As of Thursday, eight former LSU players are listed on the current rosters of Major League Baseball teams.
Infielder DJ LeMahieu of the New York Yankees, infielder Alex Bregman of the Houston Astros, pitcher Aaron Nola of the Philadelphia Phillies, pitcher Kevin Gausman of the Toronto Blue Jays, catcher Austin Nola of the San Diego Padres, outfielder Jake Fraley of the Cincinnati Reds, pitcher Alex Lange of the Detroit Tigers, and infielder Josh Smith are all former Tigers who are currently on MLB active rosters. (Rangers).
LeMahieu, a native of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, is a three-time MLB All-Star and is starting his 13th MLB season, his fifth with the New York Yankees. He has also won batting championships with both the American League’s New York Yankees and the National League’s Colorado Rockies.
LeMahieu, a four-time Gold Glove and two-time Silver Slugger Award winner, played at LSU in 2008 and 2009 before being chosen in the second round of the MLB Draft in 2009 and signing with the Chicago Cubs. LeMahieu was LSU’s starting second baseman on the squad that won the CWS in 2009.
Bregman played at LSU from 2013 to 2015 and guided the Tigers to two College World Series trips. He is now in his ninth season with the Astros. Bregman was selected by the Astros as the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft. He was a two-time first-team all-American at LSU and the 2013 Brooks Wallace Award winner for finest shortstop in the country.
Bregman, an Albuquerque, New Mexico native, joined the Houston Astros in July 2016 and has since served as the team’s starting third baseman, helping the team win the 2017 and 2022 World Series. After hitting the game-winning home run for the American League, he was voted the 2018 All-Star Game MVP. He also won the 2019 Silver Slugger Award for the best offensive third baseman in the AL.
In his seventh season as a member of the Philadelphia rotation, native of Baton Rouge Aaron Nola played a key role in the Phillies’ run to the 2022 National League pennant. He was chosen by the Phillies in the first round of the 2014 MLB Draft, and he was selected to the National League All-Star team in 2018. His 17-6 record and 2.37 ERA placed him third in the 2018 NL Cy Young Award voting.
At LSU, Aaron Nola was twice named to the first team All-America and twice named SEC Pitcher of the Year. In 2014, he was chosen as the National Collegiate Pitcher of the Year.
Gausman, who pitched at LSU in 2011 and 2012, will start his second season with the Blue Jays and 11th overall in the MLB. With the San Francisco Giants, he was an All-Star pitcher in the National League in 2021, going 14-6 with a 2.81 ERA and 227 strikeouts in 192 innings.
The Centennial, Colorado native was taken by the Baltimore Orioles in the first round of the MLB Draft after receiving first-team All-America honours at LSU in 2012.
Aaron’s elder brother Austin Nola, a Baton Rouge native, made his MLB debut with the Seattle Mariners in 2019 and amassed 10 home runs and 31 RBI in 79 games. After being dealt to San Diego in August 2020, he had a huge impact on the Padres’ participation in the MLB playoffs in 2020 and 2022.
For four seasons (2009–12), Austin Nola started at shortstop for LSU and helped the Tigers win the 2009 College World Series.
After spending three years with the Seattle Mariners, Fraley is entering his fifth MLB season and second with Cincinnati. He was selected in the second round by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2016 draft, then in November 2018 he was dealt to Seattle. In August 2019, he made his Major League debut.
In 2016, Fraley, a Middletown, Delaware native who assisted LSU in winning the SEC title and qualifying for the College World Series in 2015, was given the Skip Bertman Award by LSU Baseball as the player who best embodies the values of the team.
In April 2021, Lange, a native of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, made his MLB debut for Detroit. He was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the first round of the 2017 draft, and he concluded his three-year career (2015–17) at LSU with a 30–9 record, becoming the 10th pitcher at LSU to reach that milestone.
During his college career, Lange amassed 406 strikeouts, the second-highest total in LSU history, and was named to the first teams of the All-America and All-SEC.
Smith, a native of Baton Rouge, was added to the MLB roster of the Rangers in May 2022. He was selected by the New York Yankees in the second round of the MLB Draft in 2019 and was traded from the Yankees to the Rangers in July of the same year.
Smith attended LSU from 2017 to 2019, and despite missing the most of the previous season due to a stress response in his vertebrae, he started at shortstop for the Tigers in 2019. For LSU’s College World Series runner-up squad in 2017, he started at third base and was named Freshman All-America and Freshman All-SEC.
LSU’s top hitter in 2019 was Smith, a finance major and three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll member, who batted.346 (89-for-257) with 17 doubles, two triples, nine home runs, 41 RBI, 72 runs, and 20 steals in 24 attempts.
In 29 of the last 32 seasons, LSU has had at least one former player make his MLB debut. In all, 83 Major Leaguers have come from the Tigers over their historic baseball history.
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