PNG TO PRO BASEBALL — Royals draft Carson Roccaforte after great college career

Published 2:33 pm Monday, July 10, 2023

Former Port Neches-Groves High and Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns standout baseball player Carson Roccaforte became the fourth-highest draft selection in ULL history when he was selected by the Kansas City Royals on Sunday in the 2023 Major League Baseball Draft.

The Royals added an athletic outfielder to their system. After a monster 2022 season that featured 16 homers, 68 RBIs and 25 stolen bases — one of just three NCAA Division I players to reach 15-plus homers and 25-plus steals — Roccaforte played in the Cape Cod League before returning to ULL for 2023.

According to, Scouts appreciate Roccaforte’s hit tool and speed and believe, with the right adjustments, more power can be unlocked.

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The 21-year-old has played all three outfield positions and first base in college, profiling as an above-average defender with good instincts and fluid motions — which made for a smooth transition to center field this season.

The Royals project him to be a center fielder.

“There’s a little bit of similarity to Jim Edmonds when you watch him play in the outfield,” scouting director Danny Ontiveros told the website. “Edmonds was a really good outfielder, moved real fluid, took great routes, great breaks and you feel like (Roccaforte) does that. There’s some J.D. Drew — sloped shoulder, easy swing.

“The way (Roccaforte) plays, it’s very smooth and fluid. Those are lofty comps, body comps more so, but we believe he can play center field.”

Roccaforte, the No. 66 overall pick, posted a .325 career batting average in three seasons at Louisiana, where he earned first-team All-Sun Belt Conference and All-ABCA South Central Region honors as a sophomore.

The Port Neches native hit .318 with eight home runs, 55 RBI and 22 stolen bases for the Ragin’ Cajuns in 2023, helping the team to their second straight berth in the NCAA Regionals.

Roccaforte ranked among the conference leaders in runs scored and was one of two players to start every game for Louisiana in 2023.

Roccaforte was third for Louisiana in multi-hit (20) and tied for second with 13 multi-RBI games.

He posted an 11-game hit streak during the season and had streaks of 32 and 24 straight games of reaching base.

In Louisiana’s final game of the 2023 season against Miami in the NCAA Coral Gables Regional, Roccaforte set the single-season record for doubles in a season (26), breaking the previous mark which stood since 1989.

Roccaforte’s senior season at PNG came to an early end due to the pandemic.

He was named an All-State member and earned his team’s high school offensive MVP twice at Port Neches Groves High School.

He was named a Super Gold team member and played from Team Texas in the Sun Belt Classic.

In 37 games as a junior for PNG, hit .358 with two home runs, four triples and nine doubles.