Don’t look now but the 2023 LSU baseball season is 60 days away.
As the season draws nearer the preseason polls and accolades are going to start rolling out and LSU, on paper at least, should have one of the most talented rosters in the country.
Junior centerfielder Dylan Crews, junior righty/utility player Paul Skenes, and sophomore third baseman/DH Tommy White were all named first-team preseason All-Americans by Collegiate Baseball newspaper; junior first baseman Tre’ Morgan landed on the second-team.
Crews might be the best amateur baseball player in America. The likely No. 1 overall pick has been every bit as good as advertised his first two years in Baton Rouge and there’s no reason to expect his numbers to dip in his draft-eligible year. Last season Crews hit .349 with 11 doubles, four triples, 22 homers, 72 RBI and scored 73 runs and was a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award.
Morgan made the SEC All-Defensive team (and thank goodness he did because LSU’s fielding would have been even worse) and was quite good at the plate. Morgan hit .324 with 18 doubles, one triple, five homers, 54 RBI and scored 50 runs. Morgan and Crews played together on the U.S. Collegiate National Team this summer.
The Tigers might not have advanced to Omaha last year, but they were the transfer portal champions and two of the new Tigers join Crews and Morgan as preseason All-Americans.
Tommy White aka Tommy Tanks is also a first-team All-American after hitting 27 homers (an NCAA freshman record) last year at North Carolina State. White was the ACC’s freshman of the year after spending the entire spring beating the absolute hell out of the ball and slugged an astounding .757.
Paul Skenes comes to LSU via the Air Force Academy where he did a little bit of everything. Skenes started 15 games on the mound and posted a 2.96 ERA with 96 Ks in 85.2 innings; he also hit .314 with 10 doubles, 13 homers and 38 RBI. Skenes, like Crews, is one of the top prospects heading into the 2023 MLB Draft, and some publications have him going as high as No. 4.
Making it to Omaha is the expectation every year at LSU and this year is no exception. In fact with the amount of talent LSU has, anything short of the program’s first trip to the College World Series since 2017 would be a massive failure by Jay Johnson. Thankfully the journey to Omaha begins in just over two months as LSU will open the 2023 season on February 17 against Western Michigan.