(KNOE 8 Sports) - He may be three-plus hours away from Monroe, but OCS alum Jake Slaughter says he's gotten a nice bump in streed cred since joining LSU Baseball in Baton Rouge.
"I mean, I have friends who text me all the time, like if I put up a snapchat or something on instagram with LSU, they always come back 'that's awesome!" Slaughter said.
It's a dream come true for Slaughter, who signed with LSU after the two-time All-State selection led OCS to a state championship in baseball, and two in football. Pro scouts saw Slaughter's talent from the outset, as the Chicago Cubs selected him in the 36th round of the 2016 MLB Draft, but that wasn't stopping Slaughter from becoming an LSU Tiger.
"It's something I want to do one day, I wanna be a Major League Baseball player," Slaughter said. "But coming to LSU was something I couldn't pass up on. I felt like coming here is a really good chance to get way better."
It didn't take long for Slaughter to turn heads in Baton Rouge, as the 6'2, 200 pounder already cracked the starting lineup as a first baseman despite mostly playing shortstop with the Eagles.
"You think of an SEC first baseman, a big 6'3" 250 pound guy who can't move real well," LSU junior pitcher Alex Lange said. "And then you've got Jake Slaughter over there who's picking stuff and moving around like he's been there his whole life."
"Rather than be the backup at another position, your more traditional position you play, I'd rather have that player be one of the starting nine if he's one of your nine best guys," LSU head coach Paul Mainieri said of Slaughter.
Starting at a new position on a national championship contender could be a lot of pressure for any player, much less a freshman like Slaughter. However, the OCS product says he doesn't see it as a challenge, but rather, an opportunity.
"I don't try to think about any pressure," Slaughter said. "I just wanna go out there and help my teammates win and do whatever I can to help our team win."
Had Kramer Robertson not returned for his senior season, Mainieri said Slaughter would have competed for the starting shortstop position, and will instead do so as a sophomore. But regardless of position, Mainieri said Slaughter fits right in with LSU's plans.
"He's such a passionate kid," Mainieri said. "He's always the first guy at the field, he's a sponge for knowledge, he wants to learn, he wants to please. He's going to be a really outstanding ball player."'
Slaughter and the Tigers open their season on Friday, February 17 against Air Force.