So LSU wins the College World Series, defeating the Texas Longhorns 11-4 Wednesday. I haven't watched the game yet but have the DVR recording ready to go.
Here are some fun, unsubstantiated predictions/guesses about Tiger and Longhorn players with pro futures:
**Jared Mitchell will sign fairly quickly with the White Sox. He will be assigned to the Great Falls in the Pioneer League, where he will hit .372/.401/.474 with 11 steals in 34 games. He'll be promoted to Kannapolis in the Sally League at that point, where he'll hit .200/.244/.297 with two steals in 19 games, leaving people to wonder about his bat after all. In 2010 he'll play for 87 games for Winston-Salem, hitting .297/.398/.454 with 29 steals, then will move to Double-A Birmingham where he'll hit .259/.337/.410 with 14 steals in 48 games.
**D.J. LeMahieu will sign with the Cubs in early July. He'll go to Boise in the Northwest League and win league MVP honors, hitting .355/.410/.595 and being named top prospect in the Northwest League by Baseball America, with scouts surprised by his power output. He'll begin 2010 with Daytona in the Florida State League, hit .290/.341/.462 in 100 games, then be promoted to Double-A and hit .265/.329/.402 in 29 games for Tennessee. He'll emerge as a solid defensive second baseman.
**Louis Coleman will sign with the Royals next week. They will handle him gently due to his workload this spring, putting him on a pretty strict pitch count at Idaho Falls in the Pioneer League. He'll make five starts there but pitch just 21 innings, with a 17/4 K/BB and 17 hits allowed. He'll move up to the Midwest League and make five more starts for Burlington, pitching 24 innings with a 20/4 K/BB and 23 hits allowed. He'll have a brilliant 2010 spring training and open '10 in Double-A, where he'll post a 3.89 ERA with a 91/41 K/BB in 120 innings for Northwest Arkansas, allowing 129 hits.
**Ryan Schimpf will sign with the Blue Jays quickly and hit .275/.347/.432 in 52 games for Auburn in the New York-Penn League, which will just look okay but will actually be in the Top Ten OPS for that circuit. He'll spend 2010 with Dunedin in the Florida State League, hitting .284/.352/.429, showing a lot of polish but perhaps less power than expected.
**Blake Dean will sign with the Twins in mid July, hit .333/.397/.610 in 24 games for Elizabethton, then move up to Beloit and hit just .222/.239/.363 in 21 games. Scouts will wonder if his approach will work with wood. He'll return to Beloit to begin '10, hit .279/.343/.490 through 49 games, them move to the Florida State League and hit .266/.339/.432 in 58 games.
**Anthony Ranaudo will enter 2010 as LSU's ace, but he'll hurt his shoulder in early March, be sidelined for the rest of the month and in April. He'll come back in May and pitch okay, but his velocity will be down and no one will be sure what to do with him on draft day. He'll end up being drafted in the fourth round early on the second day, will rehab his arm, look good in July '10 workouts, then sign with whoever drafted him right before the August '10 deadline.
**LSU outfielder Leon Landry will have a breakthrough '10 season and end up being drafted in the second round, the first LSU player picked.
**Austin Wood will sign with the Tigers next week. He'll look awful in the New York-Penn League for Oneonta, pitching 11 innings before being shut down, allowing 17 hits with a 9/3 K/BB. He'll rest and come back strong in '10, pitching brilliant relief innings at three levels and ending the season in Triple-A. He'll pitch for the Tigers as a LOOGY in '11 but will have an up-and-down career.
**Brandon Belt will sign with the Giants, hit .279/.332/.459 in 49 games for Salem-Keizer. He'll begin '10 with San Jose in the California League, hit a quick .333/.395/.500 in 32 games, then move up to Double-A and struggle for Connecticut, hitting .241/.301/.384 in 93 games as better pitchers exploit the holes in his swing.
**The Longhorns produce a first round pick (RHP Brandon Workman) and two second round picks (breakout OF Kevin Keyes and RHP Chance Ruffin) in 2010. Russ Moldenhauer has a terrific senior year and ends up drafted in the fifth round