Skip to main content

Why Addition of Catcher Tyler McManus is a Huge Get for LSU Baseball

McManus batted .346 with 11 home runs at Samford in 2021, helped guide team to NCAA tournament

Jay Johnson made waves in his first week as LSU's baseball coach by luring in freshman transfer Jacob Berry from Arizona. It's a move that will immediately improve the Tigers' offense and on Tuesday, the purple and gold received more good news via the transfer portal. 

Slidell catcher Tyler McManus, who spent the last two seasons at Samford, announced he'd be transferring back to Louisiana and joining the Tigers, further boosting the catcher position exponentially from an offensive perspective. 

McManus spent his first collegiate season at Delgado Community College before making the jump to Division I at Samford, where he thrived as an offensive weapon. 

He batted .346 with 11 home runs and 53 RBI during the 2021 season, helping guide Samford to its third ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament, losing in the Starkville regional to eventual national champs Mississippi State. In an 8-4 loss to the Bulldogs in the regional, McManus went 2-for-4 at the plate but faced the likes of Auburn, Alabama, Florida and Texas A&M throughout the course of the 2021 season.

Read More

Depending on what happens with Gavin Dugas, LSU could return an absolutely loaded field of hitters including McManus, Berry, Dylan Crews, Tre Morgan and Cade Doughty.

While he's never faced an all SEC schedule come conference play, that level of experience is a nice tool to have in his back pocket. McManus will bring a consistent, veteran bat to the table from the catcher position but there's still plenty up in the air about the future of the position. 

Alex Milazzo has proven to be a defensive wizard behind the plate over the last two seasons but his lack of offensive firepower has hindered his overall effectiveness. The hope is that Johnson's presence and instruction will help him become a serviceable hitter but McManus' addition to the roster is a good option as well. 

Then there's Hayden Travinski, who had some bright spots as a hitter in the season but an arm injury lingered and eventually cost him the last third of the season with a UCL injury, leaving his future for next season very much in doubt. Adding McManus to the group, who is not only a veteran, but has faced SEC pitching in the past will benefit the group.

Where McManus fits into the lineup remains to be seen as Milazzo could very well find some consistency with his bat. But what we already know about Johnson is that he's an offensive minded coach and will play to those strengths. McManus is as safe a bet as any to find a way into the order.