS)

• 2014 1st team All-District utility player
• 2014 All-District MVP
• 2014 All-Baton Rouge postseason pitcher of the year
• 2014 All-State honorable mention
• Batted .374 in 2014 with 11 doubles, five triples, three homers and 39 RBI; posted a 2.85 ERA on the mound with 64 strikeouts in 46.2 innings
• 2014 1st Team All-Metro utility player
• 2013 1st team All-District utility player
• 2013 1st team All-Metro utility player
Paul Mainieri on Austin Bain:
“Austin is a product of Dutchtown High School from right down the road in Geismar, La. He is the lone two-way player in the 2014 class. We believe he can make an immediate impact on our pitching staff with his stuff. Austin’s fastball consistently sits in the 90 mph range, and he features a plus breaking ball that he commands. He is a fiery competitor who will fill up the zone and go right after hitters. He will also have the opportunity to compete for a spot in the lineup as he is a good athlete that can swing the bat with authority. ”

10
Grayson Byrd, INF
6-3, 185, L-R, Fr., HS
Milton, Ga. (King’s Ridge Christian HS)

• Son of former LSU and Major League pitcher Paul Byrd
• Atlanta Braves 39th round selection in the 2014 MLB Draft
• Named the Georgia High School Association Region 6A Player of the Year
• As a senior, led team to a 26-4 record, capturing the Class A State Championship
• North Fulton Student Athlete of the Month for May recognized for mission trips and charity work as well as his academic and athletic success
• Perfect Game 2014 Southeast Region 1st Team honors
• Hit .480 as a senior
• As a junior hit .570 and was named Team MVP
• Selected to Team USA Developmental Program for 17U players coached by former LSU great Ben McDonald

Paul Mainieri on Grayson Byrd:
“Grayson comes from strong baseball bloodlines as his father, Paul Byrd, is a former LSU Tiger great and 14-year MLB veteran. He was drafted in the 39th round of this year’s MLB Draft and would definitely have been drafted in the top 10 rounds if his commitment to LSU wasn’t so strong. He is a smooth defender who can make all the plays and throws in the infield. Offensively, he possesses an excellent approach at the play with outstanding strike zone discipline and ability to drive balls gap-to-gap from the left side of the plate. His 6’3” frame gives us the hope that he can continue to develop more strength, which could add more power down the road. We are extremely excited about Grayson, and we believe he can be a major contributor to our program.”

7
Greg Deichmann, INF
6-2, 190, L-R, Fr., HS
Metairie, La. (Brother Martin HS)

• 2014 Louisville Slugger, Under Armour and Rawlings All-American
• Three-time All-State, All-Metro and All-District player
• 2014 Metro Player of the Year
• 2014 New Orleans Advocate Baseball Athlete of the Year and Times-Picayune Player of the Year
• Brother Martin High School Career Home Run Leader with 29 HRs
• Max Preps - Baseball Recruiting Top 100 Baseball Seniors - Class of 2014
• Rated among Baseball America’s Top 500 Prospects
• Brother Martin Crimson Shield Leadership Award winner
Paul Mainieri on Greg Deichmann:
“Greg comes to us from Brother Martin High School in New Orleans. As a high school player entering college, Greg is as close as it gets to the proverbial “five-tool player.” Greg went undrafted for the sole reason that he announced to every MLB team that he did not want to be drafted and wanted to attend LSU. Greg’s ceiling is extremely high and he possesses all of the physical attributes to become a great ballplayer. His biggest tool is his power, as indicated by leading the state of Louisiana in home runs for three straight years. Greg will have the opportunity to help our ball club and will compete for significant playing time immediately.”

29
Jake Godfrey, RHP
6-3, 215, R-R, Fr., HS
New Lenox, Ill. (Providence Catholic HS)

• Atlanta Braves 21st round selection in the 2014 MLB Draft
• 2014 1st Team All-American - Perfect Game
• Pitched his Providence Catholic HS team to the 2014 Illinois State Class 4A Championship
• MVP 2014 Class 4A State Championship Game
• 2014 All Conference in the Chicago Catholic League Blue
• 2014 Central Region 1st team - Perfect Game
• Ranked #1 RHP in the Midwest by Prep Baseball Report
• Won Perfect Game World Series with Evo-Shield Canes – Peoria, Ariz.
Paul Mainieri on Jake Godfrey:
“Jake Godfrey was drafted in the 21st round by the Atlanta Braves and is one of those rare power arms that you don’t always get at the college level. He works a low 90s fastball that gets up to 94 mph on a regular basis. At 6’3”, 215 pounds, he is a physical presence on the mound and has that durable frame that can withhold a strong workload. Jake is one of our three Chicago area signees, and he led his Providence Catholic High School team to the Illinois 4A State Championship this past year. Jake has an opportunity to make a big difference for us on the mound and with the influence of Alan Dunn he could join the list of the great LSU pitchers during his tenure.”

24
Beau Jordan, OF
5-10, 195, R-R, Fr. HS
Lake Charles, La. (Barbe HS)

• 2014 Baseball America 3rd Team All-American
• 2014 Louisville Slugger All-American
• 2014 Baseball America All-American
• 2013 and 2014 All-State
• Helped lead Barbe HS to 2014 State Championship while being named state tournament MVP
• Batted .398 in 2014 with 57 Hits, 58 Runs, 12 Doubles, 12 Home Runs, 43 RBI and 37 SB
• 2012, 2013, 2014 All-Southwest selection
• 2012, 2013, 2014 All-District selection

Paul Mainieri on Beau Jordan:
“Beau, and his twin brother Bryce, are from Lake Charles, La. and the rich winning tradition of Barbe High School. As the starting leftfielder, Beau won state championships both in his sophomore and senior seasons. He plays a winning brand of baseball and will impact our lineup because he presents an ability to be a difference-maker in different ways. His greatest attribute is his offensive talent and knack for making things happen - reaching base safely and driving in runs. He has an aggressive approach with a compact swing that also exhibits extension through the zone which allows him to drive the ball. Simply put, he is an advanced hitter and baserunner.”

25
Bryce Jordan, C/INF
5-10, 195, R-R, Fr., HS
Lake Charles, La. (Barbe HS)

• 2014 Louisville Slugger All-American
• Two-time Class 5A All-State selection
• Three-time All-District selection
• Helped lead Barbe HS to state titles in 2012 and 2014
• Barbe HS was voted 2014 High School National Champions by Max Preps, Baseball America, Perfect Game and Collegiate Baseball
• Batted .442 in 2014 with a .640 on-base percentage, 50 Hits, 37 Runs, 10 Doubles, 4 Home Runs, 29 RBI, 35 HBP and 21 SB
• 2012 State Championship MVP
• Set high school national record in a career and season (35) for most times hit by pitch

Paul Mainieri on Bryce Jordan:
“Bryce is the twin brother of Beau. Although they are hard to tell apart, their qualities as players are distinct. Bryce spent this, his senior season, as the starting catcher for Barbe High School. His defensive skills, in particular behind the plate, drastically improved throughout his high school career. Bryce encompasses versatility, having played in meaningful games at third base and first base. He is an on-base machine. I don’t think I’ve ever recruited a kid that is more determined to get on base, having set records in high school for getting hit by pitches. He has consistently squared up balls his whole high school career and has all the hitting tools you would look for in a player. He and his brother had a lot to do with the state championships they obtained throughout their careers at Barbe.”

35
Alex Lange, RHP
6-3, 205, R-R, Fr., HS
Lee’s Summit, Mo. (Lee’s Summit West HS)

• 2014 Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year
• 2014 Perfect Game All-American
• 12-0 record and a 0.82 ERA in 2014 while collecting 114 strikeouts in 68.1 innings pitched
• Five-Time All-State selection
• Maintained a 4.0 GPA in high school
• Participated in 2013 Area Code Baseball Games
• 2013 Under Armour All-America Team

Paul Mainieri on Alex Lange:
“Alex Lange is from the heartland of the country and has a solid power pitcher’s body. He is a tough competitor who possesses a low 90s fastball with good life down in the zone. He already has a power slider that we feel is a legitimate out pitch in the SEC. Alex was another recruit that expressed to professional baseball his strong desire to play for LSU and, therefore, went undrafted. Along with the rest of the pitchers in this class, we feel he is going to pitch some big innings for us in the 2015 season and beyond. Alex has a bright future and has demonstrated the maturity to be a guy we could potentially count on immediately.”

67
Jake Latz, LHP
6-2, 185, R-L, Fr., HS
Lemont, Ill. (Lemont HS)

• Toronto Blue Jays 11th round selection in the 2014 MLB Draft
• Latz was the seventh-highest drafted player that did not sign a pro contract and the third-highest drafted high school player that did not sign
• 2014 Illinois Player of the Year
• Led team to Class 3A State Championship; allowed one unearned run in 7 IP with 11 Ks in state title game
• Career strikeout leader for Lemont HS
• Posted school records of 0.22 ERA and 10 wins in 2014
• IHSBCA All-State and All-Area
• Chicago Sun Times All-State
• Southtown Star Newspaper All-Area and Suburban Life Newspaper All-Area
• SSC Blue All-Conference
• Earned All-State All-Area recognition as a junior in 2013

Paul Mainieri on Jake Latz:
“Jake is a left-handed pitcher that we are tremendously excited to get to campus. He was drafted in the 11th round and was a legitimate risk to losing to pro ball. Jake led his high school team on the mound to the 3A Illinois State Championship, where he threw a three-hitter in the championship game. If that wasn’t enough, he was also named the 2014 Illinois Player of the Year, where he struck out 114 batters in 62.1 innings of work. Jake will work in the 88-92 range with a plus breaking ball that is a big swing-and-miss pitch for him. Needless to say, we are looking for big things from Jake this upcoming spring.”

14
Mac Marshall, LHP
6-2, 185, R-L, Fr., HS
Lilburn, Ga. (Parkview HS)

• Houston Astros 21st round selection in the 2014 MLB Draft
• 2014 Louisville Slugger and Rawlings/AFLAC Perfect Game All-American
• Posted a 9-1 mark in 2014 with a 0.63 ERA, 93 strikeouts and a .110 opponent batting average
• Team USA 18U National Team Gold Medalist
• 2014 Gwinnett County Pitcher of the Year
• All-State 2013 & 2014
• 1st Team All-County 2013
• Helped lead team to State Championships in 2011 and 2012
• Once pitched 44 2/3 consecutive innings without surrendering an earned run
• All Area Code team
Paul Mainieri on Mac Marshall:
“He may be the most highly touted pitching recruit we’ve had since Kevin Gausman. To say we were at high risk of losing him to the draft is an absolute understatement. Mac turned down well over a million dollars in the draft to come to school. We are thrilled to get him to campus. He is a great athlete who repeats his delivery well and has the command of all three of his pitches. I truly believe under the tutelage of Alan Dunn that the sky is the limit for this kid. We have big plans for Mac, and he will certainly help ease the pain of losing our Friday night ace, Aaron Nola.”

21
Doug Norman, RHP
6-3, 178, R-R, Fr., HS
Fort Mill, S.C. (Ardrey Kell HS)

• 2014 Louisville Slugger and Rawlings First Team All-American at Ardrey Kell HS, located in Charlotte, N.C.
• First-Team All Observer (Charlotte)
• South Meck 8 4A Player of the Year and All-Conference selection
• 2014 and 2013 SW 4A All-State selection
• 2013 Perfect Game All-Tournament
• Participated in East Coast Pro Showcase in Syracuse, N.Y.
• 2012 Perfect Game Third Team All-American
• 2012 Under Armour Honorable Mention All-American
Paul Mainieri on Doug Norman:
“Doug is a right-handed pitcher that committed to us from Ardrey Kell High School, which is located in Charlotte, N.C. Doug has the size and arm strength to emerge as a significant contributor for us under Alan Dunn’s guidance. He has an advanced, savvy feel for pitching and changes speeds on all of his offerings. He has a tall, wiry build with a lot of upside and room to fill. He’s an intense competitor and presents good deception in his delivery. One of the traits that stuck out the most in the recruiting process was Doug’s outstanding mound presence and aggressive demeanor on the rubber.”

2
Mike Papierski, C
6-3, 205, S-R, Fr., HS
Lemont, Ill. (Lemont HS)

• Toronto Blue Jays 16th round selection in the 2014 MLB Draft
• Helped lead Lemont High to the 2014 3A Illinois State Championship
• Batted .410 in 2014 with 12 doubles, 8 homers, 42 runs, 30 RBI, 13 steals and a .543 on-base percentage
• IHSBCA 2013 & 2014 All-Area and All-State
• Named All-Conference in 2012, 2013 and 2014
• Named to the high school Honor Roll every semester during his entire career
• Area Code Games Participant in Long Beach, Calif.
• Team captain and four-year varsity starter at Lemont HS

Paul Mainieri on Mike Papierski:
“Mike and his battery mate, Jake Latz, led Lemont High School to the 3A Illinois state championship. The thing that jumps out to you immediately when seeing Mike Papierski is that he looks like a big league catcher. From the body, the actions, and the way he plays the game, Mike is the total package. He’s a 6”3” switch-hitting catcher that shows an outstanding arm from behind the plate. Honestly, his game reminds me a lot of Micah Gibbs, with perhaps a little bit better arm from behind the plate. He’s already emerged as the leader of the freshmen class during the strength and conditioning workouts this summer. He’s worked hard and pushed others - which is an important attribute that you would like to see from your catcher. He can be one of the all-time greats at LSU when his career here is done.”

30
Collin Strall, RHP
5-10, 170, R-R, So., JC
Suwanee, Ga. (South Forsyth HS/Tallahassee CC)

• Posted a 7-2 record and a 2.54 ERA in 2014 at Tallahassee CC; made a team-high 24 appearances and worked 60.1 innings, recording 17 walks and 63 strikeouts
• 2014 Panhandle Conference Second Team
• 2014 Panhandle Conference All-Academic team
• 2014 NJCAA National Team
• Pre-season Under Armour and Perfect Game All-American
Paul Mainieri on Collin Strall:
“Collin was the last addition to this recruiting class and the sole junior college transfer. He attended Tallahassee Community College for one year where he had a very successful freshman campaign. He is a right-handed sidearm reliever who will sit in the mid to upper 80s with a great deal of movement. He also possesses a slider and a change-up that you don’t always see from that arm angle. In the 2014 season he was the go-to guy out of the bullpen, pitching critical innings for TCC. He had one career start, but managed a 7-2 record, which is a clear indicator that he had the ball in his hands when the game was on the line. He averaged better than a strikeout per inning in a very competitive JUCO conference. He pounds the strike zone and competes at a high level which will make an immediate impact in our bullpen. He will be the first sidearmer that we have had on our staff in my tenure, and we are excited about a different look or arm angle coming out of our bullpen.”
  

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