BATON ROUGE, La (NBC33) — Mikie Mahtook, one of the more popular faces to ever wear the LSU baseball uniform, officially ended his collegiate career Monday night, signing with the Tampa Bay Rays. Mahtook signed a deal worth 1.15 million dollars right before the deadline.
Head coach Paul Mainieri met with the media Tuesday expressing his appreciation for his former centerfielder. “He gave his heart and soul to LSU for three years and helped us win a national championship. He was a first round draft choice and was offered over a million dollars. I could not, in good conscience, encourage him not to take that,” Mainieri said.
Mainieri said he spoke with Mahtook about five minutes after signing with the Rays and says he could tell that it was very emotional decision for Mahtook to forgo his senior season.
Mahtook was drafted in the first round by the Rays in the 2011 MLB draft. The five-tool centerfielder will meet with the media Wednesday.