The personable demeanor and cheery personality of LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri does more than make the fans appreciate him.
He also uses it to recruit, and he uses it well.
Mainieri has kept the winning tradition alive in Alex Box Stadium, as a College World Series victory in 2009 and three total appearances in Omaha have cemented his role as a mainstay in LSU sports. Such success can only be achieved through solid recruiting practices.
Of the 102 players Mainieri has brought into the program from high school or junior college since 2009, 18 have been drafted, including seven from the 2013 squad.
In 2013, the program witnessed the birth of a powerhouse as the Tigers went a school-best 57-9 before reaching the College World Series. Thanks to the additions of freshman shortstop Alex Bregman, junior third baseman Christian Ibarra and junior designated hitter Sean McMullen among others, LSU soared to new heights.
But the addition of effective players is nothing new to the program.
Whether it was former Tigers JaCoby Jones, Mikie Mahtook or Matty Ott, Mainieri has had a knack for adding the right players at the right time.
Of those 102 players, 52 percent have come from Louisiana, and 87 percent have originated from the South.
Seven of the 18 players who were drafted by major league organizations came from the “Pelican State.”
Also, 55 percent of incoming players to LSU since 2009 have been pitchers — one of whom being the tallest player Mainieri has ever recruited: 2014 prospect David Palladino, who towers on the mound at 6 feet 9 inches.
Mainieri lost Palladino to the Yankees and infielder Justin Williams to Arizona, but if all else goes to plan, he will have added pitcher Parker Bugg as well as infielder Nick Longhi — both of whom have already been drafted out of high school.
Interactive chart by Brian Sibille