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Position Outlook: Second Base
Stats: .294, 31 RBI, 6 HR, .448 SLG%, 30 BB, 44 K, .390 OBP, .982FLD%
Jones had a much improved 2013 season when compared to his previous seasons at LSU. Jones hit a lull in the middle of the season, but bounced back with a very strong end to 2013. He provided the Tigers with a huge power threat at the back end of the lineup and was almost a certainty to reach base in the later stages of the season. With Jones on a hot streak at the end of the season, a wrist injury prevented him from playing in LSU's final regular season series as well as the SEC Tournament. LSU didn't miss much of a beat without him as seniors Mason Katz and Casey Yocom were able to fill the role effectively.
Jones was arguably the best athlete on LSU's roster throughout his career in Baton Rouge and it certainly showed when you look at where all he started for the Tigers. He played anywhere from second base to shortstop to center field for LSU. Although he tended to be a victim of the strikeout more often than not, Jones was known for his exceptional defensive abilities. This will be the most difficult part of his game to replace.
Who returns: No returners
Newcomers: Kramer Robertson, Dakota Dean, Danny Zardon
With no returning players with experience at second base, it is a certainty that a freshman will assume the role once they are on campus. LSU made it a priority in their 2013 signing class to add enough players to replace Jones should he depart after his junior season.
The first candidate on the list is freshman Kramer Robertson from Midway High School in McGregor, Tx. Robertson, the son of Baylor's Kim Mulkey, is another outstanding athlete at the position with the potential to step in right away and contribute. The LSU staff is expecting big things out of the defensive-minded Robertson once he is in Baton Rouge and he looks forward to competing for the role. Robertson is a bit of a different second baseman than LSU has had in recent years. He is on the small side and lacks the power that someone like Jones had at LSU. However, he is a very solid player offensively and has the ability to drive the ball gap-to-gap.
Dakota Dean, the brother of former LSU great Blake Dean, is the next candidate. Dean differs from Robertson a bit in terms of what he excels at. He is an above average fielder, but has the ability to hit for power at the next level. The former Crestview High School (FL) standout is a left-handed hitter that has flashed exceptional power potential throughout his high school career and the showcases that he has take part in. Dean is yet another solid option for the Tigers at a huge position of need moving forward.
The final candidate for the role will be Danny Zardon of Pembroke Pines, Fl. Zardon starred at American Heritage High School as a third baseman, which is where LSU had planned on playing him once he was on campus. However, due to Christian Ibarra manning that role, there is a strong likelihood that Zardon will get a look at second for the Tigers. Out of the three potential candidates for the job, it would not be shocking to say that Zardon has the most collective ability and potential out of any of them. He is a guy that hits for power at the plate, especially because his swing is built for that kind of role. He is also an exceptional player in the field with enough athleticism to make the move from third to second.
Projected 2014 starter:
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