Antoine Duplantis has a decision to make.
The ever-reliable outfielder can either sign professionally with the Cleveland Indians, who took him in the 19th round of the MLB Draft, or he can return for his senior year and take a run at becoming LSU’s all-time hits leader. He’s 84 knocks away from the mark held by Eddy Furniss.
Duplantis has been one of the most consistently productive players in LSU history, but he fell into day three of the draft because he lacks power as a hitter and doesn’t have a tremendous throwing arm in the outfield. Only time will tell if he dropped enough to come back for his senior year.
“I’m not sure what is going to happen with Antoine, but if that’s the last game Antoine plays for LSU, he’ll go down as one of the greatest of all time,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said after LSU was eliminated by Oregon State on Sunday night. “If he wants to come back for his senior year, I’ll be glad to have him.”
The MLB Draft system is designed to discourage players from doing so because they have no leverage in negotiating a signing bonus. It would have been far harder for Duplantis to turn down a team if he was selected on day two of the draft, but falling until round 19 means there’s a strong possibility he’s coming back to LSU.