Inside: LSU signings tracker; one freshman to transfer and two others receive All-America honors
By JAMES MORAN | Tiger Rag Associate Editor
It went right up to the deadline, but Alex Lange and the Chicago Cubs have struck a deal.
Chicago and the 30th overall selection in last month’s MLB Draft came to an agreement less than an hour before Friday’s deadline for draft picks to sign professionally.
Lange, LSU’s junior ace, signed for $1,925,000. The news was first reported by Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports and Jim Callis of MLB.com.
That total is $259,300 less than the $2,184,300 slot value assigned to the No. 30 pick, but far more he would’ve gotten had he returned to LSU for a senior season and re-entered next year’s draft.
Lange’s signing, coupled with Thursday’s news that Eric Walker will undergo Tommy John surgery, means that LSU will indeed have to replace its entire weekend rotation in 2018.
An All-American in his junior season, Lange went 10-5 this season with a 2.97 ERA and 150 strikeouts in 124.1 innings. Lange leaves LSU ranking second in program history at 406 strikeouts, finishing three shy of Scott Schultz’s record. He’s one of six Southeastern Conference pitchers ever to strike out at least 400 batters.
Lange joined Aaron Nola, the seventh overall pick in the 2014 draft, and Kevin Gausman, the fourth overall pick in the 2012 draft, as first-round hurlers produced under current LSU pitching coach Alan Dunn, who joined the staff after the 2011 season. He’s the seventh LSU pitcher ever taken in the first round and sixth first-rounder of the Paul Mainieri Era.
MLB SIGNING TRACKER
The deadline for drafted players to sign rookie contracts passes Friday afternoon at 5 p.m. ET. Here’s the final tallies of what LSU players and signees received in terms of signing bonuses. Slot value for the picks are listed in parenthesis.
RHP Alex Lange | Round 1 (30 overall) | Chicago Cubs | $1,925,000 ($2,184,300)
OF Greg Deichmann | Round 2 (43 overall) | Oakland A’s | $1,700,000 ($1,597,300)
SS Kramer Robertson | Round 4 (124 overall) | St. Louis Cardinals | $150,000 ($424,800)
2B Cole Freeman | Round 4 (133 overall) | Washington Nationals | $150,000 ($390,000)
LHP Jared Poche’ | Round 9 (261 overall) | Oakland A’s | $40,000 ($145,000)
C Mike Papierski | Round 9 (271 overall) | Houston Astros | $141,600 ($141,600)
RHP Hunter Kiel | Round 18 (537 overall) | Chicago White Sox | $30,000 ($125,000)
RHP Doug Norman | Round 25 (737 overall) | Cincinnati Reds | $125,000 ($125,000)
RHP Nate Pearson | Round 1 (28 Overall) | Toronto Blue Jays | $2,452,900 ($2,302,900)
RHP Blayne Enlow | Round 3 (76 overall) | Minnesota Twins | $2,000,000 ($755,500)
OF Jacob Pearson | Round 3 (85 overall) | Los Angeles Angels | $1,000,000 ($656,300)
INF Andrew Bechtold | Round 5 (136 overall) | Minnesota Twins | $600,000 ($378,700)
Freshman lefty Blair Frederick announced his intentions to transfer from LSU on Friday afternoon via a message posted on his twitter account.
A New Orleans native out of Brother Martin, Frederick appeared in five games for LSU this season. He pitched to a 10.12 ERA in 2.2 innings of work, walking five and striking out three. Frederick was left off the postseason roster and only appeared in one SEC game.
“Blair wants to go somewhere where he has more of an opportunity to pitch,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said via a text message to Tiger Rag. “I totally understand and respect that. He is a wonderful young man and we wish him well.”
Here’s Frederick’s announcement tweet:
Note about my Future.. pic.twitter.com/s8v36zIZyY
— Blair Frederick (@__airblair) July 7, 2017
HONORS FOR TWO FRESHMEN
LSU right-hander Eric Walker and center fielder Zach Watson took home Freshman All-America honors from multiple outlets Friday.
Walker was named a first-team Freshman All-American by both D1Baseball and Baseball America. Watson received first-team recognition from D1Baseball and second-team honors from Baseball America.
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