Both Aaron Nola and Cody Glenn will return in 2014 to anchor the first two spots in the weekend…
Position Outlook: Right Field
Stats: .307, 18 RBI, 0 HR, .344 SLG%, 22 BB, 31 K, .371 OBP, 1.000 FLD%
Mark Laird was one of numerous first year players for the Tigers in 2013 that made an immediate impact in the field and in the lineup. Laird had a hot start to the 2013 season and was hitting over .400 at one point, before hitting a lull in the middle of the conference slate. However, Laird was a very valuable asset throughout the season with his glove when he routinely made plays to save runs for the Tigers.
Laird was most effective for the Tigers when it counted the most. He was one of the few hitters in the LSU lineup to put good swings on fastballs by Oklahoma's Jonathan Gray in the Super Regional and he also had an outstanding two games when the Tigers were in Omaha. The bottom line is that Laird will return as one of the veterans in the LSU lineup in 2014 and should provide a quality bat that the Tigers can rely on. His speed is also perhaps the most important asset that he brings to the table as he is a threat to run and can easily beat out infield singles.
Who returns: Chris Sciambra, Jared Foster, Sean McMullen
Newcomers: Jarret DeHart, Jake Fraley, Cade Stone, Charlie Yorks
Aside from Laird, LSU will have plenty of options to choose from in right field should the coaching staff decide to go in a different direction in 2014. Jared Foster would be one of the obvious choices for the position simply due to his arm strength from right field. He was responsible for LSU's only outfield assist in 2013. Foster also made a name for himself at the plate at times throughout the season. He was most effective when the Tigers were facing a left-hander, but also showed the ability to hit in any situation with power.
Sean McMullen is another option for the Tigers. He lined up in right field for most of the season, but never really grabbed the job from Laird unless he was out with an injury. Serving primarily as a DH, McMullen was a very effective player at the plate for the Tigers and will be a viable option for the Tigers in the field next season.
The freshmen that LSU is bringing in are perhaps the most intriguing options that the coaching staff may turn to in 2014. Jarret DeHart has the ability to play right field very effectively for the Tigers. He has great speed and arm strength from the outfield and would be a great option at the plate as well. DeHart has a swing that is built around power and he could provide an instant boost for the Tigers.
Jake Fraley is another option. Fraley will arrive in Baton Rouge with arguably the strongest arm on the team once he is on campus. He has routinely been clocked in the low 90's when throwing from right field and would provide a great left-handed bat in the lineup. He plays great defense and would have the ability to provide an offensive boost for the Tigers as soon as he steps on the field for practice.
The next two freshmen are Charlie Yorks and Cade Stone. Both were very good players in high school and will eventually get their chance to work their way into the LSU lineup. Both have the ability to hit for power and they both play great defense. However, they don't have quite the same kinds of tools as players like Fraley and DeHart. Because of this, the chances of them grabbing starting jobs in 2014 is considered slightly slim.
Projected 2014 starter: Mark Laird
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