LSU Lands Elite 2018 California SS

All-American shortstops don’t grow on trees, but coach Paul Mainieri and the rest of the LSU coaching staff sure make it look that way.

On the heels of Alex Bregman moving on to professional baseball after his junior year as a member of the Houston Astros organization, selected as the second overall in the draft this past June, freshman Trey Dawson is drawing rave reviews as the next man up. Dawson is expected to provide a smooth transition from an upperclassmen All-American to a freshman just as Bregman stepped into the lofty shoes left by Austin Nola.

And LSU already has its man to follow Dawson if the product from Hurricane, W.Va., reaches his potential and is selected high in the 2018 MLB draft as a Tigers junior.

On Monday, shortstop Brice Turang from Corona, Calif., committed to LSU, adding an uber talent to the Tigers’ 2018 recruiting class. A sophomore at Santiago High, Turang has the accolades, bloodline and tools to produce a who’s who of a college recruitment, which saw LSU come out on top.

“LSU is amazing,” Turang said of committing to the six-time national champions. “I just loved to be out there. Their campus, facilities and most important their coaching staff is great.

“I’m so thankful they gave me this opportunity to play. God has blessed me in a sport that I love.”

Turang is the son of former big leaguer Brian Turang, a member Seattle Mariners organization from 1989-1995, and the Toronto Blue Jays in 1996. Though he’s played only one year of high school baseball, Brice quickly made a name for himself in the Turang household.

Leading USA Baseball’s 15U team to the silver medal in the 2014 WBSC 15U World Cup, Turang battled .553 with three doubles, a triple, 13 RBI and nine stolen bases. As a 14-year-old batting leadoff for the 15U team, Turang’s exploits helped him become the first 15U player to receive USA Baseball’s Richard W. “Dick” Case Player of the Year Award, given annually to USA Baseball’s top player. Spending the 2015 summer with USA Baseball’s 17U National Team Development Program and selected to the All-Development Team, Turang was one of eight players selected from the program to participate in USA Baseball’s 2016 Tournament of Stars.

Though he was selected to the 17U NTDP All-Development Team as an OF, Turang projects well as dynamic a middle-of-the-diamond defender with an impact bat.

At 6-foot, 155 pounds , Turang is a left-handed hitting prospect who runs true 4.0 times down the line, presents clean and fluid actions in the field, while maintaining a rhythmic, fundamentally strong and quick-to-the-ball swing. Evaluators and those recruiting Turang have no doubt he will stick at shortstop, keeping LSU in line to turn from star to another at the six-spot. But there is concern he may never see a pitch in college baseball, never reach the Baton Rouge campus, with chances high he’ll be a top draft prospect come 2018.

For now, LSU is set to continue to stake a claim to Shortstop U by gaining the commitment of the one the top high school underclassmen in the country.

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