LSU set to return eight starting position players in 2017
By JAMES MORAN
Tiger Rag Associate Editor
LSU’s double-play tandem will remain intact for 2017.
Second baseman Cole Freeman announced via twitter Friday that he’ll be returning to LSU for his senior season, just as shortstop Kramer Robertson did one day earlier.
The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Freeman in the 18th round (No. 551 overall) on the MLB Draft Saturday. He joins Robertson and first baseman Greg Deichmann in announcing they’ll return to school instead of signing professionally.
— Cole Freeman (@ColeDrank) June 16, 2016
Freeman, who earned a spot on the SEC’s All-Defense team at second base after brief stints at third base and shortstop, led with Tigers in both batting average (.329) and on-base percentage (.427). Teammates often referred to the man known as ‘Drank’ as a season leadoff hitter from the bottom of the lineup.
Outfielder Jake Fraley, drafted No. 77 overall by the Tampa Bay Rays, confirmed last Friday that he’ll be signing professionally. Right-hander pitcher Riley Smith announced via twitter Monday that he’ll be signing with the Arizona Diamondbacks after being selected in the 24th round.
The Tigers are still awaiting decisions from left-hander Jared Poche’ (14th round, San Diego Padres), right-hander Jesse Stallings (15th round, Cincinnati Reds) and right-hander Parker Bugg (27th round, Miami Marlins).
As far as signees, No. 4 overall pick Riley Pint (Colorado Rockies) and JUCO pitcher Kyle Weatherly, an eighth-round selection of the Toronto Blue Jays, both signed professionally.
Right-handed pitcher Zach Hess tweeted that he’ll be enrolling at LSU instead of signing with the New York Yankees, who selected him in the 35th round. The staff expects the remainder of LSU’s signing class will also make their way to campus.
The deadline to sign in July 15.