June 7, 2014
NEW ORLEANS - Tulane baseball redshirt senior Tyler Mapes became the third Green Wave baseball player selected in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, as he was a 30th round selection (904th overall) by the Washington Nationals.
Earlier on Saturday, fellow hurler and redshirt senior Kyle McKenzie was picked by the Tampa Bay Rays, while another arm in redshirt junior Randy LeBlanc was taken in the tenth round on Friday by the Minnesota Twins.
Mapes blossomed into an outstanding weekend starter towards the tail end of his career after transferring to the Green Wave from Navarro College prior to the 2012 season. During his junior campaign, he appeared in 16 games with just four starts, going 1-3 over 33.1 innings with 30 strikeouts.
The Plano, Texas, native started out his 2013 campaign hot, going 1-1 in three appearances - including a six-strikeout performance in 3.1 innings at Nicholls State on Feb. 26. However, the then-redshirt junior had to leave the game with elbow discomfort, which then led to season-ending Tommy John surgery.
After rehabbing, Mapes came back in 2014, which was arguably his finest season in a Green Wave uniform. The righty returned to the same mound at Nicholls State 364 days after his injury, helping the Green Wave win 1-0 after pitching 7.0 innings and fanning a then-career high seven. Over the course of the season, Mapes made 13 starts while going 5-5 with a 2.20 ERA over 81.2 innings, issuing 15 walks in addition to fanning 59. Mapes posted his only two complete games during his career during the 2014 season, including a 9.0-inning shutout of Conference USA rival Southern Miss on May 4 that earned him C-USA Co-Pitcher of the Week honors.
During the 2014 season, Mapes averaged 1.65 walks per 9 innings, ranking eighth all-time in Tulane single-season history.
Saturday's selection marks the second time Mapes has been drafted in his career, as he was selected by the New York Yankees in the 49th round (1499th overall) in 2011 after his one year at Navarro College.
Mapes spent his freshman campaign at the U.S. Naval Academy where he went 3-2 with a 3.41 ERA in 15 appearances with two starts.
The Washington Nationals are quite familiar with the Green Wave baseball program, as they selected Mapes' 2013 teammates David Napoli (eighth round) and Brennan Middleton (tenth round) during last year's draft. They are the only three Green Wave players to be selected by the Nationals.
Prior to moving to Washington, the Nationals were based in Montreal as the Expos. In 1986, they drafted Green Wave pitcher Gene Harris.
Mapes is the third Green Wave baseballer to be taken in the 30th round of the First-Year Player Draft, joining Corey Hahn - who was taken in the 30th round by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2004 - and Mike Pursell - who was tabbed by the Cleveland Indians in 1998.
Mapes becomes the 95th Green Wave player to be taken in the First-Year Player Draft.
Stay tuned to TulaneGreenWave.com for more draft news regarding the Tulane Green Wave baseball squad.
Fans can follow the Tulane baseball program on Twitter (@GreenWaveBSB) or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/GreenWaveBaseball.