Monday was a good day across two major fronts for the LSU baseball program.
At the highest level, former Tiger star Louis Coleman was recalled from Triple-A by the Kansas City Royals after spending the entire season with the Omaha Storm Chasers.
That makes 10 LSU alums currently in the big leagues as the September stretch run commences: D.J. LeMahieu (Colorado), Kevin Gausman (Baltimore), Aaron Nola (Philadelphia), Nick Goody and Nick Rumbelow (New York Yankees), Mikie Mahtook (Tampa Bay), Charlie Furbush (Seattle), Aaron Hill (Arizona) and Will Harris (Houston).
Coleman was dazzling at Triple-A this season with an 8-2 record and 9 saves (career-highs in wins and saves) in 38 appearances. He was almost untouchable with a 1.69 ERA, .212 opponent batting average and 1.11 WHIP.
His 2014 season with the Storm Chasers was solid if not spectacular with a 2-1 mark and 7 saves, despite an elbow injury.
Two years ago, Coleman capped a three-year run as a staple in the Royals bullpen with a 3-0 record and 0.61 ERA in 29.2 innings. In four stints with Kansas City, Coleman is 5-4 with 2 saves and a 3.25 ERA as a setup man in what has become the best bullpen in Major League Baseball.
The latest callup is mostly to fortify the Royals’ pen for the stretch run and it’s unlikely that Coleman will be part of the team’s postseason roster. But it could also serve as an audition for the veteran, who signed an extension after last season and got a raise to $725,000. A strong showing in a handful of appearances during a pennant run could elevate Coleman’s value on the trade market.
On the other end of the spectrum, LSU also got its latest commitment and it is a notable one from the Class of 2018.
Brice Turang from Corona, Calif., in the Los Angeles area pledged to the Tigers. A shortstop, Turang is the No. 1-rated player in that class by PerfectGame.org and he is the third of the top four players in the 2018 class to commit to LSU, joining Jeffrey Henry from Florence, Ala., and Levi Kelly from West Virginia, both right-handed pitchers.
Turang has been a regular on USA Baseball teams and last summer he played for the 15-and-under team and became the youngest recipient of the Dick Case Player of the Year Award (Former Tiger star Alex Bregman also won the award in high school). In his first prep season at Santiago High in Corona last spring, Turang batted .567 with a 1.339 OPS.
Very excited to say I have committed to LSU🐯🐯🐯🐯🐯 pic.twitter.com/3QJH2dalp8
— btang (@BriceCturang) September 7, 2015
LSU has been on a tear on the recruiting trail of late, with commitments from three of the top 60 players in the Class of 2016 (Riley Pint, Jonathan Gettys, Nonie Williams) and several more in the Class of 2017, anchored by Joihn Curtis star Daniel Cabrera and Brooklyn native Nick Storz.
Randy Rosetta can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (225) 610.5507.