2013 MLB Draft Recap: Talent Is On The Way

USA TODAY Sports

A look at how LSU fared in the MLB Draft and how next year's roster shapes up

The 2013 Major League Baseball Draft is in the books, and it's tough to imagine that it could have gone much better for LSU, especially in regards to their signing class. Many players from the current roster were expected to be drafted high, and they were. We also saw some seniors go a little higher than expected, which is excellent. A quick review of the current Tigers who were drafted.

Ryan Eades - 2nd round (#43)
Jacoby Jones - 3rd round (#87)
Mason Katz - 4th round (#125)
Nick Rumbelow - 7th round (#224)
Will Lamarche - 9th round (#276)
Ty Ross - 12th round (#372)
Chris Cotton - 14th round (#407)
Raph Rhymes - 15th round (#456)
Christian Ibarra - 32nd round (#959)

Eades, Jones, Ross, Rumbelow and Lamarche were all selected high and are near certainties to sign professionally. This is no real surprise. Christian Ibarra's selection in the 32nd round is probably nothing to worry about. He's a near lock to return to LSU and expressed those intentions to Paul Maineri prior to the draft.

All of the seniors selected were picked higher than I expected them to go. Katz and Cotton were undrafted a year ago while Rhymes improved from a 30th round pick last year to a 15th this year. Like everyone else, I'm very happy for these guys.

I'm a little surprised we didn't see Joey Borgeois or Cody Glenn picked anywhere.

So while things went as expected with the current roster, things went much better than expected with the signing class. Only four LSU signees were selected in the draft:

Justin Williams - 2nd round (#52)
David Palladino - 5th round (#164)
Nick Longhi - 30th round (#893)
Parker Bugg - 34th round (#1029)

Williams was always going to be picked very high in this draft and was never going to end up at LSU. So no surprise there.

I was hoping against hope that David Palladino would slide to double digit rounds and land at LSU. But with the way he finished his season at Howard Junior College this spring, the writing was on the wall that he was going to be a high pick. So come draft time, this wasn't a huge surprise, even though it's still a little disappointing. He's sure to sign.

But after those two....LSU hit the jackpot.

Nick Longhi was on a number of Top 100 lists and was thought to be a talent worthy of the top five rounds. He lasted until the 30th round. And while it's not a done deal that he comes to college, the odds are greatly in LSU's favor here. It's hard to believe that Boston will be able to offer him enough as a 30th round pick to justify him skipping college, but we'll still watch patiently until the Signing Deadline on July 12.

As for Bugg, the same situation applies. It's tough to believe his 34th round selection will be enough for the Orioles to sway him away from LSU. However, you do wonder about Alan Dunn's connection to Baltimore and what impact that could have possibly had on the pick.

Nobody else was even drafted...which is insane. This isn't a deal where LSU failed to sign quality players. It's quite the opposite. A number of the guys in LSU's signing class were thought to be Top-10 round talents, including:

OF Jake Fraley
OF Jarrett Dehart
IF Kramer Robertson
IF Connor Hale
IF Danny Zardon
LHP Jared Poche
RHP Dylan Williams

Why didn't they get picked? The truth is that these kids see LSU ranked so high and having so much success. They see the atmosphere of Alex Box stadium on television, and they legitimately want to be a part of the program. My guess is that most of the guys mentioned above got calls from pro teams at some point in the draft, but that the players told them "don't bother". Jake Fraley reportedly sent all the pro teams a letter just before the draft letting them know that he intended to honor his commitment to LSU. Then halfway through Day Two of the draft, Jarret Dehart sent this out:

For a lot of these players, if they weren't going to get big-time money, then they want to go to LSU. And I think that's awesome.

So what does this mean for LSU?

It means that the Tigers could have one of their more talented classes show to campus in a very long time. It also means that LSU will have competition everywhere in the fall, and that's a good thing. Alex Bregman, Christian Ibarra and Aaron Nola are really the only ones with spots cemented in the lineup. I'd probably include Cody Glenn in that number too, if not for his recent suspension and his need to win back Paul Maineri's trust.

A quick look at what next year's team could look like:

At catcher, expect Michael Barash, Chris Chinea and JUCO newcomer Cade Scivicque to battle it out. I'd give Chinea the edge at this point.

At first base, we'll see competition between Tyler Moore and Nick Longhi. If Chris Chinea doesn't win the job behind the plate, he could potentially get a look here, too. Same goes for freshman Jarret Dehart if he's not in the outfield somewhere. Freshman Danny Zardon could be in the mix here, too even though his natural position is at third base.

At second base, look for freshman Kramer Robertson to battle with JUCO Connor Hale. With so much depth in the outfield, I wouldn't be shocked to see Jared Foster move back to the infield. This seems like a likely place for him to compete. Robertson has a nice compact, quick swing that should make the transition to college ball a little easier than most, and he's also very slick defensively. I give him the edge. Freshman Dakota Dean will also compete here.

No competition at shortstop or third base. However, one option could be to play Ibarra at second base and to open competition at third base between Hale, Robertson, Zardon, Foster and Tyler Moore.

LSU returns four guys who have played a ton in the outfield this year in Sean McMullen, Mark Laird, Andrew Stevenson and Chris Sciambra. But no job is safe. Jake Fraley and Jarret Dehart are big-time talents and Cade Stone has some impressive high school stats as well. Competition for every spot will be intense. Fraley has similar speed and range as Stevenson and Laird, so defense alone won't keep a guy like Stevenson in the lineup next year. He's going to have to hit. Meanwhile, Dehart has a bat that is very highly thought of and is plenty athletic, too. Oddly enough, every one of the guys mentioned bats left-handed.

On the mound, you figure Nola and Glenn will be your Friday and Saturday starters. The Sunday job is totally up for grabs. Hunter Newman flashed some potential this year, as did Russell Reynolds before his injury. Will Reynolds be 100% by next fall? Kurt McCune will be in the mix, too. Joe Broussard returns from arm surgery this year and will compete. Mitch Sewald has a ton of potential but just barely scratched it during his freshman season. JUCO signee Brady Domangue put up excellent numbers at LSU Eunice. Then Jared Poche and Dylan Williams seem to be the closest to competing at a high level among the incoming freshmen, though you can't discount talents like Troy Whitty and Parker Bugg. In other words, it's WIDE OPEN. I suspect Newman, McCune and Reynolds (if healthy) will get the first crack at it. But I've got a feeling that Jared Poche will make some noise before next season is over.

Who is going to close? Good question. That's another job that will be wide open. Nate Fury could be the guy. Aside from one really bad outing this year against BYU, Fury was excellent this year. Zac Person, a lefty from LSU Eunice, had some excellent strikeout numbers this year (98Ks in 87.1 IP), but he has to limit his walks. He may get a look, too.

The rest of the above mentioned guys who don't win a starter's job will be fighting for roles in the bullpen.

The fact that this Signing Class has so many high caliber guys coming to LSU should ensure LSU remains a Super Regional caliber team, at a minimum, for years to come.

It looks like these guys have made good decisions too. The history of players coming to LSU and improving their draft stock is significant, especially in recent years.

Jared Mitchell
2006 - 10th round
2009 - 1st round

Ryan Schimpf
2006 - Undrafted
2009 - 5th round

Blake Dean
2006 - Undrafted
2009 - 10th round
2010 - 8th round

Louis Coleman
2005 - 28th round
2008 - 14th round
2009 - 5th round

Leon Landry
2007 - 36th round
2010 - 3rd round

Austin Ross
2007 - Undrafted
2010 - 8th round

Anthony Ranaudo
2007 - 11th round
2010 - Comp Round (#39 overall)

DJ Lamahieu
2007 - 41st round
2010 - 2nd round

Micah Gibbs
2007 - Undrafted
2010 - 3rd round

Mikie Mahtook
2008 - 39th round
2011 - 1st round

Austin Nola
2008 - 48th round
2011 - 5th round

Chris Cotton
2009 - Undrafted
2013 - 14th round

Mason Katz
2009 - Undrafted
2013 - 4th round

Kevin Gausman
2010 - 6th round
2012 - 1st round (#4 overall)

Jacoby Jones
2010 - 19th round
2013 - 3rd round

Ty Ross
2010 - 46th round
2013 - 12th round

Ryan Eades
2010 - 19th round
2013 - 2nd round

Raph Rhymes
2011 - 40th round
2013 - 15th round

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