LSU looking like big winner so far in baseball draft

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LSU Baseball: Duplantis and Watson
(Photo: Jonathan Mailhes)

The first two days of Major League Baseball’s draft are in the books, with the final day on Wednesday.

If the draft were a baseball game, Paul Mainieri’s LSU Tigers would be up by 10 runs in the sixth inning. In other words, it’s not over yet, but the Tigers appear to be on their way to a big win.

Not only have LSU’s top draft prospects with eligibility remaining – outfielders Zach Watson and Antoine Duplantis and pitcher Zack Hess – gone unselected, so have several Tiger signees, most notably Destrehan right-hander Landon Marceaux.

Marceaux, considered by some to be a top 100 draft prospect, confirmed via Twitter Tuesday night he is enrolling in summer school classes. He reportedly turned down a seven-figure bonus to be selected in the second round Monday night.

It’s likely the current LSU players faced a similar scenario – a call from a major league organization asking if they would sign for a certain bonus. Watson and Hess, besides being widely considered top 100 prospects, have the most leverage on the current roster with two years of college eligibility remaining.

By the end of round 10, which concluded Tuesday afternoon, only one Tiger player had been selected – left-hander Nick Bush, picked in the eighth round by the Colorado Rockies. Two signees have been picked – shortstop Brice Turang, a first-round selection of the Milwaukee Brewers Monday night, and pitcher Levi Kelly, an eighth-round pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Each organization is assigned a bonus pool, based on the total of the “slot value” of picks in the first 10 rounds.  A high-profile player could still get picked in rounds 11-40 Wednesday, but if a team wants to spend more than $125,000 on a bonus, the bonus counts against the team’s pool.

Four other Louisiana collegians were selected Tuesday – UL Lafayette pitchers Hogan Harris and Nick Lee, Tulane outfielder Grant Witherspoon and University of New Orleans pitcher Bryan Warzek. Harris was the first Louisiana player off the board, going in the third round (85th overall) to the Oakland Athletics.

An interesting trend has played out during the first two days – nearly 70 percent of the 314 picks have been from Division I colleges.

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Lenny Vangilder

Lenny Vangilder


Lenny was involved in college athletics starting in the early 1980s, when he began working Tulane University sporting events while still attending Archbishop Rummel High School. He continued that relationship as a student at Loyola University, where he graduated in 1987. For the next 11 years, Vangilder worked in the sports information offices at Southwestern Louisiana (now UL-Lafayette) and Tulane;…

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