Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft
A total of 30 college and high school players from Louisiana — including three first-round selections — were chosen in Major League Baseball's First Year Player Draft held Monday through Wednesday.
In search of the next Ron Guidry, the New York Yankees led the way by drafting four Louisiana players, while the San Francisco Giants picked three players from ULM. Nabbing two players each from the Bayou State were the defending World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals, Miami Marlins, Minnesota Twins and Pittsburgh Pirates. In all, 21 MLB teams drafted at least one player with Louisiana ties.
A capsule look at the draftees:
Kevin Gausman, RHP, LSU (Baltimore Orioles, 1st round, 4th overall) — Gausman became the 16th first-round pick in LSU baseball history and the 13th since 1989 early in Monday's first round.
A Golden Spikes Award semifinalist, the 6-4, 180-pound sophomore from Centenniel, Colo. (Grapevine HS) will not report to the Orioles until the Tigers' season is over.
Gausman is currently 11-1 with a 2.72 earned run average. In 115 2/3 innings, he has allowed 100 hits, with 128 hits vs. only 27 walks, while holding opponents to a .231 batting average.
This marks the fourth straight season that an LSU player has been tabbed in the first round.
Gavin Cecchini, SS, Barbe High School (New York Mets, 1st round, 12th overall) — Cecchini literally grew up on the baseball field. His father, Glenn, is the longtime head coach at perennial powerhouse Barbe. In addition to being an assistant coach for the Bucs, his mother, Raissa, is generally regarded as the best female batting practice pitcher in the nation.
For his part, Gavin Cecchini hit .413 with seven home runs, 32 RBIs and 31 stolen bases in helping Barbe to the Class 5A state title as a senior.
Recognized as Louisiana's Farm Bureau Mr. Baseball, Cecchini has signed with Ole Miss.
Coincidentally, Cecchini witnessed the first no-hitter in the 51-year history of the Mets' franchise when Johan Santana baffled the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday, June 1. Three days later, Cecchini was drafted by the Mets.
Stryker Trahan, C, Acadiana HS (Arizona Diamondbacks, 1st round, 26th overall) — Trahan batted .460 with five home runs and 31 RBIs as a senior.
Trahan, the Wrecking Rams' starting quarterback, has the arm strength to play catcher, though his receiving skills need polish. His future may be in the outfield.
Trahan has verbally committed to Ole Miss. Like Cecchini, it's doubtful that he will ever play in Oxford.
Mason Melotakis, LHP, Northwestern State (Minnesota Twins, 2nd round, 63rd overall) — A reliever from Grapevine, Texas, Melotakis was the first player from Louisiana to have his named called Tuesday when he became the second-highest selection in Northwestern history.
Inserted into the starting rotation late in the season, the 6-3, 205-pound Melotakis compiled a 4-4 record with a 3.62 earned run average and 70 punchouts in 62 innings during the recently-completed season.
Colin Rodgers, LHP, Parkview Baptist HS, (Kansas City Royals, 3rd round, 100th overall) — Rodgers, fashioned a 5-1 record with a 2.45 earned run average as a senior. Doubling at first base, he hit .333 and was voted co-MVP of District 6-3A.
Rodgers was among five rookies signing with the Royals on Wednesday. Earlier, the 6-0, 180-pounder signed a letter-of-intent with Auburn.
Kolby Copeland, OF, Parkway HS (Miami Marlins, 3rd round, 127th overall) — A lefthanded batter with power, the 6-2, 185-pound Copeland was taken as a supplemental pick between the third and fourth rounds. As a senior, he hit .394 with four home runs.
Copeland was also Parkway's starting quarterback.
Austin Nola, SS, LSU (Miami Marlins, 5th round, 167th overall) — In his fourth year as a starter for the Tigers, Nola carries a .313 batting average with 16 doubles, a triple, 4 home runs and 42 RBIs into this weekend's Super Regional.
The Baton Rouge Catholic High alumnus earned the Outstanding Player award in last week's Baton Rouge Regional.
Brad Delatte, LHP, Nicholls State (Toronto Blue Jays, 5th round, 175th overall) — Delatte, a former St. Amant star, became the second-highest draft pick in Colonels' history Tuesday.
As a senior, Delatte worked 34 2/3 innings, finishing with an 0-2 record, a 2.86 ERA and 35 strikeouts.
Hayden Jennings, OF, Evangel Christian Academy (Washington Nationals, 6th round, 204th overall) — Jennings displayed speed and power as a senior at Evangel, swatting 12 home runs and stealing 23 bases. A lefty swinging center fielder, he hit .439 with 31 RBIs en route to earning the Outstanding Player award on the Class 2A All-State team.
Jennings has signed with LSU, but told the Shreveport Times that he plans to sign with the Nationals “later this week.”
Nick Goody, RHP, LSU (New York Yankees, 6th round, 217th overall) — Goody, a junior from Orlando, Fla., has a 1-2 record with a 2.51 earned run average and 11 saves. In 33 appearances, the 5-11, 197-pound junior from Orlando, Fla. has recorded 11 saves with 45 punchouts in 32 1/3 innings.
Jeremy Sy, SS, ULM (San Francisco Giants, 12th round, 388th overall) — Sy was named Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year after batting .330 with a .432 on base percentage, four home runs, seven triples , 15 doubles, 37 RBIs and 14 stolen bases. The Mt. Zion, Ill. native saved the biggest hit of his college career for the Sun Belt Conference Tournament as his two-run walkoff home run in the bottom of the 13th inning gave the Warhawks a 9-7 victory over No. 1 seed Florida Atlantic.
Brock Hebert, SS, Southeastern (Seattle Mariners, 14th round, 431st overall) — Hebert, a former South Terrebonne standout, was named Southland Conference Player and Hitter of the Year after leading the conference in batting average (.374), runs scored (58) and stolen bases (36).
This marks the ninth consecutive year that the Lions have had a player chosen in the draft.
Joseph Scanio, RHP, Northwestern State (St. Louis Cardinals, 16th round, 510th overall) — Scanio, a 6-4 righthander, registered a 5-4 record with three saves and a 2.96 ERA in 31 appearances (four starts) as a senior. He struck out 72 and walked only 22 in 67 innings, while limiting foes to a .207 batting average.
The St. Louis native and lifelong Cardinals' fan was pleasantly shocked to be drafted by his hometown team.
“The pick came out of nowhere,” said Scanio. “I filled out some information for them a while back and that is about all I had heard from them.
“This is unbelievable. It still hasn't hit me yet.”
Stefan Lopez, RHP, Southeastern (New York Yankees, 16th round, 517th overall) — Lopez, the Southland Conference Relief Pitcher of the Year, set school and conference records for single-season (20) and career saves (30).
As a junior, the 6-2, 190-pound Lopez logged a 2-1 record with a microscopic 0.61 ERA, while striking out 42 batters in 29 1/3 innings work. Opposing batters hit just .179 against the former New Iberia Yellow Jacket.
Jeremy Schaffer, 1B, Tulane (St. Louis Cardinals, 18th round, 570th overall) — A three-time All-Conference USA selection, Schaffer established career-highs in seven offensive categories last season.
Hailing from Bellaire, Texas, Schafer hit .326 with a .434 on base percentage, nine home runs, 19 doubles and 49 RBIs as a senior.
Alex Williams, 1B, Louisiana Tech (Chicago White Sox, 19th round, 591st overall) — A 6-6, 265-pounder from Alexandria's Menard High School, Williams hit .322 with 12 home runs, 11 doubles and 46 RBIs as a senior.
Randy Zeigler, LHP, ULM (San Francisco Giants, 19th round, 598th overall) — Zeigler closed out his junior season with a misleading 5-7 record and a 3.69 ERA. In 18 starts, the one-time Calvary Baptist stalwart struck out 111 batters and held opposing hitters to a .234 batting average.
Jeb Stefan, RHP, Louisiana Tech, (Philadelphia Phillies, 22nd round, 698th overall) — Stefan, who prepped at Acadiana, was 2-7 with a 4.89 ERA as a junior. In 13 starts, the 6-4, 225-pound Stefan struck out 81 batters in 84 2/3 innings, while walking 40 and allowing 86 hits.
Jameson Fisher, C, Zachary HS (Chicago Cubs, 24th round, 734th overall) — Fisher, a 6-2, 180-pounder who bats from the left side, is a Southeastern Louisiana signee.
Jordan Harrison, LHP, Louisiana-Lafayette (Tampa Bay Rays, 25th round, 782nd overall) — UL-Lafayette's lone draftee, Harrison made 17 appearances, including six starts, as a junior. Totaling 50 innings, the New Caney (Texas) High product compiled a 3-3 record with a 3.42 ERA.
With Harrison's selection, the Ragin' Cajuns have been represented in the draft for the past 31 consecutive years.
Carson Goldsmith, RHP, Northwestern State (Minnesota Twins, 28th round, 850th overall) — Goldsmith, from Austin, Texas, appeared in 15 games without a decision and three saves for the Demons as a junior.
Joey Rapp, 1B/OF, ULM (San Francisco Giants, 28th round, 868th overall) — Starting all 62 games for the Sun Belt Conference Tournament champion Warhawks, Rapp hit .322 and led the team with 30 extra base hits. In 30 Sun Belt Conference games, the Sarasota, Fla. product assembled a .317 batting average with 14 extra base hits and committed only one error.
Chris Wolfe, SS, Grambling State (Oakland A's, 30th round, 919th overall) — Wolfe hit .321 with a .473 on base percentage, while driving in 29 runs and scoring 46 as the Tigers' leadoff batter. A terror on the basepaths, the speedy Houston Willowridge product stole 29 bases in 33 attempts.
Trent Giambrone, SS, Grace King HS (Los Angeles Dodgers, 30th round, 926th overall) — Giambrone is listed on the Class 5A All-State team after batting .565 with 36 RBIs and 43 runs scored.
Raph Rhymes, OF, LSU (New York Yankees, 30th round, 937th overall) — Rhymes, the SEC Player of the Year, is the nation's leading hitter with a .452 batting average, 11 doubles, four home runs and 52 RBIs. Defensively, the junior from Neville has split time between left and right field.
Garrett Cannizaro, SS, Tulane (New York Yankees, 32nd round, 997th overall) — A former Mandeville High Skipper, Cannizaro hit .305 from the No. 2 spot in the batting order, with 42 RBIs and 42 runs scored.
Moving from shortstop to third base for the 2012 season, he committed only five errors.
Tyler Hanover, 3B, LSU (Detroit Tigers, 33rd round, 1,024th overall) — Projected as a second baseman in the pros, Hanover is hitting at a .288 clip with one home run, 13 doubles and 28 RBIs. The senior from Kernersville, N.C. is LSU's career leader with 36 sacrifice bunts.
Hanover became the 11th player drafted during coach Jeff Schexnaider's tenure at ULM.
Peter Pizarro, C, Byrd HS (Los Angeles Angels, 35th round, 1,077th overall) — Pizarro hit .393 and drove in 42 runs while helping Byrd advance to the Class 5A quarterfinals.
Jacob Waguespack, RHP, Dutchtown HS (Pittsburgh Pirates, 37th round, 1,126th overall) — Following up an 8-0 junior campaign, Waguespack went 8-2 as a junior. A Class 5A All-State honoree,
Waguespack has signed with Ole Miss.
Jared West, LHP, North DeSoto HS (Pittsburgh Pirates (39th round, 1,186th overall) — The University of Houston signee posted an 8-1 record in leading the Griffins to a Class 3A state runner-up finish — the deepest playoff run in school history.