LSU football and baseball hopeful Maurice Hampton could be high MLB draft pick
The LSU football and baseball coaching staffs, along with Tiger faithful, will be carefully watching the MLB draft starting Monday.
Both programs are hoping pro baseball will not cost them 2019 signee Maurice Hampton, one of four players to be named an Under Armour All-Star in both baseball and football. That is an exclusive list including the likes of Heisman winner Kyler Murray, former Ole Miss receiver A.J. Brown and another Class of 2019 signee, Jerrion Ealy of Ole Miss.
Hampton was tabbed Mr. Tennessee in football after starring at the state’s Class 3A level this past season. He viewed as a freshman who could contribute early as a strong safety or nickel back.
Paul Mainieri could also benefit from having the talented outfielder who possesses brings loads of speed, arm strength and raw power to the diamond. The 6-foot, 195 pound Hampton batted .465, with 26 stolen bases. MLB scouts feel he could develop into a 25-plus homer run hitter who can man center field.
Baseball America lists the Memphis native as the 31st best prospect in the upcoming MLB draft. Fangraphs slotted at Hampton at No. 24. If he went in round one, the signing bonus could range from $8.4 to $2.26 million.
The Texas Rangers, a team linked to Hampton and carrying just over $11 million in allotment to sign draftees, hold the 8th overall pick plus the 41st and 50th selections. MLB draft analyst Keith Law has him going to the Cleveland Indians at No. 24 while Fangraphs thinks he’ll fall to Milwaukee at 28.
The commitment to LSU football could scare some teams into investing a high pick on Hampton but teams like the Rangers could overpay him as the 41st or 50th pick.
Ultimately, he will have until August 15 to decide if he wants to play football and baseball at LSU or begin a pro baseball career. It won’t be an easy decision.
After the MLB draft concludes, all LSU fans can do is keep their fingers crossed and wish Maurice Hampton all the luck in the world no matter the outcome.
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, Rene Nadeau has been involved in sports ever since his earliest memories. Rene played basketball, wrestled, ran track, and was an All-District running back in football at John F. Kennedy High School. He went on to be a member of the LSU football program, developing a passion for the game in even…