The transfer portal continues to be kind to LSU baseball.
The Tigers picked up two more big pieces from the portal. First former Vanderbilt shortstop Carter Young committed to LSU on Tuesday and on Wednesday UCLA rising sophomore Thatcher Hurd pledged to the Tigers.
Young has been Vanderbilt’s starting shortstop over the past two seasons. This past season was Young’s worst at the plate and in the infield. Young hit .207 with seven home runs and 26 RBIs while committing a career-worst 11 errors (though keep in mind Jordan Thompson had 18). But hopefully Young resembles something akin to his 2021 season when he hit .252 with 16 homers, 52 RBIs, and had a fielding percentage of .966.
Hurd had one heck of a freshman season before getting shut down due to injury. Hurd only threw 34 innings in 2022 but was 2-0 with a 1.06 ERA, 48 strikeouts versus only 10 walks and held batters to a .138 average.
But Hurd is coming off a major back injury and was shut down in April. Hurd had a pars defect, which is essentially a stress fracture in the lower spine. It’s a tricky injury to come back from, recovery can take 2-3 months but if it doesn’t heal properly surgery could be in Hurd’s future.
Nobody’s worked the transfer portal harder than Jay Johnson. Last year he added Jacob Berry, who should be going in the top 10 in July’s MLB Draft, and so far this summer he’s added six players with proven track records: Dylan Trebake (Creighton), Jack Pineda (Baylor), Christian Little (Vanderbilt), Tommy White (North Carolina State), Carter Young (Vanderbilt) and Thatcher Hurd (UCLA). It’s very likely Pineda and Young will be LSU’s starting middle infielders with White playing first base or DHing, and Trebake/Little/Hurd in some combination as the weekend rotation in 2023.