There’s no real debate here, no need to complicate things. LSU’s outfield should more or less be set.
The newest addition to the #8 club, Gavin Dugas, in left; speedy Giovanni DiGiacomo in center; future major leaguer Dylan Crews in right. I’m not calling it a set it and forget it depth chart but moving away from this is pretty strongly unadvised.
DiGiacomo only played in 31 games due to injury in 2021, but when he was in LSU’s outfield was the lifeblood of the team. Crews batted .362, Dugas hit .295, and DiGiacomo hit .292. that’s a .316 average across the outfield, which is something you absolutely take. Gio doesn’t have a lot of pop in his bat and is more of a foul pole to foul pole hitter, but Dugas and Crews led the team in home runs with 19 and 18, respectfully. Dugas may be a little less solid in the field, but he is nowhere near a total liability. Crews of course is a solid plus defender.
Again, this is a pretty bulletproof outfield. You even get all three archetypes: the power bat, the speedy contact hitter, and the all-around player. Bowser, Toad, Mario.
But as we saw last year, depth is important. LSU needs to have fallback options, and luckily there are some pretty good alternatives.
Drew Bianco has had a pretty shaky career to date, but lord knows he has the experience to fill in well should Dugas or Crews miss time. If LSU didn’t have an overfilled cup with the infield, I believe he could be a contender for the full-time DH role and may get some games in at the 10th position. Bianco is in a role where he may not start, but at some point, he’ll be called upon to come up in a big spot for the Tigers. Hopefully his experience and commitment to the program will come up big when that time comes.
I’m curious to see what Brody Drost’s role is going to look like not just at the start of the season, but as the season goes on. Drost was somebody that the Mainieri cabinet was very high on, and it seems the Johnson regime shares that interest. Drost has a big bat and at times flashed the promise that makes coaches and scouts drool, but he just wasn’t quite ready for the SEC schedule. But at some point he will be, and he’ll be a force when he is. He’s in line to have a career that could be very similar to Dugas’.
LSU has three newcomers to outfield also vying for playing time: Joshes Pearson and Stevenson and Brayden Jobert. Jobert was a freshman All-American at Nicholls who transferred to Delgado, where he raked: .386 with 15 doubles, 16 homers, and 71 RBI with a .813 slugging percentage. That kind of power can’t be ignored, and he’ll likely factor heavily into the left field/designated hitter conversation.
Pearson is a highly touted recruit with a physical frame that generates incredible momentum and bat speed. He might need some time in the weight room before the power really translates, but he has all the tools to figure it out, and quickly. He’s also a great runner and could develop into a really solid corner outfielder.
Stevenson, yes, brother of Andrew, fits in the profile of his brother and fellow Lafayette native Antoine Duplantis of an athletic pole to pole hitter who can earn their weight in gold with their glove.