LSU coach Paul Mainieri felt his staff had reeled in the best recruiting class in the nation before the dust had completely settled following the MLB Draft.
Even though prized shortstop Brice Turang went on to sign with the Milwaukee Brewers a few weeks later, at least one leading national outlet agreed with the coach’s assessment.
LSU’s 16-man signing class was ranked as No. 1 in the nation by Baseball America, which released its final rankings on Wednesday morning. The Tigers edged out Southeastern Conference rival Vanderbilt for the top spot.
“Listen, everybody knows recruiting rankings don’t mean anything as far as winning the games on the field,” Mainieri said. “Those players that everybody thinks are pretty good still have to go out there and play the game. I’d rather have the No. 1 recruiting class than not because it shows that a lot of people think our players have talent, but those players have to develop that talent and stay healthy. Otherwise it doesn’t do any good.”
The program has now finished in the top-five of a recruiting poll seven times in the past 12 seasons, and this is the fourth time LSU has signed the No. 1 overall class (2007, 2010, 2014 and 2018). The Tigers have signed a top-10 class 11 times in Mainieri’s 12 seasons leading the program.
“I remember my first recruiting class that I signed at LSU was ranked No. 1,” Mainieri said, “and that was the impetus for us to go to Omaha the next year and win the national championship in my third year here. Hopefully this class can have the same kind of impact. There’s a lot of talent in there, and I’m excited to see them develop.”
LSU signed 10 players ranked among the Baseball America Top 500, which includes all draft-eligible players. Only two — Turang and right-handed pitcher Levi Kelly — signed professionally while a nation-high eight made it to campus.
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.
The Tigers will begin fall practice on Sept. 23.