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LSU Baseball

Three LSU baseball players named to D1Baseball Top-20 draft eligible sophomores

December 2, 2023
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BATON ROUGE, La. – Three LSU players have been named to the 2024 D1 Baseball Top 20 list of draft-eligible sophomores. The Tigers appearing in the Top 20 are right-handed pitcher/infielder Gavin Guidry, first baseman/catcher Jared Jones and outfielder Paxton Kling.

Guidry, a product of Lake Charles, La., developed into one of LSU’s top arms out of the bullpen last season as a true freshman, making 23 appearances (one start) and posting a 3-0 record with a 3.77 ERA and three saves in 28.2 innings. He recorded 42 strikeouts and 12 walks, and limited opponents to a .209 cumulative batting average.

He made relief appearances in Games 2 and 3 of the CWS Finals vs. Florida (June 25-26), working a total of 3.2 innings with four strikeouts. Guidry pitched the final 2.0 innings of Game 3 to seal the CWS title for LSU, as he allowed one run on two hits in 2.0 innings with no walks and two strikeouts. He made a total of four CWS appearances, allowing three earned runs in 5.0 innings with one walk and six strikeouts.

Guidry recorded a brilliant outing to earn the save in Game 2 of the NCAA Super Regional vs. Kentucky (June 11), firing 2.2 scoreless innings and allowing just one hit with no walks and four strikeouts. He also posted a save in the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional winners’ bracket game vs. Oregon State (June 4), working a scoreless ninth inning with one hit, no walks and two strikeouts in a 6-5 LSU win.

D1 Baseball writes that Guidry’s “quick arm and arsenal, combined with the ability to generate whiffs, elicit similarities to former LSU great, and current Detroit Tigers closer, RHP Alex Lange.”

Jones, a native of Marietta, Ga., earned Freshman All-America and Freshman All-SEC recognition in 2023, as he played in 55 games (47 starts), batting .304 (49-for-161) with 12 doubles, 14 homers, 45 RBI and 37 runs. Jones collected two doubles, five homers and 19 RBI in SEC regular-season games.

In LSU’s SEC series win over Kentucky (April 13-15), Jones hit .400 (4-for-10) with two homers, five RBI and five runs. He hit .462 (6-for-13) in the Texas A&M series (March 17-19) with one homer, eight RBI and one run. He led the Tigers to the series-clinching victory over the Aggies on March 18 by going 4-for-5 at the plate with a three-run homer and a pair of two-run singles for a total of seven RBI.

Jones was named SEC Co-Freshman of the Week on March 13 after he batted .600 (6-for-10) from March 6-12 with four homers, 11 RBI and five runs. He homered four times in four consecutive plate appearances over the course of the Tigers’ games versus Samford March 11 and 12.

Of Jones, D1 Baseball writes, “the 6-foot-4, 230-pounder is as imposing of a force as there is in college baseball with light-tower power thanks to elite hand/bat speed.”

Kling, a native of Roaring Springs, Pa., played in 57 games (22 starts) last season, batting .289 (26-for-90) with five doubles, two triples, four homers, nine RBI and 29 runs.

He batted .652 (15-for-23) during a remarkable seven-game stretch (March 4-12) with three doubles, one triple, three homers, six RBI and 13 runs. Kling launched first career homer on March 6 vs. Butler, when he was 3-for-3 with a double and three runs scored.

D1 Baseball writes, “those scouts who remember Kling’s knack for finding the barrel at a high rate with significant impact throughout his high school days are likely to be unsurprised if Kling becomes the breakout star of ‘24. At 6-foot-2, 210-pounds, he possesses the ever-rare five-tool potential with electricity set to all that he does.”

 

Tags: Baseball
 
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