LSU signee Paxton Kling announced Wednesday that he has withdrawn his name from the 2022 Major League Baseball Draft, a big bonus for second-year Tigers coach Jay Johnson.
Kling – a 6-foot-2, 210-pound outfielder from Roaring Springs, Pennsylvania – was ranked No. 104 on mlb.com’s Top 200 prospects list as of Wednesday.
Dubbed a “rangy defender” with “huge bat speed” and “big patience” at the plate,” Kling is a 2021 All-American Class player and the reigning Gatorade Player of the Year in Pennsylvania.
He also played shortstop at his high school, Central High in Martinsburg, Pennsylvania.
Johnson told Tiger Radio on Tuesday night that he expects to lose at least “a few” of his signees to the draft.
But now he has one fewer to worry about.
“I want to play for the great program that LSU has built over many of years, which also has the best fans in the country,” Kling wrote in a post on his personal Twitter account. “In the future I am excited to explore the draft prospect again.
“I want to thank God, the coaching staff at LSU and my family for supporting my decision. I am excited to be a Tiger and help compete for a National Championship.”
The three-day draft opens Sunday.
LSU has two currently players currently ranked among mlb.com’s top 60 prospects, third baseman/outfielder Jacob Berry and second baseman Cade Doughty.
Berry, a likely top-10 pick in Sunday’s first round who is regarded by many including Johnson as the top hitter in the draft, is ranked No. 7. Doughty is No. 55.