LSU Pitching Breakdown

The Tigers have had a lot of change through the rotation this year, but the same 3 starters from last weekend, will start against the Noles. LSU’s best arms may actually come out of the pen. You have to get to the Tigers starters, if you get to their bullpen down a run or two, it will be a problem. On the season, LSU has put up a team ERA of 4.66. LSU pitchers’ have struggled at two things, keeping the ball in the park and holding runners on base. I’d expect the Noles to be aggressive at the dish and on the base paths this weekend.

G1 starter: RHP Cole Henry- 3.51 ERA, 56.1 IP, 69 K’s, 15 BB’s, .233 BAA, 17 XBH’s

Henry came to LSU as the number 1 pitcher in the state of Alabama, and hasn’t disappointed in his freshman season. Henry is much more of a power pitcher than his freshman counterpart, as he has struck out 69 batters in 56.1 IP this year. He missed a month of the season with an elbow injury, before coming back in the SEC tournament. The freshman got the G2 start in LSU’s regional, and dominated Southern Miss, giving up just 2 hits while striking out 6.

Henry’s fastball is electric, normally ranging from 93-94, but he can run it all the way up to 97. The ball jumps out of his hand with lots of life. He pounds the outside corner, using a 2-seamer early in the count, before getting strikeouts with 4-seamers at the top of the zone. Henry is very accurate with the fastball, and pounds the corners.

Cole Henry FB

Henry’s favorite off speed is his curveball, which is a 12-6, with big looping action. The curve will range from 78-79 and plays very well off his FB. The freshman hasn’t found the zone yet with the pitch, but it sets up his fastball up in the zone very well. He often lets the curve leak out to his arm side, as his shoulder is susceptible to flying open.

Cole Henry CB

Henry also adds a changeup to his arsenal, ranging from 85-87. He can throw strikes with the pitch, but won’t use it against righties. The pitch is a good get me over pitch against lefties when he is behind in counts, as it keeps the hitter off the fastball.

Cole Henry CH

G2 Starter: RHP Landon Marceaux- 4.64 ERA, 54.1 IP, 41 K’s, 19 BB’s, 14 XBH’s, .280 BAA

The freshman came into the season as the number 1 pitcher from the state of Louisiana and one of the very best recruits in the country. He has really come on as of late and gained the start in game 1 of LSU’s Regional and didn’t disappoint. Marceaux is not a strikeout pitcher or have the very best stuff, but he has very good pitchability for a pitcher his age. Marceaux throws strikes and doesn’t get beat by the big hits, only giving up 3 HR’s all year. He is pretty slow to home plate, and has given up 9 stolen bases in 10 attempts this season.

Marceaux’s fastball will work in the range of 90-92 with heavy sinking action. He gets a lot of weak contact and balls hit straight in front of the plate. The sinking action makes it very hard for hitters to get on top of it, leading to lots of rollovers. FSU will have to see the ball up and above the knees and stay away from the ball sinking under the strike zone. The Noles will have to be aggressive on the fastball early, as he throws almost exclusive fastballs first pitch, and often for strikes.

Landon Marceaux FB

The freshman’s favorite off speed is his changeup, which ranges from 82-84 MPH. It has lots of depth and arm side tail. The ball will start at the knees and end at the ankles, while moving the width of the plate. The freshman will use the pitch to both RH and LH, but is susceptible to hang the pitch.

Landon Marceaux CH

Landon’s curveball is the pitch he uses the least, but he likes it when ahead in the count. He will rarely use the loopy, 12-6 curve early in the count, as he struggles to throw it for strikes. The pitch ranges from 78-79 MPH, and he either lets it go too early and leaves it high, or spikes the pitch, as he hasn’t found it for strikes yet in his freshman year.

Landon Marceaux CB

G3 Starter: RHP Eric Walker- 5.47 ERA, 72.1 IP, 56 K’s, 32 BB’s, .247 BAA, 22 XBH’s

Walker was named a freshman All-American in 2017, but missed the entire 2018 season with a ligament tear in his elbow. Walker’s stuff has taken a bit of a step down, so he’s had a lot of adjusting to do this year. The adjustments have led to struggles, but the Tigers have stuck with the junior, knowing what he’s capable of when he’s right. Walker is the one pitcher on the LSU staff that does a good job of holding runners on well.Walker got the start in G3 of the regional, and will also get G3 against the Noles, if necessary.

Walker’s fastball sometimes works as a cutter and sometimes as a sinker, either way it’s never flat. The pitch sits between 84-86 and tops out of 87. He works the outside corners, pounding the black early in the count. He can also get weak pop-ups on fastballs up in the zone. Walker is a pop up pitcher, the Noles have to be aggressive and get on top of the fastball.

Eric Walker FB

Walker’s changeup is his best off speed, and really his only one, as he rarely uses his curveball. The pitch has good depth and tilt, but not too much change in speed. The pitch will sit 79-81, getting lots of off-balance swings and soft contact. He can throw the pitch for strikes consistently.

Eric Walker CH

RHP Zack Hess- 4.63 ERA, 70 IP, 82 K’s, 33 BB’s, .284 BAA, 33 XBH’s

Hess was named to the freshman All-American team, in the same year as Walker, as a reliever. In 2018, Hess was converted to a starter and really struggled. After more struggles as a starter this year, Hess has been back in the pen for the stretch run of the season. He is a power pitcher, with 2 dominant pitches. He will get tons of strikeouts, but also give up a lot of hits, especially XBH’s. Hess was drafted in the 7th round of the draft this week.

Hess’ FB is electric, coming in at 95-96 consistently, while topping out at 97. The ball jumps out of his hand and is hard to pick up because of his funky delivery. He uses his FB almost dominantly, especially against lefties, and almost always pounds the outside part of the plate. He can sometimes be susceptible to pulling the ball to his glove side, but usually commands it well. FSU needs to be geared up for it and aggressive.

Zack Hess FB

The slider is Hess’ only off-speed pitch, but it’s his number 1 pitch against righties. The ball moves a ton and can look like a whiffle ball at times, with wicked late bite. It is his premium strikeout pitch, and it works a lot like JC Flowers’ slider.

Zack Hess SL

RHP Matthew Beck- 2.13 ERA, 42.1 IP, 37 K’s, 24 BB’s, .201 BAA, 6 XBH’s

Beck is a huge RHP, standing 6’7 and weighing 241 pounds. Beck is a two-pitch pitcher, which make each better. He doesn’t have the most electric stuff, but he’s very deceptive and hard to hit. He doesn’t give up many hits or XBH’s but can lose commands at times. If Beck is in the zone, he’s very hard to hit.

The fastball doesn’t read very hard on the radar gun, sitting 87-89, but it plays much harder off of the curveball. Beck gets far down the hill and has a very hard delivery to pick up, making the fastball jump on hitters. He often works the top part of the zone, getting lots of weak pop-ups. He can sometimes overthrow, and lose the ball up. If he can spot the pitch, it’s very effective.

Matthew Beck FB

Beck boosts a nasty curveball, which has a 12-6 action that plays perfectly off the high fastball. The curveball rides the same tunnel as the fastball, before breaking down below the zone late. He has control of it and isn’t afraid to throw it in any count. He often uses it as a get-me-over first pitch, dropping it into the zone, before putting it in the dirt for strikeouts.

Matthew Beck CB

RHP Devin Fontenot- 3.86 ERA, 44.1 IP, 43 K’s, 22 BB’s, .186 BAA, 9 XBH’s

Fontenot has been the LSU closer for most of the season, as he leads the team with 7 saves. He may be used as a set up man to Zack Hess this weekend, but Fontenot boasts maybe the most unhittable stuff on LSU. He has only allowed a .186 average against this year, while only allowing 9 XBH’s. But sometimes, the sophomore can struggle with his command.

Fontenot uses an electric fastball a lot like Hess. His sits 94-95, while topping out at 96. The ball has lots of arm side run and late life, diving in on righties. Sometimes, he is susceptible to over throwing and not finishing his pitches, missing up high. He’s at his best when he is working down in the zone.

Devin Fontenot FB

Fontenot’s only off speed is his nasty frisbee slide, which can range fro 80-82 MPH. The ball has sharp bite, but he can struggle to command the pitch at times. He doesn’t use it often as he relies on his fastball.

Devin Fontenot SL

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