Nine former LSU baseball players open season on MLB rosters

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Alex Bregman

BATON ROUGE, La. – Nine former LSU players appear on the active rosters of MLB teams as Major League Baseball continues its Opening Day series of games.

Former Tigers appearing on MLB Opening Day rosters include infielder Alex Bregman (Astros), pitcher Kevin Gausman (Orioles), pitcher Will Harris (Astros), infielder Aaron Hill (Giants), infielder DJ LeMahieu (Rockies), infielder JaCoby Jones (Tigers), outfielder Mikie Mahtook (Tigers), pitcher Aaron Nola (Phillies) and infielder Ryan Schimpf (Padres).

Bregman played at LSU from 2013 through 2015 and helped lead the Tigers to two College World Series appearances. The No. 2 overall selection by the Astros in the 2015 MLB Draft, Bregman was a two-time first-team all-American at LSU, and he was named the recipient of the 2013 Brooks Wallace Award as the nation’s best shortstop. Bregman made his MLB debut with Houston last July.

Gausman, who pitched at LSU in 2011 and 2012, is a mainstay in the Orioles’ rotation, and he pitched Baltimore to the playoffs in 2016 by beating the New York Yankees on the last day of the season. Gausman earned first-team All-America honors at LSU in 2012 before he was selected in the first round of the MLB Draft by Orioles.

Harris, who lettered four seasons at LSU (2003-06), was selected to the 2016 American League All-Star team as a relief pitcher with the Astros. Harris helped LSU reach the College World Series in 2003 and 2004 as a contributor at first base and third base, and he also worked as a relief pitcher in 2006. He was selected in the ninth round of 2006 MLB Draft by the Colorado Rockies.

Hill played at LSU from 2001 through 2003 and has enjoyed an exceptional MLB career with the Blue Jays, Diamondbacks, Brewers, Red Sox and Giants. He was named the 2009 American League Comeback Player of the Year and a 2009 AL All-Star while with Toronto.

Jones played at LSU from 2011 through 2013, and he helped lead the Tigers to the 2012 SEC championship and an appearance in the 2013 College World Series. Jones was the third-round selection of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2013 MLB Draft, and he made his major league debut with Detroit last August.

LeMahieu, the Rockies’ second baseman, won the 2016 MLB batting title, finishing with a .348 average, the highest mark in the both the National and American Leagues.

LeMahieu, a 2014 Gold Glove recipient and a 2015 National League All-Star, played at LSU in 2008 and 2009 and signed with the Chicago Cubs after he was selected in the second round of the ’09 MLB Draft. LeMahieu was the starting second baseman for LSU’s 2009 CWS championship team.

Mahtook was three-year starter in the LSU outfield and helped lead the Tigers to the 2009 College World Series title as a freshman. He earned first-team All-America honors in 2011, and was he drafted that year in the first round by the Tampa Bay Rays. After two big league seasons with the Rays, he was traded to the Detroit Tigers in January, 2017.

Nola was a two-time first-team All-America selection and two-time SEC Pitcher of the Year at LSU, and he was voted the 2014 National Pitcher of the Year. He was selected in the first round of the 2014 MLB Draft by the Phillies and now works in their starting rotation.

Schimpf played both infield and outfield for the Tigers from 2007-09 and helped lead the Tigers to the 2009 College World Series title. He selected in fifth round of ‘09 draft by the Toronto Blue Jays and made his MLB debut with San Diego last July. Schimpf hit 20 home runs in approximately half a season with Padres.

LSU has had at least one former player make his MLB debut in 24 of the past 26 seasons. The Tigers have produced a total of 72 Major Leaguers during their illustrious baseball history.

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Bill Franques

Bill Franques

Sr. Associate Sports Information Director, LSU

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