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.
Allan Simpson/Ben Collman
Louisiana State-by-State List
2011 Louisiana Overview
Year For LSU, With Gausman The Notable Exception
overall quality of prospects and the time that cross-checkers spend
in Louisiana each spring is usually heavily dependent on the talent
assembled by Louisiana State, the nation’s most-dominant college
program over the last two decades. On that count, this is not a
banner year for the Tigers but a surprisingly good one overall for
may have only one player selected in the top five or six rounds of
this year’s draft, but he is a prominent one in righthander Kevin
Gausman, one of the leading candidates to go No. 1 overall.
Meanwhile, there are at least five other Louisiana prospects beyond
Gausman who have a legitimate chance to go in the top three rounds,
four of whom are high-school products. That’s in stark contrast to
2011, when the state produced just two picks in the first 10 rounds.
the waning weeks until the 2012 draft, the competition to go first
overall is one of the most-turbulent and uncertain in years, and
Gausman, a Colorado native, appears to have as good a chance as
anyone to be that selection, which would make him the first Louisiana
player to be selected No. 1 since LSU righthander Ben McDonald in
1989. One of Gausman’s strengths this spring has been his
consistency from start to start, and also during the course of a
game, even as he shifted from a curveball to a slider as his primary
aside, the real strength of the 2012 Louisiana draft class lies in
the depth and quality of the high-school talent. Barbe High shortstop
Gavin Cecchini and Acadiana High catcher Stryker Trahan have given
scouts a perfect opportunity to double up and see both on the same
day as they play for teams just down the road from one another along
Interstate-10. On two occasions this spring, they have played
Cecchini and Trahan both be drafted in the first round, as projected,
and assuming Gausman is a lock to go in the same round, it would mark
only the third time in Louisiana draft history that a trio of
in-state products had been taken in the first round, and only the
third time, as well, that multiple high-school players from the prep
ranks went in the top round. That previously occurred in 1996, when
ex-big leaguer Gil Meche was one of three Louisiana high-school
players to go in the first-round; and 1969, when J.R. Richard (the
second overall pick that year) was one of two.
look ahead to 2013 shows more of the same kind of talent on the way.
LSU sophomore righthander Ryan Eades is Gausman’s near-equal as a
prospect and an early candidate to be a top-5 pick. Terrebonne High
third baseman Justin Williams might have the most-powerful bat among
all high-school hitters in the class, and is projected as a
first-rounder as well.
in a nutshell:
Premium high-school position prospects.
College position prospects.
(1-to-5 scale): 5.
HIGH SCHOOL TEAM:
Barbe HS, Lake Charles.
ON THE RISE: Colin Rodgers, lhp, Parkview Baptist HS, Baton Rouge.
the projected top-round Louisiana draft prospects were
well-established prior to the 2012 season, and have pretty much lived
up to expectations. Rodgers is the one player that has improved his
stock, to a possible top-3-round selection. At 6-feet and 180 pounds,
he isn’t the most-physical pitching prospect around but his arm
works very well and his three-pitch mix has been very consistent all
spring. Lefthanders have obvious extra value to teams, as well.
CARD: Raph Rhymes, of, Louisiana State University. Rhymes
has previously been eligible for the draft three times and the
highest he has ever been picked was last year by the Pittsburgh
Pirates in the 40th round. Yet he could go as early as the sixth or seventh rounds this
year as his staggering .500 batting average through games of April
leads NCAA Division I hitters by a wide margin. A combination of
Rhymes’ extraordinary hitting ability and the artificial leverage
he may gain in a new draft process as a 22-year-old, fourth-year
junior should provide him significant value well beyond his average run, throw and power tools—particularly if a team believes he is going to hit
professional pitching in the same way that he has dominated college
pitching this spring.
OUT-OF-STATE PROSPECT, Louisiana Connection:
J.T. Chargois, rhp, Rice University (Attended high school in
Ryan Eades, rhp, Louisiana State University.
Aaron Nola, rhp, Louisiana State University.
Danny Goodwin, c, Southern University (1975, Angels/1st round, 1st pick); Ben McDonald, rhp, Louisiana State University (1989,
Orioles/1st round, 1st pick).
Adams, 3b, Jesuit HS, Mandeville (Orioles/2nd round).
Rike, of, Louisiana Tech (Rockies/2nd round).
Hunt, rhp, Tulane University (Twins/1st round, 31st pick).
Mitchell, of, Louisiana State University (White Sox/1st round, 23rd round).
Ranaudo, rhp, Louisiana State University (Red Sox/1st round, 39th pick).
Mahtook, of, Louisiana State University (Rays/1st round, 31st pick).
College Players Drafted/Signed:
School Players Drafted/Signed:
Trahan, c, Acadiana HS, Scott.
Raph Rhymes, of, Louisiana State University.
Kolby Copeland, of, Parkway HS, Bossier City.
Stryker Trahan, c, Acadiana HS, Scott.
Gavin Cecchini, ss, Barbe HS, Lake Charles; Austin Nola, ss,
Louisiana State University.
Mason Melotakis, lhp, Northwestern State University.
Kevin Gausman, rhp, Louisiana State University.
Nick Goody, rhp, Louisiana State University.
PROSPECTS, GROUPS ONE and TWO
GROUP ONE (Projected
ELITE-Round Draft / Rounds 1-3)
1. KEVIN GAUSMAN,
rhp, Louisiana State University (So.)
The 6-foot-4, 185-pound
Gausman was drafted in the sixth round out of a Colorado high school
in 2009, but passed up on a potential seven-figure bonus to enroll at
LSU, knowing he would be draft-eligible as a sophomore in two years.
He was predictably inconsistent as a freshman when thrust immediately
into LSU’s weekend rotation against Southeastern Conference
competition, but improved steadily and finished 2011 with a 5-6, 3.51
record, along with 23 walks and 86 strikeouts in 90 innings. He then
pitched well last summer in both the Cape Cod League and for USA
Baseball’s college national team, and has continued that
improvement this spring in going 7-1, 3.12 with 20 walks and 97
strikeouts in 75 innings for the Tigers. Greater success has
coincidentally come to Gausman after he replaced his curveball as his primary breaking pitch in favor of a slider that immediately showed plus future
potential. His fastball has been steadily in the mid-90s this spring,
and frequently topped out at 97-98 mph, even in the late innings.
Scouts have commented, though, that he can do a better job of
pitching down in the strike zone with the pitch, and while his
changeup grades out as a third potential plus pitch, he could use it
more aggressively. Gausman is now considered a strong candidate to be
among the first five picks overall, maybe even No. 1, which would
certainly justify his decision two years ago to pitch in college
before going pro.
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