Breaking Up Of A National Champion
The unfortunate inevitability about a college sports team is that teams have to break up. Changes have to be made, players come and players go, even after a National Championship season.
Six players from the LSU Championship team were selected in the latest MLB draft, but how many will leave, and who will stay for a crack at the repeat?
Jared Mitchell, NCAA college world series most outstanding player.
Mitchell was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the first round of the 2009 MLB draft (23rd overall). He is a five-tool player who will only get better with more baseball reps. Fantastic speed, on the paths and in the field. Power and average.
Being drafted in the first round, I think there is no hope that Mitchell returns to LSU next season. What a way to go out, it was his three-run shot in Game Three of the College World Series Championship Series that sent LSU on there way:
Outcome: Will move to the minors.
LeMahieu was one of the most influential players in the Tigers Championship Season. He ended the season batting .350 with five HR and 43 RBI's. As well as making several key contributions on defense.
It was LeMahieu's two-run double in the first game of the College World Series final that saw LSU come back in the ninth to level the game and then go on to win it in extras.
LeMahieu was drafted in the second round of the 2009 MLB draft by the Chicago Cubs.
Outcome: Will leave to join the Cubs minor league system
Paul Mainieri brought Louis Coleman into the eighth inning of Game Three of the College World Series final in order for him to enjoy his last moments as a senior. He closed the game out, and the image of him throwing his glove into the air, after getting the final out against Texas, will be edged in Tigers fans memory for the rest of there lives.
Louis Coleman is a senior and was drafted in the 5th round by the Kansas City Royals.
Outcome: Has no choice but to join the Royals minor league system
This is perhaps the most interesting case of all. Schimpf was selected in the fifth round by the Toronto Blue Jays. However many believe, myself included, that he is a top-two round talent. He was one of the main power hitters for this power friendly LSU club and can play several positions, outfield as well as infield.
Outcome: I believe that he will and should come back to LSU for another year, and i firmly believe that if he does, he will cement himself as a first or second round pick in the 2010 MLB draft
Blake Dean was drafted in the 10th round by the Minnesota Twins.
Although Dean got off to a slow start in 2009, he ended the season as one of the premier hitters in the SEC. His poor draft stock could be attributed to the fact that he acts as the LSU DH. In order for him to climb the draft, he has to return to LSU to find a position.
Outcome: Returns to LSU
Sean Ochinko was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 11th round of the 2009 MLB draft.
I can't see any reason why Ochinko would chose to go to the Blue Jays at this point in his career. He has a lot of areas to work on, and more time in college will benefit him drastically. He is better than the eleventh round selection suggests.
Outcome: He will return to LSU
Future is Bright
However LSU fans, don't be too down after looking through some of the players that will be leaving this off-season.
We saw this year the emergence of some excellent Freshman talent, including Mahtook and Nola who both started all of the College World Series games, and the likes of Matty Ott and Anthony Ranaudo on the pitching staff.
With the National Championship firmly situated in Louisiana, it will not be difficult to attract players of ability to Baton Rouge, this program will continue to go from strength to strength.