8 former LSU Tigers make MLB Opening Day rosters
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Eight former LSU Tigers have made opening day MLB rosters for the 2022 season beginning on Thursday, April 7.
Of the eight players, four are position players including infielders DJ LeMahieu with the New York Yankees, Alex Bregman of the Houston Astros, catcher Austin Nola with the San Diego Padres, and outfielder Jake Fraley with the Cincinnati Reds.
LeMahieu is entering his 12th season in the MLB and his fourth season with the New York Yankees. He was drafted in the second round of the 2009 MLB Draft by the Chicago Cubs and is a three-time All-Star, two-time All MLB First Team, and three-time Gold Glove winner, he is also the only player to win the batting title in both the NL and AL.
Bregman, was selected as the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft and helped lead the Astros to the 2017 World Series title and was named the 2018 All-Star Game MVP. He is entering his seventh season in the majors and played for the Tigers from 2013-2015 and helped LSU reach the College World Series twice. Bregman was a two-time first-team all-American at LSU, and was named the recipient of the 2013 Brooks Wallace Award as the nation’s best shortstop.
Austin Nola, the older brother of Aaron made his MLB debut in 2019 with the Seattle Mariners and picked up 10 home runs and 31 RBI in 79 games. He was then traded to the Padres in August 2020 and helped them reach the playoffs that season.
Austin was LSU’s starting shortstop for four seasons from 2009-12, and he helped lead the Tigers to the 2009 College World Series title.
Fraley is entering his fourth season in the majors and his first with the Reds after spending the last three with the Mariners. Fraley was drafted in the second round of the 2016 MLB Draft by the Tampa Bay Rays.
In 97 games Fraley has a 196 batting average with nine home runs a triple and 10 doubles.
The other four are starting pitchers Aaron Nola with the Philadelphia Phillies and Kevin Gausman with the Toronto Blue Jays. Relief pitchers Will Harris with the Washington Nationals, and Alex Lange of the Detroit Tigers. Harris was placed on the 60-day injured list after undergoing pectoral surgery.
Aaron Nola, is entering his eighth season with the Philadelphia Phillies and has emerged as their ace pitcher for the staff. He was selected in the first round of the 2014 MLB Draft by the Phillies and was a 2018 National League All-Star. He also finished that season third in NL Cy Young Award voting after posting a 17-6 record with a 2.37 ERA.
The former Tiger ace has played in 171 games in his career posting a 67-49 record with the Phillies and has pitched 1023.1 innings, with 1,145 strikeouts three complete games pitched.
Aaron 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 Collegiate Pitcher of the Year.
Gausman, enjoyed his best year in the MLB with the San Francisco Giants last season and posted a career-high 14 wins to go along with six losses. He started 33 games for the Giants and pitched 192.0 innings while striking out 227 batters and turned that into a five-year $110 million contract with the Blue Jays in the offseason.
Harris begins his third season with the Nationals after working for five years in the Houston Astros’ bullpen. He was selected to the 2016 American League All-Star team, and he was a vital component of Houston’s 2017 World Series champion staff.
A product of Slidell, La., helped LSU reach the College World Series in 2003 and 2004, and he was selected in the ninth round of 2006 MLB Draft by Colorado Rockies.
Lange, made his MLB debut with Detroit in April 2021. He was the 2017 first-round draft selection of the Chicago Cubs and finished his three-year career (2015-17) at LSU with a 30-9 record, becoming the 10th LSU pitcher to record 30 wins.
Lange compiled 406 career strikeouts, the second-highest total in LSU history, and he earned first-team All-America and All-SEC honors during his collegiate career.
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