C Jake Rogers
Coaches and scouting services have raved about this freshman’s defense, from blocking wild throws to gunning down runners. He’s a key cog in Rick Jones’ renewed small-ball mentality.
1B Bowen Woodson,
Woodson spent his career as a defensively-focused second baseman, but the senior was shifted to help lend experience and a quick-twitch at a corner infield position. Wilson, a newcomer, possesses a bigger bat but has been inconsistent.
2B Garrett Deschamp
A transfer from LSU-Eunice, Deschamp was named to the JUCO World Series all-tournament team, capping a season in which he batted .332 with 21 extra-base hits and 56 RBIs.
SS Stephen Alemais
Alemais is the main attraction among all the freshmen. Rated among the 100 best newcomers by Baseball America, Alemais is smooth in the field, can hit for average and will have the green light to steal bases.
3B Hunter Hope
A freshman with a powerful arm to make throws across the diamond, Hope is also expected to provide power in the middle of a batting order with very little of it.
LF Richard Carthon
Carthon performed well at the top of the order last year, but needs to get better jumps off of pitchers in order to use his exceptional speed.
CF Lex Kaplan
The top rated high-schooler in Missouri by MaxPreps.com was a late but welcome addition. Kaplan’s brother, Jonny, was a mainstay in center during the Wave’s glory years, and Kaplan can anchor any of the three outfield spots.
RF Andrew Garner,
Garner has been a steady offensive presence in two of his three seasons, with a career .280 average and has some extra-base power. Yandel disappointed as a freshman infielder, hitting .227, but will get another chance with less pressure.
#1 J.P. France
He’s the first Tulane freshman to start the season-opener since Ivan Zweig in 1991 and earned it by displaying excellent control of the strike zone in preseason scrimmages.
#2 Randy LeBlanc
The senior has had an up-and-down career due to injuries and spotty control. However, he still has the bility to overwhelm hitters when things are going right and isn’t fazed by a bad outing or a bad break.
#3 Tyler Mapes
After missing the last three months of last season after Tommy John surgery, Mapes came back with impeccable control in three scrimmages, despite a dip in velocity which Jones believes is temporary.
#4 Corey Merrill
Another freshman who impressed the staff with his command in the strike zone, the Lutcher product is a tall right-hander who can consistently place his fastball, curveball and changeup on the edges.
In the bullpen
RP Kyle McKenzie, Andrew Garner, Tyler Zamjahn, Emerson Gibbs
McKenzie is the most experienced, and despite his frequent struggles with control, Jones believes he’ll be a reliable arm to join Garner, who has frequently thrown in middle relief. Gibbs’ recovery from surgery as a freshman kept his velocity down but it picked up in preseason camp.
CL Ian Gibaut
While his status his still unknown for opening weekend due an injury, the sophomore was named the NBCWA Preseason Stopper of the Year list after recording a school record 12 saves as a freshman.