LSU baseball: What’s different about the Tigers as they begin the 2024 season

LSU baseball begins its College World Series title defense against the Virginia Military Institute this afternoon. Here’s what fans must know about the squad before the first pitch.
Jun 26, 2023; Omaha, NE, USA;  LSU Tigers pitcher Thatcher Hurd (26) throws against the Florida
Jun 26, 2023; Omaha, NE, USA; LSU Tigers pitcher Thatcher Hurd (26) throws against the Florida / Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
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The LSU baseball holdovers

Despite the exodus of talent via the 2024 MLB Draft, LSU baseball still features various significant players from last season.

Tommy White is the most notable returning Tiger and is anticipated to lead the LSU offense. “Tommy Tanks” will continue manning third base and anchor Johnson’s lineup with his explosive bat.

Johnson also has a trio of veteran options at catcher, including Hayden Travinski, Brady Neal, and Alex Milano.

At first base, sophomore Jared Jones is expected to fill Morgan’s shoes. Such is a task easier said than done, but Jones brings experience, having started 34 games at first base and 14 as LSU’s designated hitter in 2023. Upperclassman Josh Pearson will get the first crack as the starter at second base.

Talent from the transfer portal

Johnson attacked the transfer portal to supplement his 2024 roster and fill gaps left by the 2023 MLB Draft. Such a plan includes South Carolina transfer Michael Braswell. Braswell has brought 91 career starts at shortstop to Baton Rouge, where he is expected to fill the hole left by Thompson.

In the outfield, LSU baseball fans can expect to see much of Arizona graduate transfer Mac Bingham. Bingham him .360 in 58 games last season, including 20 doubles, ten home runs, and 51 RBIs.

Johnson’s pitching rotation will also feature transfer portal talent. Alabama transfer Luke Holman is expected to pair with Thatcher Hurd and lead the Tigers from the mound. Holman logged 87 strikeouts and a 3.67 ERA in 16 starts with the Crimson Tide last season.

UCLA transfer Gage Jump is another name to watch for in the LSU baseball rotation. Jump is a big-throwing left-hander who made a lot of noise as a reliever before undergoing Tommy John surgery and missing all of 2023.