Draft : : State Preview
Friday, May 03, 2013

MLB Draft Preview: Louisiana

David Rawnsley        
In the weeks leading up to the draft, Perfect Game will be providing a detailed overview of each state in the U.S., including the District of Columbia, as well as Canada and Puerto Rico. These overviews will list the state's strengths, weaknesses and the players with the best tools, as well as providing scouting reports on all Group 1 and 2 players as ranked in Perfect Game's state-by-state scouting lists.  Please visit this page for all of the links to Perfect Game's 2013 Draft Preview content.

Louisiana State-by-State List

It’s been a tale of two springs in Louisiana, as there was plenty of enthusiasm in the scouting community and countless visits by cross-checkers and scouting directors into the state in the early spring. Much of that enthusiasm has slackened as the spring has progressed, especially for the state’s top high school prospects, as skills have been put under the microscope and in some cases performance has dropped.

One constant in the state, of course, is the Louisiana State Tigers, who are currently ranked No. 2 in the country and sport a 40-6 record. LSU could have 6-7 players drafted in the top 10 rounds, with right handed pitcher Ryan Eades a strong candidate to hear his name among the top 20-30 picks. The good news for the Baton Rouge faithful is that LSU’s two best players, freshman shortstop sensation Alex Bregman (.395-4-43) and sophomore right-hander Aaron Nola (8-0, 2.14 in 80 innings) aren’t even draft eligible, but will be considered top of the draft prospects for 2015 and 2014 respectively.

With the exception of Tulane right handed pitcher Tony Rizzotti, the rest of the Louisiana collegiate ranks have been quiet on the prospect front this spring, contributing to a below average number of potential top ten round picks for the state.

High school left-handed power; depth of LSU talent
WEAKNESS: Overall depth; premium position talent
OVERALL RATING (1-to-5 scale): 3

 Louisiana State

PROSPECT ON THE RISE: Mason Katz, of/1b, Louisiana State.
While many of Louisiana’s top prospects seem to have peaked early in the spring, Katz is one player whose stock is rising. Undrafted after a solid .320-13-52 junior year in 2012, Katz has become one of the most dominant hitters in college baseball and ranks third nationally in RBI and eighth in slugging percentage while hitting .374-13-61 overall. With the new treatment given college seniors under the revised draft rules, don’t be surprised to hear Katz’s name called within the first six rounds.

WILD CARD: Jacoby Jones, 2b/cf, Louisiana State.
Even in a state with more than its share of wild cards, the toolsy Jones stands out. For much of the spring Jones was hitting below the Mendoza line, but a recent hot stretch has raised his average to .275-3-19 with 25 walks. At 6-foot-3, 200-pounds, Jones has a big league body, a full collection of big league tools and can play multiple positions in the middle of the field at a high level. The entire question rests with his bat and whether he’ll be able to make the adjustments to hit more successfully at the professional level than he has at the collegiate level.

BEST OUT-OF-STATE PROSPECT, Louisiana Connection:
Stuart Turner, c, University of Mississippi (attended high school in Eunice)
Top 2014 Prospect: Aaron Nola, rhp, Louisiana State
Top 2015 Prospect: Alex Bregman, ss, Louisiana State


Draft History:
Danny Goodwin, c, Southern U. (1975, Angels/1st round, 1st pick); Ben McDonald, rhp, Louisiana State U. (1989, Orioles/1st round, 1st pick)
2008 Draft: Shooter Hunt, rhp, Tulane U. (Twins/1st round, 31st pick)
2009 Draft: Jared Mitchell, of, Louisiana State U. (White Sox/1st round, 23rd round)
2010 Draft: Anthony Ranaudo, rhp, Louisiana State U. (Red Sox/1st round, 39th pick)
2011 Draft: Mikie Mahtook, of, Louisiana State U. (Rays/1st round, 31st pick)
2012 Draft: Kevin Gausman, rhp, Louisiana State U. (Orioles/1st round, 4th pick)


College Players Drafted/Signed:
Junior College Players Drafted/Signed: 0/0
High School Players Drafted/Signed: 10/6


Best Athlete: 
Jacoby Jones, 2b/cf, Louisiana State
Best Hitter: Mason Katz, of-1b, Louisiana State
Best Power: Justin Williams, of, Terrebonne HS, Houma
Best Speed: Jacoby Jones, 2b/cf, Louisiana State
Best Defender: Ty Ross, c, Louisiana State
Best Velocity: Ryan Eades, rhp, Louisiana State
Best Breaking Stuff: Garrett Williams, Calvary Baptist HS, Shreveport
Best Command: Tony Rizzotti, rhp, Tulane


GROUP 1 (rounds 1-3)

1. RYAN EADES, rhp, Louisiana State (Jr.)
Eades and sophomore right handed pitcher Aaron Nola give LSU a pair of true Friday Night starters as talented as any duo in the country and they have combined to go 15-1, 2.21 in 22 starts this spring. In terms of draft stock, Eades has been trying to separate himself from a deep pack of college pitchers, including Arkansas’ Ryne Stanek, Nevada’s Brandon Shipley, Indiana State’s Sean Manaea and Jacksonville’s Chris Anderson, to determine who is the third best collegiate hurler behind Stanford’s Mark Appel and Oklahoma’s Jonathan Gray. The see-saw race seems to change every week. For more on Eades, click here for Frankie Piliere’s Perfect Game Draft Focus feature.

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