TLN Prospect #9: Leafs betting on Nick Moldenhauer to be the latest steal out of Chicago

Selected in the third round of the 2022 NHL Draft out of Chicago in the USHL, Nick Moldenhauer is a player who Toronto’s front office was plenty familiar with even before they drafted him. The Leafs’ connection to the Chicago Steel has been well documented; they drafted Nick Abruzzese out of that program in 2019, 2020 sixth-rounder Joe Miller has spent the last two seasons with the club, former Leafs scout Noelle Needham is now an associate GM for the Steel, and Toronto’s assistant GM Ryan Hardy honed his craft as Chicago’s general manager for three seasons before joining the Leafs.
That familiarity likely played a big part in the organization’s comfort level in selecting a player who had a productive but difficult season. Moldenhauer missed the beginning of the season with a “mono-like” virus that forced him to spend time in the hospital, leading to significant weight loss. Already behind the eight ball following his recovery from that illness, the Mississauga native was dealt another devastating and nearly life altering blow. On his first shift of the season, he was clipped up high with a skate blade and suffered a gash that ran from his chin to his ear. He underwent surge …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

The Toronto Blue Jays select Cade Doughty with the 78th overall pick

The Blue Jays have selected Cade Doughty with the 78th overall pick.

Doughty is a 21-year-old second baseman who played at Louisiana University. This season, he posted a .298/.393/.567 with 15 homers. He struck out 17.38% of the time while walking 10.28% of the time.
In Doughty’s collegiate career, he slashed .301/.379/.541 in 603 plate appearances. He also had a career 9.29 BB% and a 14.76 K%, so overall, he avoided the strikeouts.

WALK-OFF @Cadedoughty!!! #NCAABaseball x @LSUbaseball pic.twitter.com/ZnNLAkQACt
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAABaseball) May 1, 2022

Cade also played three seasons of summer ball, where he slashed .370/.438/.556 with eight homers in 291 plate appearances. There he struck out 13.52% of the time while walking 9.96% of the time, solid numbers.
He is able to play both third and second and was one of the better hitters in his NCAA conference. Doughty also added 20 pounds to his frame, according to MLB Pipeline. The 21-year-old is an average runner.

Cade Doughty home run swing. Slo mo. pic.twitter.com/PN6pPzIxKK
— Cody Worsham (@CodyWorsham) March 4, 2020

They also note that Cade may be best developed at second base or as a utility player. He’s solid defensively, but wasn’t great when he played shortstop for LSU.
Here are his grades according to MLB Pipeline:
Hit: 50
Power: 50
Run: 50
Arm: 55
Field: 50
Overall: 50
Doughty looks to be an exciting prospect, and the Jays did really well with their picks!
With Tucker Toman likely being over slotted, the Jays will likely look for senior college arms tomorrow and players that aren’t highly touted. That doesn’t mean they won’t be able to find hidden gems, as they’ve done in the past.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D. Tune into my live draft article tomorrow, which will be updated with each pick the Jays make. …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

The Toronto Blue Jays select Tucker Toman with the 77th overall pick

The Blue Jays have selected Tucker Toman with the 77th overall pick.

This pick will definitely be an over slot pick, as Toman was ranked as the 35th best draft prospect available. Toman has also been linked to the Blue Jays for a while, but it is quite surprising to see him picked 77th overall instead of the 23rd overall.

Hammond shortstop Tucker Toman is off to a hot start this spring and he’s really been impressing scouts with his on-field leadership too. Most expect him to slide over to third base. He’s got suitors at the back-half of day one. No doubter from last night. #MLBDraft pic.twitter.com/WbsGXPMXMy
— Joe Doyle (@JoeDoyleMiLB) May 4, 2022

Toman is a switch hitter who is proficient from either side of the plate. He has better bat speed on the left side and can barrel balls quite well.
The third baseman uses all sides of the field, but has gotten out of his approach before pulling the ball. With that being said, he definitely has the bat speed and strength to hit for both power and average.

#LSU commit Tucker Toman (‘22, SC) showing easy pop with this home run to left #WWBA pic.twitter.com/psfio52d60
— Perfect Game Scout (@PG_Scouting) July 6, 2021

It’s also noted by Baseball America that there’s been times where Toman has had poor swing decisions. He has an open stance with a toe tap, but the Jays have been known not to mess with high schooler’s swings (i.e Bo Bichette). He’s viewed as one of the better prep hitters for power and average.
His defensive home is a little less clear, as he could play third base, but end up at second or even a corner outfield. Below are his grades from MLB Pipeline.
Hit: 55
Power: 50
Run: 40
Arm: 50
Field: 45
Overall: 50
He’s committed to Louisiana State, but it seems unlikely that he won’t sign with the Jays as it was announced before the Josh Kasevich draft.

Tucker Toman of Hammond has agreed to the 77th pick of the second round held by the Toronzo Blue Jays. The HSSR is live at his draft party.
— HS report (@HSreport) July 18, 2022

The Jays have the next pick and I’m excited to see where they go with it!
As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D. …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

The Toronto Blue Jays select Brandon Barriera with the 23rd overall pick

“The Jays have selected left-handed pitcher Brandon Barriera with the 23rd overall pick.

This will be the first time that the Mark Shapiro era Blue Jays will select a prep pitcher with their first round pick. Despite that, this is a pretty good pick. It’s been said that Barriera has some of the best pure stuff in the draft class.

The moment Brandon Barriera joined a COUNTRY #MLBDraft pic.twitter.com/ClppcNhElh
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) July 18, 2022

According to MLB Pipeline, he has multiple fastballs which sit in the low 90s, but has touched 99 mph. He has a plus slider and his changeup can develop as well. His pitching has sinking action and his slider and has impressive spin rates, sitting between 2,500-2,600 rpm. He occasionally throws in a mid-70s curveball, but it’s not used as often.

Here’s a glimpse at #BlueJays 1st-round selection Brandon Barriera: #MLBDraftpic.twitter.com/j1z6OJj1T4
— Thomas Hall (@ThomasHall85) July 18, 2022

He pounds the zone and has a bulldog mentality. This can be said in his post draft interview:
“Looking at the 22 teams before me, they’re going to regret this. I’m going to be the best pitcher in the MLB.”

He was the 15th best available draft prospect according to MLB Pipeline, but here are his grades.
Fastball: 55
Slider: 55
Changeup: 55
Control: 55
Overall: 55
Getting a 55 future value prospect is quite impressive, and he very well could’ve been the best available draft prospect. Joe Doyle (who has been breaking everything” notes that Jays fans should be excited about the left-handed Barriera as he’s a better pure athlete than 2021 3rd rounder, Ricky Tiedemann.

After what the Blue Jays have done with Ricky Tiedemann, fans should feel awfully excited about Brandon Barriera. Up to 99;sinking, flashing a plus slider and feel for a changeup. Better pure athlete than Tiedemann too. Could be scary.
— Joe Doyle (@JoeDoyleMiLB) July 18, 2022

With all that being said, I’m incredibly excited to watch the 18-year-old make his professional debut. If I had to guess, he would be assigned to the FCL to work on pitch development, much like Ricky Tiedemann and Irv Carter after they were drafted in 2021.
The Jays still have three more picks tonight, so stay tuned!
As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D. I still want the Jays to pick Ryan Cerm …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation