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College | Recruiting | 11/16/2021

Head of the Class: No. 1 Louisiana State

Tyler Henninger     
Photo: Justin Crawford (Perfect Game)
Recruiting Rankings | 2022 High School Player Rankings | Recruiting Database

1. Louisiana State

Full 2022-2023 Recruiting Class
Head Coach:
 Jay Johnson | Recruiting Coordinator: Dan Fitzgerald

Top 5 Recruits:

Name Pos HT WT B-T High School Hometown ST
12 Justin Crawford OF 6-3 175 L-R Bishop Gorman Las Vegas NV
14 Paxton Kling OF 6-2 200 R-R Central Roaring Spring PA
17 Tucker Toman
3B 6-1 187 S-R Hammond Columbia SC
22 Jaden Noot RHP 6-4 235 R-R Sierra Canyon Oak Park CA
23 Mikey Romero SS 6-1 175 L-R Orange Lutheran Menifee CA

*Rk. Denotes National Rank in PG HS Class of 2022
It is the start of a new era in Baton Rouge as former Arizona head coach Jay Johnson takes the reins for the Tigers. The first recruiting class under Coach Johnson is impressively deep, landing LSU at the top of the recruiting class rankings. The depth of the class can not be understated. Eighteen of the 19 total recruits rank within Perfect Games’ top-500 and an astounding 11 recruits rank inside the top-100, which is the most in the nation. 

The class does not contain a top-10 prospect, but do not let that fool you into thinking the class does not have top-level talent. Nearly a quarter of the top-25 is represented by LSU commits, led by Nevada outfielder Justin Crawford at No. 12 overall. Crawford is one of the fastest and most athletic prospects in the class. He will look to roam the outfield in Alex Box Stadium with fellow recruit Paxton Kling out of Roaring Spring, Pa. Kling ranks right behind Crawford at No. 14 overall and brings another dynamic skill set that should help the Tigers on both sides of the ball. 

It could be a first-year transition from the West Coast or might be a new recruiting strategy, but Coach Johnson's West Coast connections are very present in this year's class. The new staff tapped into the West Region in a manner LSU has not seen for a while. The last three LSU classes have contained a total of two players from the state of California. This year's class features three prospects from the Golden State alone. Included in that group is righty Jaden Noot (ranked No. 22 overall), who impressed in Jupiter during the WWBA World Championships with eight strikeouts over four innings using a power fastball that reached 95 mph. Shortstop Mikey Romero and lefty Nic Bronzini are the other two headed east. Romero, who ranks No. 23 overall, provides fluid actions on both sides of the ball with advanced defensive ability at shortstop and a smooth left-handed stroke. Bronzini can throw three quality pitches for strikes from the left side, including a low-90s running fastball.

Along with California, the Tigers went into Nevada and swept the top-two Nevada prospects off the board in Crawford and lefty Robby Snelling (No. 71 overall). Crawford and his bat continued to improve throughout the summer, pairing a quality hit tool to an already dynamic skill set, which includes the ability to run a 6.11 60-yard dash. It all came into fruition in Jupiter, as Crawford posted a .500 average and a 1.306 OPS. Snelling on the other hand gives the Tigers a potential left-handed starter who features three quality pitches. The southpaw pairs a fastball that tops at 97 mph with a solid curveball and a changeup. 

The bump in West Coast recruits did not hinder the Tigers from recruiting the Southern region. A majority of the class comes from the south, including four recruits from the state of Louisiana, led by two-way prospect Gavin Guidry (No. 55 overall) and two top-50 catchers in Brady Neal (No. 32 overall) and Jared Jones (No. 45 overall) out of Florida and Georgia, respectively. Neal brings a polished defensive skill set to the table while Jones has an extremely strong arm. Both can produce with the bat, as well.

It is hard to imagine a better start to the Coach Johnson era. The class is incredibly impressive. It has depth and talent, both on the mound and at the plate. Despite not containing a top-10 prospect in the group, there are plenty of power arms and dynamic position players that are headed to Baton Rouge that should fuel a powerful Tigers team going forward.
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