The Major League Baseball season opens up today, and with it marks the return to prominence of nine former LSU baseball players.
So, to keep you ready for the long season ahead, here’s the list of all nine former Tigers on active MLB rosters right now, plus some info on how they might be used and what’s to be expected of them in 2017.
- Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Kevin Gausman
- Houston Astros relief pitcher Will Harris
- Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman
- Detroit Tigers outfielder Mikie Mahtook
- Detroit Tigers infielder JaCoby Jones
Fresh off the best season of his Major League career, Gausman was selected as the ace of the Orioles’ staff, earning the right be the team’s Opening Day starter. Gausman went 9-12 last season with a 3.61 ERA.
A 2016 All-Star, Harris returns as the Astros’ setup man in 2017, likely to lock down the eighth inning in front of closer Ken Giles. Harris posted a 2.25 ERA with 69 strikeouts in 64 innings last year.
Bregman returns for his second season as a big leaguer, ready to serve as the Astros’ everyday third baseman. The youngster only played in 49 games last season, but he accumulated 53 hits, 24 extra-base hits, 34 RBI and 31 runs scored in that time.
Capable of playing infield or outfield, Jones returns for his second season as well. He’s joined on the Tigers this season by Mahtook, who played 106 games over the last two seasons with Tampa Bay. After an impressive rookie campaign in 2015 when Mahtook hit .295, he regressed majorly in 2016, dropping 100 points to a .195 average.
- Colorado Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu
- Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola
- San Diego Padres second/third baseman Ryan Schimpf
- San Francisco Giants infielder Aaron Hill
The National League’s reigning batting champion, LeMahieu returns for 2017 looking to improve on a breakout season where he set career highs for batting average (.348), on-base percentage (.416), slugging percentage (.495), hits (192), home runs (11) and runs scored (104).
Nola is set to rebound from a season-ending injury last season that sidelined him at his weakest point. Now the Phillies’ No. 5 starter, Nola posted a 9.82 ERA in his last eight starts of 2016 after opening the year with a 2.65 ERA through 12 starts.
After spending seven years in the minors, Schimpf made the best of his first big league opportunity last season, smacking 20 home runs in 89 games. Despite playing barely more than half the season, Schimpf was the Padres’ third-most valuable player last season by Wins Above Replacement.
A career journeyman now on his fourth team in three seasons, Hill will serve as a reserve infielder and pinch hitter on a stacked San Francisco team.