The third and final day of the Major League Baseball Draft cast plenty of doubt about the futures more with LSU’s existing roster than with the freshman signees expected to come in and contend for playing time.
A day after announcing that he had removed himself from the MLB Draft to return to LSU for the 2023 season, relief pitcher Paul Gervase threw the program a curveball after the 6-foot-10 right-handed pitcher was drafted in the 12th round with the 359th pick by the New York Mets on Tuesday.
“Thank you, Tiger Nation for everything,” Gervase announced his Twitter account.
LSU’s relief corps for next season suffered a hiccup after the decision by Gervase, who led the Tigers with six saves and tied for the team lead with 29 appearances. He was joined in the draft Monday by fellow relief pitcher Eric Reyzelman, a fifth-round choice by the New York Yankees with the 160th selection.
Drafted players have until Aug. 1 to sign professional contracts, while undrafted players are permitted to seek free agent contracts.
The work LSU baseball coach Jay Johnson seemingly accomplished in the offseason through the NCAA transfer portal continued to unravel a day after two-time Big East Pitcher of the Year Dylan Tebrake of Creighton was drafted in the eighth round with the 239th selection by the New York Mets.
The Kansas City Royals drafted second baseman/shortstop Jack Pineda, who signed with LSU after transferring from Baylor, in the 12th round with the 355th pick. He’s expected to sign with the Royals according to media reports.
The Tigers also had another signee from the transfer portal drafted when the Baltimore Orioles took infielder Carter Young in the 17th round with the 497th selection. Young transferred to LSU following a career at Vanderbilt where he batted .207 with seven homers and 26 RBIs in 2022.
LSU’s top-ranked recruiting class, which included 11 players among MLB’s Top 200 players going into the draft, largely went unscathed on the final day with right-handed pitcher Jaden Noot of Oak Park, California – the state’s No. 1 right-handed pitcher – being taken with the 582nd pick of the 19th round by the Milwaukee Brewers.
Milwaukee also drafted catcher Brady Neal of IMG Academy with the 522nd overall pick in the 17th round.
The Tigers had four players taken in the first and second rounds Sunday with outfielder Justin Crawford leading the way at No. 17 overall by Philadelphia. Shortstop Mikey Romero was chosen next at No. 24 by Boston, while both left-handed pitcher Robby Snelling (No. 63) and shortstop Tucker Toman (No. 77) went in the second round to San Diego and Toronto, respectively.
The state’s top prospect, shortstop/pitcher Gavin Guidry of Barbe, led a parade of signees Tuesday that removed their names and weren’t selected in the draft.
The 6-3, 180-pound Guidry was the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year after going 8-0 on the mound with a 0.16 ERA 83 strikeouts and 11 walks in 2022. He also batted .422 with five homers and 25 RBIs.
“He’s the exact kind of guy I want to build this program around,” Johnson said on a recent “Mik’d Up” podcast with former LSU baseball players Mikie Mahtook and Jared Mitchell.
Left-handed pitcher Grant Herring (13-1, 0.24 ERA, 145 Ks, 87 innings pitcher) of Southlake Carroll High-Southlake, Texas also followed Guidry’s lead along with right-handed pitcher/first baseman Aiden Moffett of Mount Olive, Mississippi, pitcher/first baseman Kaleb Applebey of Mt. Carmel, Illinois and right-handed pitcher Micah Bucknam of Abbotsford, British Columbia.
Later in the day LSU’s relief efforts received a boost when rising junior Bryce Collins announced on Twitter that he was returning to school.
“One last ride,” announced the 6-foot, 180-pound Collins, a native of Valencia, California
Collins, who transferred from Arizona to LSU, made 20 appearances with two starts. The righthander went 3-1 with a 3.62 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 32.1 innings of work.