Where LSU baseball players and signers are projected into the 2022 MLB Draft
The 2022 MLB Draft is just days away with a number of LSU signers set to test the waters before making a decision on their baseball future. Jay Johnson and the Tigers have signed a deep 2022 class as they prepare for next season, but the draft could certainly hurt what they’ve put together so far.
LSU’s Class of 2022 has five MLB draft prospects who are expected to make it to the first or second rounds: Bishop Gorman High School (Nevada) outfielder Justin Crawford, McQueen High School (Nevada) left-hander Rob Snelling, Hammond High School (Caroline South) third baseman Tucker Toman and Orange Lutheran (California) shortstop Mikey Romero, according to MLB Pipeline’s list of prospects.
This year’s MLB Draft is so late, hurting all college programs, not just the Tigers. Building a squad for next season through the high school class of 2022 and having a decent amount of those prospects likely to head into the professional path changes everything.
Coach Johnson spoke to The Advocate about his thoughts on the draft and the difficulties it is causing head coaches.
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“I’ll give you my opinion: it’s horrible for us as coaches,” Johnson said. “I think there are four (prospects) who have no chance of showing up here next year based on the season they’ve had and where they are and that’s what it is. . I will move forward to get us what we need. I will not let any player hold our program hostage. This is a complicated question that I spend every day working on.
The Tigers will lose two players from last year’s team in the projected first rounds Jacob Berry and Cade Doughty in the draft, but aside from those two, LSU has a chance to gain a few of their high school signers.
After top-100 prospect Paxton Kling made his MLB draft decision, opting out and choosing to honor his LSU commitment, the Tigers saw a major domino fall in their path.
He is ranked Pennsylvania’s top player by Perfect Game and is the nation’s 7th prospect in the Class of 2022 according to Prep Baseball Report. Kling was named 2022 Pennsylvania Gatorade Player of the Year after dominating his senior year.
But now the Tigers are focused on influencing the rest of their 2022 signings in Baton Rouge as this LSU program prepares for the 2023 season. Johnson and the Tigers will have their work cut out for them, but the portal of transfer becoming a key element of recruitment, they will always have the possibility of relying on their already rich list.