LSU's 2022 offense has superstars riddled all over the lineup. it could be argued that the Tigers will have five of the best hitters in the country come next season with a lot of untapped potential in the rest of the order as well.
Bringing an offensive minded coach in Jay Johnson will bring out the best in all of them, starting with Dylan Crews, Tre Morgan, Jacob Berry, Cade Doughty and Gavin Dugas. Those five names alone are enough to power any college team to national relevance. All are coming off fantastic seasons and though Johnson is in the early stages of installing his offensive beliefs, he's been impressed with the level of "buy in" from all players.
"I think the best part so far has been the players buy in and willingness to be really engaged in our process," Johnson said. "We go very slow in order to develop a quality foundation and I'd say we're three weeks into skill work and we're taking it piece by piece.
"What has been great to see is their aptitude and what I mean by that, they're very open minded, they're working extremely hard but they are talented so we're making some impressive gains quickly. That'll be tested once we get into the fall and face live pitching, there will be some growing pains but those five are very talented. I think if we keep improving, people are going to be excited by what they see from the offense."
Crews, Morgan, Doughty and Dugas are all coming off seasons where they combined for 205 of the teams 384 total RBI and 56 of the 93 total home runs. Adding Berry's 17 home runs and 70 RBI to that core is an exciting possibility, particularly considering an offseason of development under Johnson.
As is the case with every team, finding those players to consistently round out the order is a goal for the offseason. Johnson mentioned a number of players but one that really sticks out was shortstop Jordan Thompson. The sophomore had moments last year where he looked like a potetial superstar, particularly as a defensive player.
Rounding his swing into form this offseason, Johnson said he's been one of the players who has really bought into the new system.
"Jordan Thompson is somebody I'm really excited about," Johnson said. "I think he's very talented but has really gravitated towards what we're doing. He's athletic, has bat speed and has done a good job to this point. Luke Leto is a freshman who's incredibly talented, has got a chance to be a special hitter."
Sophomore outfielder Brody Drost was another name who came to mind for Johnson.
"When I was evaluating the team this summer, he kind of stood out as the one guy who had some natural freshman growing pain bumps but who could make a big jump into this year so I'm really excited about Brody."
Developing the offense is just one of the goal of the next several months but one of the others is finding the right chemistry of the team. It's something that Johnson says happens organically and is hard to really figure out early in the fall.
"At the beginning it's not easy to develop that but everybody's excited about the direction that we're headed which I think is great," Johnson said. "Now the real test of that is when you face adversity and in college baseball you're gonna face adversity whether it's individual or team struggles. How do you respond to that? We're laying a good foundation to when that comes we'll be able to get to the next thing quickly and focus on us."