Two players with New Orleans area connections were taken in the second round of the Major League Baseball draft Thursday night, including one high schooler.
LSU pitcher Ryan Eades went No. 43 to the Minnesota Twins. The junior righthander is 8-1 this season, pitching 96 innings in which has given up a 96 hits but only 33 runs. His 2.81 ERA is third on a team that carries a 2.47 ERA. Eades’ 77 strikeouts are second-most and he has given up only three home runs.
Meanwhile, Terrebonne High School shortstop Justin Williams went No. 52 to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The left-handed hitter stands 6-foot-3, 215 pounds. But he isn’t a sure-bet to turn pro. He told WWLTV’s Brian Salmond in May that he values education and follows LSU.
“The fans, the support of the coaching staff, their record every year,” Williams said. “They’re always a winning team. They’re always going to Omaha (for the College World Series).”
Williams batted .333 this past season, knocking in 13 RBI while scoring 18 runs. He hit four home runs and seven doubles
Friday, LSU saw another player picked as JaCoby Jones went in the third round, No. 87 overall, to the Pittsburgh Pirates. This season, Jones is hitting .283 with 10 doubles and five home runs. He has 29 RBIs while scoring 28 runs himself. Jones was named to a 2011 Collegiate Baseball all-American and was the 2011 Louisiana freshman of the year.
This season, Jones has 15 multiple hit games, fifth-best on the team and recorded a nine-game hit streak. The Tigers are 46-7 in the 53 games Jones played this season.
LSU infielder Mason Katz, a Jesuit High grad, was taken in the fourth round by the St. Louis Cardinals, going with the 125th pick. His .378 batting average is second on a team that is 55-9 and will host a Super Regional beginning tonight. His 15 home runs are nearly triple the second-highest total and his 14 doubles are second on the team.
Katz carries a .987 fielding percentage this season and has helped turn a team-high 48 double plays from his first-base perch.
In the seventh round, LSU pitcher Nick Rumbelow went to the New York Yankees in No. 224 overall.