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2021 LSU Baseball Preview

2021 LSU Baseball Preview

LSU returns to 2021 with another loaded roster, particularly on the mound. The perennial postseason Tigers boast one of the nation’s top pitching prospects, and have one of the best Friday to Sunday rotation in the conference. We’ll add it all up and see just what to expect from LSU this season.

2019 Record: 40-26 (17-13)

2020 Record: 12-5

Perfect Game Recruiting Class: 2nd

2020 Season

Last season hadn’t started as hot hot as head coach Paul Mainieri had hoped. The Tigers had racked up five non conference losses already including bad losses to Nicholls and Eastern Kentucky. To top it off they had a 1-2 showing in the Shriners College Classic with losses to Baylor and No.15 Oklahoma.

The main issue in their losses came down to offense. The Tigers were shutout in two of the losses and scored just two runs in two other games. The lineup never seemed to get comfortable or consistent, something they’ll look to assuage in 2021.

2021 Season

Pitching

Outside of Vanderbilt’s Kumar Rocker, all eyes are going to be on LSU’s Friday night ace Jaden Hill. Mlb.com has Hill as the No.5 overall prospect in the upcoming draft. He has four pitches including a fastball that can touch 98 and a very nasty slider. He’s pitched primarily out of the bullpen his first two years and will have to make the transition to the starting role.

Complimenting Hill will be junior Landon Marceaux. The Louisiana native returns to his Saturday spot from last year where he was 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA in four starts. He started 14 games his freshman year as well and brings ample experience to the rotation.

Just like Marceaux, redshirt junior AJ Labas should return to his Sunday role. Labas brings plenty of experience as well with 10 starts his freshman year. He looked good in four starts last year after sitting out 2019 with injury. Labas finished 2020 with a 1-2 record and a 3.55 ERA.

Hitting

LSU will be hoping for some improvement from last year’s production. The lone power flash came from returning starter Gavin Dugas who led the team with just three homeruns in 2020. Gio DiGiacomo returns the team’s highest batting average and on-base percentage from last year. Expect him to move into a higher spot in the lineup.

Cade Beloso returns to the three hole in the lineup. Beloso was one of just three everyday starters hitting over .280 at a .313 clip. He had a monster 2019 season with 10 homeruns and 52 RBI’s so expect numbers more like that in 2021.

LSU brought in the nation’s second best recruiting class according to perfectgame.com and we should get to see two of those stars on the diamond. Top recruit Dylan Crews should start immediately in the outfield while Tre’ Morgan should get starts at first base. Crews has one of the best incoming bats in the class with plenty of power potential.

Outlook

The biggest questions for LSU is going to be in the lineup. It was a lackluster showing last year and they’ll be without Daniel Cabrera in the heart of the order. Needing incoming freshmen to have a strong showing out of the gate always has the chance to backfire and make for a long season.

Still, the Tigers’ rotation will keep them in every game and every series. They’ll have the ability to win those low scoring games behind the arms of this trio led by Jaden Hill. Expect LSU to be around after the end of the regular season.

 

 

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