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With Every Passing Game, LSU Baseball’s Tre’ Morgan Making Tremendous Strides

Morgan leading the team in batting average, RBI over first three weeks of season

It's hard to put into perspective just how good true freshman first baseman Tre' Morgan has been up to this point. 

His team leading .423 batting average and 17 RBI certainly play a factor. So does his cat like quickness and athleticism over at first base that makes him a true difference maker at a position that's not easy to leave a major impact on the outcome of games.

Those two words, difference maker, is how starting pitcher Jaden Hill would describe Morgan's fantastic start to his collegiate career. For a pitcher like Hill, getting outs is goal No. 1. 

What Morgan can do around the bag, whether it's picking the ball with tremendous accuracy or contorting his body in ways that would even leave a yoga instructor impressed, Morgan saves outs at first base.

"That's what Tre' Morgan is. He gives our pitchers confidence and it goes from there into the dugout to the plate with each batter," Hill said. "The way he approaches the bat, he's a better two strike batter than he is 0-0 count. That guy is a difference maker and those are the perfect words for him."

Coach Paul Mainieri has seen the potential of Morgan from day one of fall practice. Very quickly the near 40-year head coach had Morgan batting in three hole, one of the most important spots in the lineup for driving in runs. 

He's batted mostly in the two hole during the spring but that's only because Mainieri wanted to split up his left handed batters, that also includes Cade Beloso batting fourth.

"I've always thought Tre' Morgan was going to be a good, clutch hitter for us," Mainieri said. "He's had terrific at bats with runners in scoring position, terrific at bats when we've needed them the most, when we need a spark. He's just a really outstanding baseball player in every facet but what excites me is every day we go to the park and it seems like he does something new."

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The confidence, whether it's out on the field or at the plate is always evident. Mainieri gave an example of the last two games in regards to Morgan's baserunning confidence. On Tuesday, Texas Southern was in the middle of a pitching change with Morgan standing at second. Mainieri called Morgan over and asked his thoughts on potentially stealing third, which made Morgan very tentative.

Fast forward to the next day against UNO.

"Yesterday he gets on second and he's giving me a signal that he wants to steal third base," Mainieri said. "The kid's fearless. He's under the bright lights and he wants to go and begging me to give him the green light. It goes to show how much confidence he has in himself."

When you think a left handed, hard hitting, contact hitter at LSU, you immediately think Antoine Duplantis. Player comparisons are always difficult to project for a player who's only 14 games into his collegiate career but the pace at which he gets on base, smoothness to his swing and discipline at the plate are all elite characteristics. 

Mainieri himself sees the comparisons to Duplantis, who is LSU's all time leading hitter, but thinks that Morgan has more power than the Tigers current hit king.

"I think that's a good comparison and I think baseball's a big comparison game. His swing is a lot like Duplantis, he's got a lot more power to the opposite field than Duplantis had," Mainieri said. "Tre' can hit the ball to the opposite field where as Duplantis developed his power more to the pull side. He's bigger, stronger but has the same kind of swing where he makes a lot of contact and doesn't swing and miss very often and uses the whole field."

Before making any sweeping declarations, the ideal scenario is to see him keep up similar production against SEC pitching. It'll be important to temper expectations as Morgan and all of the LSU hitters are about to enter a different weight class in terms of the pitchers they'll face.

"He's a special player and I think the fall you could really tell he was going to be a special hitter for sure," shortstop Jordan Thompson said. "As things move forward you see dang this guy's a really good first baseman, he picks everything and makes it easier for you as an infielder to make throws and be confident in yourself. What he's done at the plate for us is huge."