BATON ROUGE – The 2018 LSU Tigers not only lacked overall depth, but a level of consistency behind the plate. LSU does not bring back anyone who played significant innings behind the plate last season.
“You know this past year in all frankness was below the standard that we’ve become used to at LSU,” said Mainieri at his annual summer news conference.
This offseason the Tigers bolstered their catching corps by adding three newcomers, two of whom transferred in from junior-college.
Bryce Mathis, Saul Garza and incoming freshman C.J. Willis will round out the catching unit. The only downfall was each player suffered injures last season, costing them valuable playing time.
A major priority for Mainieri when recruiting at the catching position was finding a vocal leader behind the plate. Last season the Tigers lacked emotional spirit and personality at the position, which Mainieri believes played a negative role on his pitching staff.
“Not just ability wise, but also personality wise,” admitted Maineri. “I love outgoing, talkative, leaders behind the plate, take charge guys. And, we just didn’t have that last year and I think that affected our pitching in some ways and our overall team.”