LAFAYETTE — Five players with Louisiana-Lafayette connections were selected Saturday on the final day of the Major League Baseball draft.
The first two days — spanning 10 rounds — came and went with no Ragin’ Cajuns names being called. But things got fairly busy after the San Francisco Giants selected right-hander Reagan Bazar in the 17th round with the 515th pick.
Bazar was followed by teammates Stefan Trosclair in the 20th round and Eric Carter in the 26th, both selected by the St. Louis Cardinals.
“These guys grew up since playing tee ball with the dream of one day being drafted,” coach Tony Robichaux said. “It took a lot of hard work and effort to get to this point. I’m sure it’s a great feeling for them to see their name come up in the draft. I’m proud of all of them for putting in the work and effort to get to this point.”
Carter developed into a prospect with a fine senior season as a setup man for closer Dylan Moore. He threw just 20 innings as a junior while splitting time between starting and the bullpen, but he flourished with a full-time move to the relief corps this year, going 6-2 with a 2.08 ERA and striking out 69 in 52 innings.
Trosclair was not drafted after an All-America junior campaign, when he hit .338 and clubbed 16 home runs. He didn’t come close to matching that production as a senior, but it didn’t appear to hurt his draft stock.
A pair of Cajuns signees also were selected Saturday. The Cincinnati Reds selected Todd Lott, a 6-foot-4 outfielder from Florida’s Trinity Christian Academy, in the 20th round. Junior-college catcher Handsome Monica became the last player with Cajuns connections to be taken when the Atlanta Braves selected him in the 33rd round.
The Cajuns were guaranteed to be without Carter and Trosclair for next season since both had exhausted their eligibility, but they’ll have to play the waiting game with Bazar, Lott and Monica, though they might not have to wait long.
Bazar is likely to sign. The big right-hander logged a career-low 9.1 innings this past year out of the bullpen and has only thrown 22.2 innings over the past two seasons after serving as one of Robichaux’s most trusted bullpen arms as a freshman.
Robichaux had said he expected Bazar to be drafted fairly early because MLB talent evaluators covet high-velocity pitchers, and Bazar regularly hit the high 90s with his fastball during his freshman season.
With a solidly built 6-8 frame, Bazar also has a big-league body.
Lott is a highly regarded prep outfielder who Robichaux said was “the best hitter we saw this summer anywhere in the country” after he signed.
Monica originally signed with Arizona out of St. Paul’s in Mandeville but transferred to Northwest Florida State College, where he hit .348 with 13 home runs and 48 RBIs this season. Robichaux said last week he expected Monica to play a large part in taking over the catching duties next season.
Perhaps the most surprising news of the day was whose name was not called. Kyle Clement, who played solid defense in center field and led the Cajuns in hitting each of the past two seasons was not selected. Combining his past two seasons, Clement hit .349 with 31 doubles and 12 home runs.
Catcher Nick Thurman was not picked, either. Thurman posted a career-high .281 batting average this season and consistently drew praise from Robichaux for his ability to handle the pitching staff.
Neither of the Cajuns’ draft-eligible sophomores — Moore and starter Wyatt Marks — was selected, either.