2014 MLB Draft
Thirty players from Louisiana colleges and high schools were selected in Major League Baseball's First-Year Player Draft, held June 5-7.
All but nine of the state's draftees are pitchers.
Louisiana-Lafayette leads the way with seven selections, followed by LSU with five and Tulane with three. Southland Conference Tournament champion Southeastern Louisiana and Class 4A state champ Lafayette St. Thomas More were represented with two draft picks apiece.
Closer to home, the Milwaukee Brewers chose a pair of pitchers from northeast Louisiana in Ruston righthander David Burkhalter and former Sterlington and LSU Eunice lefthander Chad Reeves.
The Los Angeles Dodgers chose five players with ties to Louisiana, the Tampa Bay Rays picked three and the Brewers, Minnesota Twins, San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Angels and Pittsburgh Pirates two each. Twelve teams drafted one player from the state.
A look at Louisiana's 2014 draftees:
Aaron Nola, RHP, LSU (Philadelphia Phillies, 1st round, 7th overall) — A two-time SEC Pitcher of the Year, Nola became the third-highest draftee in LSU history behind pitchers Ben McDonald, the No. 1 overall pick by the Baltimore Orioles in 1989, and Kevin Gausman, the No. 4 overall pick of the Orioles in 2012.
Nola, who signed with the Phillies on Tuesday, ranks among LSU's all-time greats. He closes out his college career with a 30-6 record, a 2.09 earned run average and 345 strikeouts in 322 innings.
As a junior in 2014, the Baton Rouge Catholic High product was 11-1 with a 1.47 ERA in 16. Amassing 116 1/3 innings, Nola recorded 134 punchouts, walked 27 and allowed 69 hits while holding the opposition to a .172 batting average.
Chase Vallot, C, St. Thomas More HS (Kansas City Royals, supplemental 1st round, 40th overall) — Louisiana's Gatorade Player of the Year and Class 4A state MVP, Vallot hit .545 with 13 home runs, a triple, 15 doubles and 62 RBI in helping the Cougars to the state title. He was a two-time All-State selection at St. Thomas More.
Like most catchers in this year's draft, the 6-0, 215-pound Mississippi State signee is more polished offensively than defensively.
Vallot, who has above-average speed for a catcher, could move to the outfield or a corner infield position down the road.
Tyler Moore, C, LSU (New York Mets, 6th round, 175th overall) — Coming on strong down the stretch, the lefthanded-swinging junior finished the 2014 campaign with a .301 batting average, 10 doubles, six home runs and 37 RBI.
Over the final 12 games, the SEC Tournament MVP hit at a torrid .378 clip with four doubles, four homers and 22 RBI.
Appearing in 53 games (43 starts), the 6-1, 195-pound Baton Rouge Dunham alumnus also saw action at first base for the Tigers.
David Burkhalter, RHP, Ruston HS (Milwaukee Brewers, 6th round, 176th overall) — Striking out 104 batters in 70 innings, the 6-3, 190-pound Burkhalter compiled a 7-3 record with a 0.40 earned run average in helping the Bearcats to the District 2-5A title. He was recently selected as the All-Northeast Louisiana Big School Pitcher of the Year by the Monroe News-Star.
Burkhalter signed with ULM, before opting to sign with the Brewers on Monday.
Andro Cutura, RHP, Southeastern Louisiana (Minnesota Twins, 7th round, 200th overall) — In 16 starts, the dependable Cutura logged 106 innings while tallying a 10-2 record, including three complete games, with a 1.95 ERA. He recorded 99 punchouts walked just 21 and surrendered 87 hits in holding opposing batters to a .219 average as SLU made its first NCAA Regional appearance in 20 years.
A 6-0, 192-pound junior, the Pearl River High School product became the Lions' highest draftee since the Arizona Diamondbacks nabbed lefthander Wade Miley with a 2008 supplemental first round pick.
Taylor Byrd, LHP, Nicholls State (Seattle Mariners, 7th round, 201st overall) — Compiling an 8-3 record and a 1.92 ERA in 14 starts, the Southland Conference Pitcher of the Year allowed only one home run in 89 innings pitched. His season line also included 80 strikeouts, 27 walks and 79 hits allowed.
A 6-2, 175-pound transfer from Pearl River (Miss.) Community College, Byrd is the third-highest draft pick in Nicholls State history.
Seth Harrison, CF, UL-Lafayette (San Francisco Giants, 7th round, 208th overall) — Harrison became the first Ragin' Cajun to have his name called on Friday, the second day of the draft.
His 2014 numbers include a .325 batting average, a .380 on base percentage, a .551 slugging percentage, nine home runs, seven triples, 17 doubles and 15 stolen bases in 21 attempts.
As a spot reliever, the 6-1, 195-pound senior righthander was 0-0 with two saves and a 5.79 ERA in five appearances.
Randy LeBlanc, RHP, Tulane (Minnesota Twins, 10th round, 290th overall) — Primarily a fastball pitcher, the 6-0, 204-pound LeBlanc is projected as a reliever in the pros.
LeBlanc enrolled at Tulane after being drafted by the Miami Marlins out of Covington High in 2010. Just three games into his college career, he needed Tommy John surgery.
As a senior for the Green Wave, LeBlanc fashioned a 4-5 record with a 2.16 ERA and two complete games in 14 starts. Throwing 91.1 innings, he struck out 66, walked 20 and gave up 89 hits.
Caleb Adams, OF, UL-Lafayette (Los Angeles Angels, 10th round, 299th overall) — Adams finished his junior season with a .381 batting average, a .502 on base percentage and a .673 slugging percentage along with 11 home runs, seven triples, 18 doubles and 42 RBI. A 6-0, 185-pounder out of Texarkana Texas High, Adams drew 46 walks and scored 67 runs.
Jace Conrad, 2B, UL-Lafayette (Tampa Bay Rays, 13th round, 397th overall) — Starting all 68 games during the recently-completed campaign, the left-handed swinging Conrad earned Sun Belt Player of the Year honors.
A 5-11, 195-pounder from Lafayette High School, Conrad hit .364, with a .438 on base percentage and a .564 slugging rate. He also belted nine home runs, 20 doubles, three triples, drove in 65 runs and stole 22 bases in 26 attempts.
Joe Broussard, RHP, LSU (Los Angeles Dodgers, 15th round, 459th overall) — Emerging as LSU's closer, the 6-1, 215-pound junior sported a 3-2 record with eight saves and a 1.05 earned run average, while keeping opponents at bay with a .164 batting average. Appearing in 32 games, the former New Orleans Holy Cross standout logged 34 1/3 innings, recording 37 punchouts against 17 walks.
Broussard took up permanent residence in the bullpen after suffering an elbow injury while playing in the Cape Cod League during the summer of 2012. Recovering from surgery, he took a redshirt year in 2013.
Michael Clemens, RHP, McNeese State (Pittsburgh Pirates, 17th round, 521st overall) — Moving into the starting rotation on a permanent basis in 2014, the 6-4, 225-pound junior went 4-4 with a 5.99 ERA in 14 starts. Laboring 79 2/3 innings, he allowed 95 hits, struck out 54, walked 26 and hit 17 batters.
Clemens became McNeese's first draftee since three former Cowboys were selected in 2011.
Austin Robichaux, RHP, UL-Lafayette (Los Angeles Angels, 18th round, 539th overall) — A 6-5, 170-pounder and the son of Ragin' Cajuns head coach Tony Robichaux, Austin Robichaux was 8-3 with a 3.11 ERA as a junior. Drawing 13 starts, he pitched 89 2/3 innings, including a pair of complete games. A Crowley Notre Dame product, Robichaux struck out 80, walked 24 and held foes to a .210 batting average.
Bret Underwood, CF, Northwestern State (San Francisco Giants, 20th round, 598th overall) —
Batting from the No. 2 slot, Underwood hit .289 with a .358 on base percentage and 13 sacrifice bunts. A 6-2, 200-pound junior, the lefty-swinging Underwood totaled six triples, 10 doubles, 17 RBI and swiped 18 bags in 20 attempts.
Kyle McKenzie, RHP, Tulane (Tampa Bay Rays, 20th round, 607th overall) — Stepping into the closer role, the 6-1, 205-pound fifth-year senior, went 3-0 with three saves in eight appearances, while posting a 1.30 ERA. Taking the mound for 27 2/3 innings, he permitted 21 hits, while establishing a .210 batting average against. Additionally, he struck out 35 and walked nine.
McKenzie was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 30th round in 2009 out of Braintree (Mass.) Thayer Academy.
Ryan Leonards, 3B, UL-Lafayette (Chicago White Sox, 21st round, 618th overall) — Closing out his college career, the 5-11, 195-pound senior's season stats included a .328 batting average, a .400 on base percentage, a .466 slugging percentage, four home runs, four triples, 16 doubles and 35 RBI.
Leonards and Robichaux were high school teammates at Notre Dame.
Andrew Godbold, OF, Southeastern Louisiana (Los Angeles Dodgers, 23rd round, 699th overall) — The Southland Conference Newcomer of the Year, Godbold turned in a .349 batting average, a .448 on base percentage and a .515 slugging mark. His team-high 121 total bases included nine home runs, 10 doubles and a triple. Well-disciplined at the plate, the 6-3, 230-pound Godbold drew 24 walks and was hit by a pitch on 20 occasions while fanning only 25 times in 282 plate appearances.
A sure-handed defender, he committed only one error in 63 games.
Tyler Bray, RHP, ULM (St. Louis Cardinals, 26th round, 795th overall) — Solidifying the Warhawks' bullpen, the 6-5, 200-pound senior made a staff-high 33 appearances (one start). One of only 14 Division I pitchers in the nation to lead his team in wins and saves, Bray fashioned an 8-5 record with five saves and a 3.36 ERA. Over 67 innings, he struck out 69, allowed 58 hits and issued 20 walks.
Bray joined the Warhawks in 2013 after spending two years at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.
Harlan Richter, RHP, Bossier Parish Community College (Los Angeles Dodgers, 27th round, 189th overall) — Concluding his sophomore season with a 1-1 worksheet and a 2.50 ERA, Richter allowed 13 hits through 18 innings. He struck out 21 and walked 17.
Listed at 6-6, 225 pounds, the former Shreveport Evangel standout became BPCC's 27th MLB draftee and the second Cavalier selected by the Dodgers.
Taylor Nunez, RHP, Southern Mississippi (Boston Red Sox, 27th round, 824th overall) — Making his way back from an arm injury, the 6-4, 185-pound Nunez saw limited action during his junior season. In six outings (three starts), he went 0-2 with an 8.79 ERA in 14 1/3 innings.
Nunez was originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 19th round of the 2011 draft out of Slidell Salmen High School.
Christian Trent, LHP, Ole Miss (Los Angeles Dodgers, 29th round, 879th overall) — Among the key components in Ole Miss' march to its first College World Series appearance since 1972, Trent has compiled a 9-0 record with a 2.21 ERA in 16 starts. He was a perfect 6-0 in conference play for the SEC West champion Rebels.
Eating up 102 innings, the 6-0, 190-pound redshirt sophomore has 80 strikeouts, while walking 19 and giving up 89 hits.
A Covington St. Paul High School graduate, Trent redshirted as a freshman at LSU in 2012. Transferring to Delgado in 2013, Trent composed a 9-2 mark with a 2.77 ERA.
Sean McMullen, OF, LSU (Houston Astros, 30th round, 886th overall) — Used primarily as a designated hitter, McMullen provided the Tigers with some lefthanded pop, leading the team in home runs (7), doubles (18), runs scored (44), walks (37) and sacrifice flies (6). The 5-8, 188-pound senior from New Orleans Brother Martin also contributed a .288 batting average, plus a .390 on base percentage, a .507 slugging rate and 40 RBI.
Tyler Mapes, RHP, Tulane (Washington Nationals, 30th round, 904th overall) — Bouncing back from Tommy John surgery, the 6-2, 210-pound redshirt senior turned in a fine senior season for the Green Wave.
Pitching better than his 5-5 record would indicate, Mapes threw two complete games and finished with a 2.20 ERA over 81 2/3 innings. He struck out 59, while walking only 15 (1.65 batters per nine innings).
Mapes began his college career at Navy in 2010, going 3-2 with a 3.41 ERA in two starts.
Following his sophomore year at Navarro (Texas) Community College, Mapes was chosen by the New York Yankees in the 49th round of the 2011 draft.
Orynn Veillon, RHP, St. Thomas More HS (Minnesota Twins, 32nd round, 950th overall) — A UL-Lafayette signee, Veillon was used mostly in relief after reporting late from basketball the past two seasons. The athletic 6-3, 180-pounder helped St. Thomas More to back-to-back Class 4A state basketball championships the past two seasons and was part of the Cougars' state championship baseball team as a senior.
Jared West, LHP, University of Houston (Cleveland Indians, 32nd round, 968th overall) — Appearing in 14 games (10 starts), the 6-6, 215-pound West posted a 2-2 record and a 2.90 ERA. Holding opposing batters to a .211 batting clip, he struck out 39, walked 11 and yielded 38 hits in 49 2/3 innings.
West, who transferred to LSU-Shreveport on Wednesday, has two years of college eligibility remaining.
As a high school senior in 2012, West was named Class 3A Pitcher of the Year by the Louisiana Baseball Coaches Association after leading North DeSoto to the state championship.
His brother, Sean West, was the 44th overall pick of the then-Florida Marlins in 2005.
Chad Reeves, LHP, LSU Eunice (Milwaukee Brewers, 33rd round, 986th overall) — In 15 starts for LSU-E during his recently-completed sophomore season, Reeves posted an 11-1 record with a 2.62 ERA. The durable 6-2, 190-pounder worked 89 1/3 innings, recording 94 punchouts, while walking 36 and allowing 64 hits. Holding opposing batters to a .203 average, he allowed only 14 extra base hits and one run home run the entire season.
Reeves leaves LSU-E with a remarkable 21-3 career record and 179 strikeouts in 174 innings.
A four-year letterman at Sterlington, Reeves helped the Panthers to a Class 2A state runner-up finish as a senior in 2009.
He signed with ULM out of high school, but never pitched for the Warhawks. Reeves was out of baseball for a couple of years, before resuming his career at LSU-E.
Carson Baranik, RHP, UL-Lafayette (Los Angeles Dodgers, 33rd round, 999th overall) — Enjoying a breakout season, the Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Year produced an 11-2 record with a 3.31 ERA. A 6-2, 210-pound junior workhorse, Baranik consumed 106 innings with two complete games, 74 whiffs, 27 walks and 93 hits allowed.
Drafted in the 41st round by the Cincinnati Reds out of New Orleans Rummel in 2011, Baranik made three appearances as a freshman at LSU, before transferring to Miami Dade CC as a sophomore.
Chris Eades, RHP, Delgado CC (Pittsburgh Pirates, 35th round, 1,061st overall) — Eades hit .315 with eight home runs and 18 doubles in helping the Dolphins advance to the Junior College World Series.
A Slidell Northshore product, the 6-3, 220-pound Eades was one of four former Delgado players taken in the draft, joining Christian Trent, Sean McMullen and Nate Fury.
Chris Eades' brother, former LSU righthander Ryan Eades, was chosen by the Minnesota Twins in the second round (43th overall) of the 2013 draft.
Nate Fury, RHP, LSU (Detroit Tigers, 36th round, 1,090th overall) — Called upon in 26 appearances out of the bullpen, the 5-11, 200-pound senior compiled a 3-1 record with a 2.15 ERA. He struck out 22 and walked 11 in 29 1/3 innings.
Fury signed with Tulane out of New Orleans Rummel before transferring to Delgado as a sophomore. Transferring to LSU for his junior season, he made the roster as a walk-on.
Matt Plitt, RHP, UL-Lafayette (Tampa Bay Rays, 37th round, 1,117th overall) — Pitching in 28 games (one start), Plitt went 2-0 with five saves and a .368 ERA. A 6-4, 220-pound senior, Plitt surrendered 43 hits, struck out 44 and issued 30 walks while holding opposing batters to a .210 average.