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July 15, 2013LSU coach Paul Mainieri announced a 2013 recruiting class of 17 players at a press conference Monday afternoon.
The Tigers had the intention of bringing in 23 new players in August. Three signees opted for professional baseball - infielder Justin Williams of Terrebonne High School, pitcher David Palladino of Howard College and first baseman Nick Longhi of Venice, Fla.
Three players were not announced because they have not completed the work to be officially enrolled in school - pitchers Troy Whitty of Easton, Mass. and Henri Faucheux of Shelton State and catcher Kade Scivicque of Southwest Mississippi Junior College. All three are expected to be at LSU in August.
Of the 17 newcomers announced Monday, ten are pitchers. There is no doubt that the Tigers must rebuild a pitching staff which lost seven of its top 11 hurlers.
"Our first priority is to rebuild the pitching staff," Mainieri said. "I think we have recruited pitchers who can rebuild the staff. The last two years the only pure freshman who emerged and pitched great was Aaron Nola.
"We lost seven of our top 11 pitchers. I saw this coming. I told the guys we recruited that we could lose eight pitchers from this team. We need guys to come in and be ready to pitch well."
Four of the 12 new pitchers, assuming Whitty and Faucheux are eligible, come from junior colleges. Mainieri likes the fact that junior college pitchers have more experience.
"We signed a handful of junior college pitchers," Mainieri said. "They have a couple of years of experience. It's not LSU experience and they have not been in the bright lights of the SEC. But, these guys are a little bit more of a proven commodity."
The one pitcher Mainieri talked about Monday was Brady Domangue, a junior college transfer from LSU-Eunice. In two seasons, Domangue had a 22-3 record. Last year, Domangue was 14-2 with a 1.34 ERA. He struck out 118 batters in 114 hitters.
"I am excited about Brady Domangue," Mainieri said. "LSU-Eunice is one of the top junior colleges in the country. He reminds me a lot of Jared Bradford. Still, I don't want a staff of just junior college pitchers. I want to develop pitchers who have a long career here and understand our system."
Mainieri must also find a starting infielder to replace second baseman JaCoby Jones. Mainieri admitted that Alex Bregman could be shifted to catcher if no one on the roster shows he can handle the job behind the plate. In that case, Christian Ibarra would be the only returning infielder.
"If was had an area of concern last year, it was the depth of our infield," Mainieri said. "The only injury we had was JaCoby Jones. Christian played every day and Alex played every day. I thought we could lose Christian after one year. So, we had to develop depth in the infield with this class."
Four of the newcomers are infielders - junior college transfer Conner Hale (State College of Florida) and freshmen Kramer Robertson (Waco, Tex.), Dakota Dean (Crestview, Fla.) and Danny Zardon (Pembroke Pines, Fla.). Mainieri felt there was a chance both Hale and Zardon would sign professionally.
"We have some returning players," Mainieri said. "Some of them are outstanding players who will form the core of our team. We recruited a lot of outstanding players, but we have a lot of work to do. We intend to put together a team that can challenge to go to Omaha again."
Here are the 17 LSU newcomers.
13 Brady Domangue, RH, 6-0, 160, Jr., LSU-Eunice
16 Jared Poche, LH, 6-1, 195, Fr., Lutcher High School
28 Kyle Bouman, LH, 5-11, 200, Jr., Jefferson County Community College
32 Alden Cartwright, RH, 6-0, 180, Fr., Runnels High School
36 Dylan Williams, RH, 6-4, 195, Fr., Cartersville, Ga.
*37 Jesse Stallings, RH, 6-2, 205, Fr., Grant High School
41 Andrew Mitchell, LH, 6-0, 175, Fr., Jesuit High School
46 Parker Bugg, RH, 6-6, 200, Fr., San Diego, Cal.
49 Zac Person, LH, 6-1, 190, jr., LSU-Eunice
58 Christian Pelaez, LH, 6-0, 175, Fr., Miami, Fla.
3 Kramer Robertson, R-R, 5-10, 170, Fr., McGregor, Tex.
18 Dakota Dean, L-R, 6-1, 195, Fr., Crestview, Fla.
20 Conner Hale, R-R, 6-2, 185, Jr., State College of Florida
27 Danny Zardon, R-R, 6-1, 185, Fr., Pembroke Pines, Fla.
4 Cade Stone, L-R, 5-10, 180, Fr., West Monroe High School
23 Jake Fraley, L-L, 6-0, 195, Fr., Middletown, Del.
25 Jarret DeHart, 6-2, 205, Fr., Medford, N.J.
*Will miss 2014 season due to Tommy John surgery
Here are the three players who are expected to join the LSU team in August.
P Henri Faucheux, Shelton State Community College
C Kade Scivicque, Southwest Mississippi Junior College
P Troy Whitty, Easton, Mass.