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Blue Jays select infielder Cade Doughty 78th overall

LSU v Arkansas Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

With the 78th overall pick of the 2022 MLB Draft, the Blue Jays selected infielder Cade Doughty from Louisiana State University as a second round compensation pick for the loss of Robbie Ray. A highly ranked player in 2019 out of high school who could have gone early on the second day but for a strong commitment to LSU, he fulfilling that promise and now ends up going late on the first day.

Similar to Tucker Toman taken one spot ahead of him, the selling point here is the offensive profile, as Doughty hit .301/.379/.541 over his college career with 31 home runs (among 63 extra base hits) in the SEC, the premier conference with the most pro-style pitching. Notably, Doughty’s strikeout rate ticked up by 5% from 12% to 17% in his junior season.

It’s this results-driven production that drives the draft profile, with reports noting an unorthodox wide stance that should make it more difficult to tap into power. There’s some parallels here to Riley Adams (drafted 99th overall in 2017), who was also a college producer with similar performance/productivity and very wide batting stance. He projects for roughly average hit and power tools.

Defensively, Doughty played primarily at 2B and 3B, winning the starting job at the former in his abbreviated freshman year, moving primarily to the hot corner in 2021 and back to the keystone in 2022. it’s here where most reports and evaluations see his future home, though FanGraphs describes him as lacking an obvious defensive home.

it’s a solid value pick at 78th given a consensus ranking in the mid-50s that should come in slot at the $833,200 slot value. Of course, that’s contingent on the bat translating to the professional ranks. it will be interesting to see how aggressively the Jays assign him, as he could plausibly go high-A Vancouver if not directly then quickly given that the quality of pitching in low-A is now broadly similar to the SEC.

Doughty is the first player the Jays have drafted out of LSU since Austin Nola in the 31st round in 2011 (when they also took LSU commit , and would be the first to sign and enter the system since Ryan Schimpf was selected in the 5th round in 2009 (he never played for the Jays). Once upon a time (2003), the Jays drafted another LSU infielder by the name of Aaron Hill who had a pretty good run with the Jays. Doughty will try to be the second LSU draftee to make it to Toronto.