Monday, June 8, 2009

Ronnie Vinson Commits to LSU

In some more good recruiting news, Newman HS athlete Ronnie Vinson committed to LSU on Monday. This was another big-time catch for Les Miles. Vinson is highly rated by all the recruiting services. He's a 4-star prospect on both Rivals and Scout and is on ESPN's Top 150 Watch List. The full ESPN evaluation of Vinson is here.
Vinson could play a number of positions at the college level including receiver, running back, safety, or cornerback. LSU supposedly likes him like as a cornerback, though I think he could ultimately end up at safety. I've got Vinson as the #4 guy in the state of Louisiana this year.

On that note, someone asked how I thought the Top players in the state stacked up this year, and here's my opinion on it (Of course, I can change my opinion later):

1. Trovon Reed WR Thibodaux
2. Jordan Allen DE West Monroe
3. Eric Reid S Dutchtown
4. Ronnie Vinson DB Newman
5. Tharold Simon ATH Eunice
6. Nick Jacobs TE Many
7. James Wright WR Belle Chase
8. Jarrett Fobbs ATH Huntington Shreveport
9. Curtis Carter ATH North Desoto
10. DJ Welter LB Crowley Notre Dame
11. Munchie Legaux QB Karr
12. Tyrann Mathieu CB St Aug
13. Rissean Broussard DT Lake Charles Lagrange
14. Houston Bates DE/LB St Pauls
15. Elliott Porter DT Shaw

Looking out of state, Georgia tight-end Cameron Fordham received an offer from LSU today at camp. Fordham's father played football at LSU in the 1980s. Fordham is 6'4" 235 pounds and has offers from numerous smaller schools such as UCONN, Syracuse, Central Florida, and East Carolina. I can only trust the coach's evaluation of him. He's very versatile as he also plays defense in high school. Seeing as how Fordham has LSU blood in his family, I wouldn't be surprised to see him commit to LSU sometime soon.

Mississippi OL Wes Rea did not make it to camp due to an injury but has rescheduled and will now attend LSU's camp in July.


I simply didn't have time to put together a preview of Virginia for the College World Series.

Instead, I devoted my time to giving a quick preview of the Major League Baseball Draft, which begins Tuesday evening. It's a shame that they have the draft right before the College World Series because it always ends up being a huge distraction to the teams involved.

OF Jared Mitchell looks to be the top Tiger picked in the draft. Though Mitchell has some weaknesses, he also has the most potential of any pro player. His speed, athleticism, and disciplined approach at the plate has lots of Major League scouts thinking they can mold him into a Garrett Anderson type player. Mitchell could go in the first round, and I'd be shocked if he goes past the 2nd. I wouldn't count on him returning next year.

INF DJ LaMahieu could be the next LSU player selected. A projected 1st rounder before the season, DJ's stock has dropped slightly due to his lack of a true position. He didn't quite show enough range as a top round shortstop this year, but he did a nice job at 2B. I think most scouts would project him as a third baseman, but he doesn't have the rocket arm you'd like to see. Regardless, LaMahieu's solid glove and consistent hitting at the plate will get him picked high. Pro scouts see his 6'4" frame and think he can add a lot of bulk and thus, a lot more power. LaMahieu is a likely 3rd round pick or higher, and I can't see him falling past the 5th round. He's another guy almost certain to go pro and not return to LSU next year.

Senior right-hander Louis Coleman improved his stock a great deal by returning to college. He enjoyed a fantastic season and was the SEC Pitcher of the Year. He'll likely get picked in the Top 5 rounds.

Now, the big question marks come into play:

INF/OF Ryan Schimpf has increased his stock quite a bit by switching positions and showing his versatility. Showing he can effectively play 2B, OF, and even some 1B, the pro scouts can draft him for his bat and know that he'll find a position somewhere and not be a liability in the field. Schimpf may have crept into the Top 8 rounds or so of this draft, in which case it will be difficult for him to choose to return to LSU. We'd all love to see him come back next year, but I'd say that's unlikely at this point.

DH Blake Dean, maybe LSU's best hitter, may fall further in the draft than most would expect. This is because Dean hasn't consistently played in the field for the last 2 years. Nobody knows what position Dean can play or how well he can do it. His bat will be tough to resist for a lot of teams, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him slide into Rounds 10 - 15.

1B/C Sean Ochinko is also expected to be chosen somewhere, and the recent rumors are that he's planning on going pro regardless of where he's selected. Ochinko's natural position is catcher, but he knows he won't play catcher next year at LSU since Micah Gibbs has the position locked down. As a first baseman, Ochinko has an average bat. But as a catcher, he becomes a pretty valuable commodity.

LSU also has some signees that are worth keeping an eye on. Here are some that may get selected:

P Zach Von Rosenburg
OF Slade Heathcott
C Wes Luquette
P Brady Colvin
P Mitch Moorman
P Forrest Garrett
1B Kyle Koeneman

Heathcott and Von Rosenburg are the two most likely to get selected very high.

I'll be out until Sunday, but there will be lots to report until then. I'm still expecting quite a bit of recruiting news to come from LSU's camp the rest of the week.


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