2019 CRCBL Pitcher of the Year -- Chase Lee
Date: Aug 13, 2019
By Matt Cohen
Cade Doughty made up his mind Sunday.
The 2019 MLB Draft was 24 hours away. As one of the top high school players in the nation, Doughty had a decision to make. He had been receiving projections as high as the second round of the Draft, a chance to become a professional baseball player right out of high school.
Or he could stay home.
It is just 18 miles from Denham Springs High School to Alex Box Stadium on the campus of LSU. Living in the suburbs of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Doughty has grown up surrounded by LSU. It was the school he watched throughout his childhood. It was the school he grew up a fan of.
His family has roots at the school itself. Doughty’s grandfather played basketball at LSU and his father played baseball. His older brother, Braden, is currently a catcher at LSU.
Doughty committed to LSU as a sophomore at Denham Springs High School. Two years after his commitment, he had to decide again whether he would play at LSU. Though instead of other schools luring him away, it was the prospect of Major League Baseball.
On that Sunday, Doughty made his decision. He wanted to be a Tiger too.
“I’ve always wanted to play at LSU, that’s always been a goal of mine,” Doughty said.
Doughty said part of his plan always was to play with his brother at LSU. Their relationship was an important part of why Doughty chose to forego the Draft.
“We’ve always been really close,” Doughty said. “It’ll be a great feeling being able to put a jersey on and see him next to me.”
The Sunday night before the Draft, Doughty sat down with his family and told them his intentions to play in college. He had raised his signing price point to $4 million.
The Miami Marlins, Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies were part of a group of teams Doughty said were close with him. But it was a different member of that group, the Detroit Tigers, that ultimately selected Doughty in the 39th round.
“We look forward to seeing you in three years,” Doughty said Detroit told him.
Doughty’s bags were packed as the MLB Draft got underway. Though Doughty wasn’t heading off to the city of whichever team would eventually select him.
Instead, Doughty loaded his bags into the car, and traveled to Gaithersburg, Maryland.
“Nolan [Cain] wants me to come up here cause he’d heard so much about Rabs and he’d had former LSU players come up here and love the experience,” Doughty said. “I’m all in for it. Anywhere I can get better is where I want to be.
Doughty joined the Gaithersburg Giants in the second game of the season, becoming the next in line of a group of LSU players that have called Criswell Field home for a summer. Catcher Saul Garza and outfielder Gio DiGiacomo both played with Gaithersburg last summer, and outfielder Daniel Cabrera played in 2017.
It was Cabrera in fact that helped convince Doughty to come to Gaithersburg.
Cabrera told Doughty about the experience he had with the Giants, and talked highly of the team, helping Doughty make his decision to come to Gaithersburg for the summer.
Doughty said that his main goals for the summer are to work on defense and hitting faster pitching.
It hasn’t taken long for Doughty to make the adjustment.
Through his first four games with the Giants, Doughty is hitting .571 with three RBIs. He’s struck out only twice in 14 at bats. On Sunday night against the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts, Doughty reached base all six times he came to the plate with four hits and two walks. He had one RBI and scored four times.
“I think I was like, ‘Oh my god,’” Giants manager Jeff Rabberman said of when he found out Doughty was coming. “To get the text on Tuesday that ‘Hey I’m coming up,’ it was awesome. He’s been as advertised.”
Doughty has also tried to increase his versatility, playing both the middle infield and third base, something he believes will help him with a competition for playing time set to ensue in the LSU infield as starters from the 2019 team leave.
Doughty will be joined by his older brother Braden in Gaithersburg as he too is set to play for the Giants. Braden Doughty hasn’t yet arrived in Gaithersburg, but is expected to debut soon as LSU’s season ended with a loss to Florida State in the Super Regionals.
“He is another line of the special dudes that we’ve had, and there might be something a little extra special in him,” Rabberman said. “I can’t wait to see what he does from this point forward for the next number of years.”