Swaggerty, LSU sophomores, Marceaux top Louisiana MLB Draft prospects

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Zach Watson, LSU vs. Southern
LSU outfielder Zach Watson is a ranked as top 100 prospect in the MLB Draft (Photo: Jonathan Mailhes).

Major League Baseball’s annual draft begins Monday night, with draft eligible players and their coaches watching intently.

The player with Louisiana ties expected to come off the board first is Mandeville native and former Denham Springs High School outfielder Travis Swaggerty, an outfielder at South Alabama who could be selected in the top 10 picks.

If Swaggerty goes in the first round, he would be the third former Denham Springs player to be a first-round pick, joining former LSU standouts Ben McDonald and Russ Johnson.

Swaggerty is expected to attend tonight’s draft proceedings at the MLB Network studios in New Jersey.

The cast of LSU draft prospects is topped by a pair of draft-eligible sophomores – outfielder Zach Watson and right-hander Zack Hess.

Both are ranked in the top 100 draft prospects by Baseball America – Watson at No. 66 and Hess at No. 87. With two seasons of eligibility remaining, both Watson and Hess will have leverage in making sure they get a deal to their liking before signing a professional contract.

The top-ranked high school player in Louisiana is Destrehan right-hander Landon Marceaux, an LSU signee. Marceaux, rated No. 109 in the draft class by Baseball America, has not only been a dominant pitcher for the Wildcats, but got a chance to play for the USA U18 national team last summer and win a gold medal in the World Baseball Softball Confederation World Cup in Canada.

Six other players from Louisiana are ranked in Baseball America’s top 200: LSU outfielder Antoine Duplantis (139), UL Lafayette left-hander Hogan Harris (148), Tulane outfielder Grant Witherspoon (163), John Curtis Christian right-hander and LSU signee Will Ripoll (183), Ragin’ Cajuns right-hander Nick Lee (184) and Ruston High School catcher and LSU signee C.J. Willis (195).

The first two rounds and compensatory selections, totaling 78 picks, will be held Monday night. The draft continues through Wednesday.

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Lenny Vangilder

Lenny Vangilder

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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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