Da Boot Sports
By: Jason Watson Jr.
SEATTLE, WA- LSU has made history once again, this time, at the 2023 Major League Baseball draft.
While there were a number of individuals that were deserving of being the number one pick, speculation over who would actually get the honor was still bubbling over until Seattle Mariners’ legend, Ken Griffey Jr., stepped to the podium and made the announcement.
The Pittsburgh Pirates selected ace pitcher, Paul Skenes, first overall, officially making him a major leaguer. Skenes was not in attendance at the draft, opting instead to watch and celebrate from home with his loved ones and the support group that had gotten him where he is today.
Skenes said that it “means a lot” being chosen at the number one spot and already has his sights set on winning a couple of world series titles for the Pirates, hoping to follow up on LSU’s most recent College World Series victory.
The former Tiger pitcher joins two other baseball greats in being the first overall selection out of Louisiana State University. Eric Hetzel and Ben McDonald, drafted in 1985 and 1989 respectively, both went on to the major leagues out of college after successful collegiate careers.
Following the Pirates’ selection of Skenes, the Washington Nationals picked LSU center fielder Dylan Crews at the number two spot. The Golden Spikes recipient and Gold Glove outfielder looks forward to joining the rebuilding program and serving as a leader in the foreseeable future, hoping to bring success to the Nats’ franchise.
This marked the first time that players to be selected both number one and two overall in the MLB Draft have come from the same university. The LSU Tigers are now the only collegiate team to own number one draft picks in the NBA, NFL, WNBA, and MLB.
The talent moving on to play professional ball does not stop there for the Tigers. Standout pitcher, Ty Floyd, was drafted to the Cincinnati Reds at 38th overall. Floyd’s draft stock soared following a record breaking 17 strikeout performance in Game one of the CWS Finals against Florida.
Several other Tigers were drafted in later rounds. Many notable players from the LSU roster have now earned their professional stripes. Other players drafted include:
Grant Taylor- Pitcher- Chicago White Sox (51)
Tre’ Morgan- First Baseman- Tampa Bay Rays (88)
Gavin Dugas- Second Baseman- Washington Nationals (165)
Garrett Edwards- Pitcher- Tampa Bay Rays (333)
Blake Money- Pitcher- Baltimore Orioles (361)
Brayden Jobert- Right Field- St. Louis Cardinals (365)
Riley Cooper- Pitcher- Baltimore Orioles (391)
Jordan Thompson- Shortstop- Los Angeles Dodgers (460)
Javen Coleman- Pitcher- Los Angeles Dodgers (490)
Christian Little- Pitcher- New York Mets (576)
Unfortunately, there were a few names that fell short of hearing their name called over the course of the three day draft. Those undrafted include Alex Milazzo, Cade Beloso, Hayden Travinski, Josh Stevenson, Nate Ackenhausen, Jason Bollman, and Bryce Collins.
Ackenhausen has already announced that he intends to return to LSU for his senior season. As for others, like Beloso, their big league dreams end here as they turn to a new page in life, seeking out what lies ahead for them.
An underlying victory for Jay Johnson’s program, as they look to reload and repeat as champions, is the amount of LSU commitments that went in later rounds who now have a decision of whether to sign with their drafting team or make it to campus and join a winning collegiate program.
The number one ranked player out of Louisiana, Jake Brown, was selected to the Texas Rangers in round 16. However, Brown has already come out as saying he intends to play for LSU and forgo the MLB at least for now. Ashton Larson and Cameron Johnson are two more names with Tiger commitments to keep an eye on post draft time.
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