When you have the No. 3 overall pick, it’s never too soon to take a quick peek into this year’s MLB draft. This year’s draft class is loaded with excellent hitting prospects, but is relatively weak on the pitching side.
Draft Prospects You Should Know is a new series that features prospects who the White Sox could pursue in this year’s draft. As the June draft nears, we’ll return to many of these athletes and provide updates on whether their stocks are rising (or falling).
Age listed as of Day One of the Draft (June 3).
Denham Springs H.S. (Denham Springs, La.)
Baseball America 79
While Doughty is listed as a third baseman, he’s essentially this year’s draft version of superutility man Ben Zobrist. Doughty is listed at 6´1´´ and 195 pounds and is an above-average runner, with his 60-yard-dash clocked at 6.65 seconds by Perfect Game. He is a very smooth defensive player, who keeps his hands well in front of his body and possesses good lateral movement. Just as importantly for the left-infield and outfield positions, Doughty has an above-average arm that has been clocked in the low 90s by Baseball America.
This is all well and good, but how is he with the bat? Doughty is a right-handed hitter with a wide setup and a short, compact swing. He possesses a short and compact swing with good barrel skills, has plus bat speed, and currently displays a gap-to-gap approach. Like Sox prospect Nick Madrigal, Doughty should be adept at situational hitting, with a high-average approach. He presently doesn’t hit for much power, but many scouts believe Doughty will grow into his power.
Doughty’s strongest skill, which currently grades ‘60’ by MLB Pipeline. His hit and run tools both grade ‘55’, while his fielding and power grade ‘50’ and ‘45’ respectively. With a little more experience, and perhaps a future focus on just a couple positions, it’s conceivable that he’d have above-average grades for all his tools.
Baseball America ranks Doughty as the 80th prospect in this year’s draft, which if the draft were to fall true to form (which it rarely does) means he’d be selected near the White Sox’s third-round selection. One concern, aside from a limited ceiling, is Doughty’s verbal commitment with his home-state LSU — it likely would take over-slot cash to pry Doughty away from the SEC powerhouse. It’s doubtful that the Sox would do so with a third round pick, but could perhaps consider it if Doughty becomes available in the fourth. Then again, while Doughty could be a quite useful player, the Sox would likely look for someone with a tad more upside with that pick.
Here’s a video of Doughty in last year’s Perfect Game National Showcase in Tampa, courtesy of 2080 Baseball: