Versatility is an attribute that serves Denham Springs High baseball standout Cade Doughty well. The LSU signee can pitch. He has played multiple infield and outfield positions. One recent draft preview refers to Doughty as the “Swiss Army knife” of the 2019 Major League Baseball Draft class.
True to form, Doughty will be multi-tasking Monday night. Family and friends will gather at the Doughty home for a combination graduation/Major League Draft watch party.
“I am really excited … I am blessed to be in this situation,” Doughty said. “It (the pre-draft process) has been stressful at times, but it has also been fun. I’ve learned things from it. More than anything else, I want to have fun with my family and friends and see what happens.”
Inquiring minds want to know what will happen too. Draft projections can cover a wide range. Multiple MLB-related sites have the 6-foot-1, 195-pound Doughty pegged to go in either the second or third rounds. The Major League draft begins at 6 p.m. Monday in Secaucus, New Jersey, with two rounds scheduled for completion.
Tulane third baseman Kody Hoese and two LSU players, pitcher Zack Hess and shortstop Josh Smith, were rated above Doughty in one of many projections. Doughty is looking past projections and focused on the outcome, which may happen Monday night or perhaps on Tuesday when the draft resumes.
“We had scouts at practices, games and pregame batting practices,” Denham Springs coach Mark Carroll said. “I’ve answered questions, either in person, on the phone or by computer about Cade. And he and his family have answered all the questions too. I’ve told all of them that if they choose to draft Cade, they’re getting a guy who has talent and is versatile. But he also has put in the work to get better and understands how important that is.”
Doughty said he believes his family was contacted by more than half of the Major League teams during the evaluation process. He called the spring process a lesson on focus.
“The most important thing I learned was to just take a deep breath and do what I needed to do, which was to try and help my (high school) team win,” Doughty said.
Doughty’s senior-season numbers as a shortstop/pitcher for the Yellow Jackets were notable enough to make him the Gatorade Louisiana Player of the Year. He batted .495 with 43 runs scored, six home runs, 25 RBIs, 11 doubles and three triples. Doughty was 2-1 on the mound with three saves. Doughty's three summers spent in the USA Baseball age group program also are notable.
“I think I improved on the on my defense as a shortstop since last year,” Doughty said. “I wanted to show I could make more plays. Now I don’t know if that means I’ll play shortstop on the next level, college or pro. That is another deal.”
Whether Doughty opts for LSU or to sign after being drafted is another big deal. There is family history with LSU, and Doughty admits to being a kid who would wear an LSU baseball cap even at bath time.
Doughty said he spoke with LSU outfielder Daniel Cabrera on Sunday. Cabrera faced a similiar situation two years ago and opted for LSU after being drafted in the 26th round by the San Diego Padres.
“He was very encouraging,” Doughty said. “It was a good conversation for me to have before tomorrow. I play to enjoy tomorrow, see what happens and go from there.”