LSU Gold

Profiles of New Baseball Players for the 2020 Season

by Bill Franques
2020 Roster +0
Profiles of New Baseball Players for the 2020 Season

BATON ROUGE, La. — Coach Paul Mainieri on Tuesday released the 2020 LSU baseball roster, including the Tigers’ 12-man class of new players. Following are profiles of the members of the signing class:

Farmer Abendroth, RHP
6-5, 175, R-R, Fr., HS
Vicksburg, Miss. (Warren Central HS)

• Ranked as the No. 186 player in the nation by Perfect Game
• 2019 Perfect Game Preseason All-American
• Voted to the All-Tournament Team at the 2018 World Wood Bat Association 17U National Championship
• Pitched on a limited basis due to illness as a high school senior at Warren Central High, recording five wins with 34 strikeouts in 30 innings

Head Coach Paul Mainieri on Farmer Abendroth:
“We are very excited about Farmer and believe he is going to develop into an outstanding pitcher for us at LSU. He has a loose, lanky athletic body that has plenty of room to add weight and strength to his frame. In fact, he has been at summer school at LSU working with our strength and conditioning coach, Travis Roy, while taking classes, and you can already see the growth he has gained. In high school, he displayed a fastball that sits 88-93 mph with quick arm speed that gives his fastball good arm-side life. He combines that fastball with a curveball that shows tight spin and depth. He has a chance to develop into a real dude for us at LSU.”

Zach Arnold, INF
6-2, 190, R-R, Fr., HS
Temecula, Calif. (Great Oak HS)

• Selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the 34th round of the 2019 MLB Draft
• A three-year letterman in baseball at Great Oak High School in Temecula, Calif., where he helped led the team to the 2019 CIF Division 3 Championship
• Playing this summer in the Northern California Collegiate League as a member of the Lincoln Potters; through games of July 28, he was batting .308 with one triple, two doubles, four homers, seven steals and 18 RBI
• Batted .406 in his high school career at Great Oak with 11 doubles, nine triples, seven homers, 33 RBI and 23 steals
• 2019 California All-State infielder for medium-sized high schools
• Two-time All-League shortstop (2018, 2019)
• 2019 Division 3 All-CIF Infielder

Head Coach Paul Mainieri on Zach Arnold:
“We were very fortunate to land Zach during this summer. He originally was signed to go to Oregon but when a coaching change was made there, he was granted a release from his NLI. We had lost a shortstop in the draft, and Zach filled our need for a good all-around shortstop. All the reports tell us that Zach has the tools to be an outstanding player. Defensively, he is very advanced and should be able to be very steady and sure-handed. Offensively, he will continue to make big strides and as he adds strength to his athletic frame, he will hit the ball with authority. He will compete right away to be the starting shortstop in 2020. I’m very excited about the future with this young man from Southern California.”

Tom Biggs, UTIL/RHP
5-11, 187, L-R, Fr., HS
West Monroe, La. (West Monroe HS)

• Batted .413 as a senior at West Monroe High School with 16 doubles, nine triples and five homers
• A two-time LHSAA All-State Honorable Mention selection
• Earned All-District honors in each of his four high school seasons
• A four-time First-Team All-Northeast Louisiana selection
• Named First-Team All-Parish in each of his four high schools seasons
• A four-time All-Region Team selection
• Voted a 2019 Preseason All American by Under Armour and by Rawlings

Head Coach Paul Mainieri on Tom Biggs:
“The best way to describe Tom Biggs is that he is simply a ‘baseball player.’ We list him as a ‘utility player’ because he can virtually play every position on the field, including pitcher and catcher. A guy like Tom will be so valuable to the team because of his versatility and unselfishness. He will go wherever he is needed and do a good job wherever we put him. Tom has the skill set to succeed at the plate and on defense. And he just might end up be a valuable guy out of the bullpen for us, too.”

Collier Cranford, INF
6-0, 175, R-R, Fr., HS
Jackson, La. (Zachary HS)

• Three-year letterman at Zachary High School
• Rated as the No. 256 prospect in the nation by Prep Baseball Report
• Helped lead Zachary to district titles in 2017, 2018 and 2019
• Voted 2018 first-team all-district and first-team all-metro
• Batted .394 in 2018 with 13 doubles, five triples, five homers, 32 runs scored and 18 stolen bases
• Batted .453 in 2019 with one home run before undergoing Tommy John surgery
• Graduated summa cum laude from Zachary High School

Head Coach Paul Mainieri on Collier Cranford:
Collier Cranford might be the ‘sleeper’ of this class. I say this because he missed most of his senior season due to injury as he hurt his throwing arm in March and required Tommy John surgery. Before he was injured, however, he was coming on very strong and was even garnering interest from professional teams as well. He ran the sixth-fastest time at the East Coast Pro event. He’s a really athletic infielder with good feet, good hands, and (when healthy) a strong arm. He is an extremely intelligent young man who is actually young to be entering college as he should have been a 2020 high school graduate. He won’t be able to throw competitively during fall practice, but his rehab is coming along nicely and he will be full speed for the spring season.”

Cade Doughty, INF
6-1, 195, R-R, Fr., HS
Denham Springs, La. (Denham Springs HS)

• Selected in the 39th round of the 2019 MLB Draft by the Detroit Tigers
• Ranked as the No. 35 player in the nation by Prep Baseball Report and the No. 42 player in the nation by Perfect Game
• Voted the 2019 Louisiana Gatorade Player of the Year
• Batted .478 in his senior season at Denham Springs High with 43 hits, six homers, 25 RBI and 38 runs scored
• Also pitched as a senior and recorded two wins and three saves with a 1.17 ERA
• 2019 and 2018 Preseason All-America selection by Perfect Game and by Collegiate Baseball
• Voted first-team All-State, All-Metro, All-Parish and All-District at shortstop in his sophomore, junior and senior years
• Earned first-team All-Metro, All-Parish and All-District honors as a centerfielder in his freshman season
• 2019 and 2017 District outstanding offensive player and the 2018 Golden Glove winner for District
• 2018 MVP in Livingston Parish
• Cade is the brother of LSU junior catcher Braden Doughty and the son of former LSU catcher Richard Doughty, who played for the Tigers in 1989

Head Coach Paul Mainieri on Cade Doughty:
Cade Doughty has a great chance to be a special player at LSU along the likes of many great ones that came before him. He has the tools to be an all-around player in every phase of the game – on defense, with the bat, and running the bases. He clearly was one of the best players in the country in this recruiting year. He could have made himself available in the MLB Draft and been taken very early but instead chose to make himself virtually unsignable because he wanted to play at LSU like his brother, Braden, and his father, Richard. He is a hard-nosed player with a high level of competiveness and grit. He made the All-Star team this past summer in the Cal Ripken Collegiate League as a graduated high school senior, which is very rare. His power is continuing to develop and combines with outstanding bat control skills. I believe he will develop into one of the best players in the SEC as time goes on.”

Maurice “Mo” Hampton, OF
6-0, 214, R-R, Fr., HS
Arlington, Tenn. (Memphis University HS)

• Two-sport standout that excelled in both baseball and football at the prep level
• Selected in the 23rd round of the 2019 Major League Baseball Draft by the San Diego Padres
• Ranked as the No. 23 player in the country by Perfect Game and No. 40 by Prep Baseball Report
• As a senior on the baseball diamond, hit .480 with 10 home runs and 41 stolen bases and was named the Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association’s DII-AA Mr. Baseball
• Named 2018 Tennessee Titans Mr. Football in Division II-AAA; he’s the first player in Tennessee history to earn Mr. Football and Mr. Baseball honors in the same season
• Led his football team to a state title appearance as a senior with 1,835 all-purpose yards and 15 touchdowns as a receiver and punt returner
• Competed in the 2019 Under Armour All-America baseball and football games, and he also competed in the Perfect Game Baseball All-America game in San Diego

Head Coach Paul Mainieri on Maurice “Mo” Hampton:
“How can you not be tremendously excited about an athlete of Mo’s status joining your college baseball program? Knowing that he was thought of enough by our football coaching staff to have been recruited as a defensive back should tell anyone of the caliber of athlete we have joining our program. However, Mo is not just an athlete trying to play baseball. Rather, he is a very skilled baseball player that knows how to play the game, which combined with his natural athletic ability, gives us a player that can impact our team in a big way. Mo played throughout his high school summers with some of the best players in the country and excelled to the point that he could have been drafted on Day 1 of the MLB Draft and signed professionally for a significant amount of money. We won’t have him during the fall, but will be excited when he joins the team following the football season. Much like Chad Jones, Jared Mitchell and Spencer Ware, Mo has a chance to be a special two-sport athlete at LSU.”

Jacob Hasty, LHP
6-2, 210, L-L, Fr., HS
Keller, Texas (Liberty Christian HS)

• A four-year letterman at Liberty Christian High School, where he was a member of the National Honor Society and the Mu Alpha Theta Math Honors Society
• Performed over 100 hours of community service during his high school senior year, and he made a mission trip to New York City during his junior year to work in a homeless shelter
• A 2019 All-State selection, working 43.2 innings while recording 77 strikeouts and a 1.28 ERA … allowed just 18 hits in 183 batters faced
• Earned Academic All-State honors during his career
• Member of the Area Code National Team in 2018
• Participated in the Perfect Game World Series and in USA Baseball State Play
• Named the Liberty Christian High 2019 Most Impactful Player of the Year and the Pitcher of the Year

Head Coach Paul Mainieri on Jacob Hasty:

“Jacob is a very athletic left-handed pitcher and fills a void that is needed very badly by our program. We think his stuff is legit enough and versatile enough to handle any kind of role. He potentially could be a starting pitcher or a valuable bullpen piece. His fastball has flashed up to 92 mph with hard, late-sinking life, but it is his outstanding breaking ball that sets him apart. There is no doubt he possesses one of the best curveballs we saw from anyone we scouted, and it is clearly a swing-and-miss pitch. We really need Jacob to step in and make a major impact immediately.”

Zack Mathis, INF
5-8, 190, L-R, Jr., JC
Stockton, Calif. (Bear Creek HS/San Joaquin Delta College)

• Selected in the 38th round of the 2019 MLB Draft by the Minnesota Twins
• Enjoyed an outstanding two-year career at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton, Calif.
• Posted a .352 career batting average at San Joaquin Delta with 14 home runs, 48 doubles, 134 hits and 134 RBI in 99 games
• Earned All-American, All-Northern California, All-Big 8 honors at San Joaquin Delta College

Head Coach Paul Mainieri on Zack Mathis:
“I am so excited about Zack Mathis joining our program. This man loves to hit, and he’s very good at it. He reminds me a little bit of a combination of Ryan Schimpf (power) and Antoine Duplantis (uses the entire field). We were very happy that Zack was available as a late sign following a stellar junior college career in Northern California. He was signed to attend Cal State Northridge, but when a coaching change was made there this past summer, he was granted a release. I love his versatility as an infielder, as he can play all three positions (3B/SS/2B). It is his bat, however, that will make the greatest impact on our program this year. I have a feeling that he will impress everyone with his confident approach at the plate and the fact he hits the ball very hard with a strong body.”

Alex Milazzo, C
5-10, 185, R-R, Fr., HS
Zachary, La. (Zachary HS)

• Four-year starting catcher for Zachary High School
• Ranked No. 3 player in Louisiana’s 2019 class by Prep Baseball Report
• Received a national ranking of No. 127 by Prep Baseball Report and No. 305 by Perfect Game
• 2018 and 2019 All-State selection by the Louisiana Baseball Coaches Association
• Voted to the 2019 Louisiana Sports Writers Association All State Team
• Led Zachary High in hitting in his senior season with a .432 batting average, .541 on-base percentage, .664 slugging percentage, 37 RBI, three homers, three triples, 15 doubles and 27 walks
• 2018 and 2019 Baton Rouge All-Metro Selection
• 2018 and 2019 First Team All-District 4-5A; 2019 District 4-5A Co-MVP
• Baseball Factory’s #1 ranked national “pop” throwing time at 1.74 seconds
• Rawlings Southeast Region All-High School Senior 1st Team
• Participated in the Team USA Tournament of Stars and the National Team Trials in the summer of 2018

Head Coach Paul Mainieri on Alex Milazzo:
“Words can’t describe adequately how excited I am to have Alex Milazzo as part of our program. Alex is a tough, hard-nosed, and gritty player that will provide great leadership behind the plate. He is probably known as the best throwing catcher in the country for the 2019 class. In reality, he throws like a big-league catcher and can shut down anyone’s running game. He also loves to try and pick off baserunners with that great throwing ability. He has good receiving skills, too. He has the tools to be a tough out at the plate and his hitting will continue to improve while working with Coach Eddie Smith. He has a chance to play quite a bit as a freshman because of his catching skills.”

Mitchell Sanford, OF
6-2, 180, L-R, Fr., HS
Berwick, La. (Berwick HS)

• A two-time all-state selection and four-time all-district selection at Berwick High
• Named the state championship MVP in his junior year
• Voted the 2019 Hitter of the Year in Class 3A and the 2019 Louisiana All-Star Game MVP
• Batted .427 in his senior season with 12 doubles, 7 triples and six homers
• Honors graduate at Berwick High School and a four-year football letterman at quarterback

Head Coach Paul Mainieri on Mitchell Sanford:
“Anyone that has followed my coaching career knows how much I love to recruit high school quarterbacks. As the quarterback at Berwick High, Mitchell had Division 1 football offers. Because of that, one can surmise that he possesses great leadership ability, a strong throwing arm, and is very athletic. Mitchell has a chance to develop into a very good baseball player as he focuses solely on baseball. As a left-handed hitter that hits the ball gap-to-gap, he played very well this past summer in the Perfect Game Collegiate Summer League, hitting around .300. He runs well in the outfield and does in fact display a strong, accurate arm. I’m excited to watch this young man develop into a truly great baseball player.”

Wes Toups, OF
5-9, 160, L-R, Fr., HS
Thibodaux, La. (E.D. White HS)

• A five-year baseball letterman and three-year starter at E.D. White Catholic High in Thibodaux, La. – his first varsity action came as a 13-year-old 8th grader
• E.D. White posted an overall W/L record of 142-31 during his five seasons, and he was part of five consecutive district championships, five playoff appearances, and a school record 27-0 start to the 2019 season
• Posted a .428 career batting average with 119 hits, 20 doubles, nine homers, 93 RBI, 127 runs, 91 stolen bases, 110 walks and a .590 on-base percentage
• Set several career school records, including batting average, walks, runs, stolen bases and on-base percentage
• Ranked as the No. 129 player in the country by Prep Baseball Report
• Gaining valuable experience this summer, playing all three outfield positions with the Illinois-based Danville Dans (Illinois) of the Prospect League; Toups is the only high-school player on any of the 12 team rosters in the league
• 3-time all-state, all-region and all-district selection; also named the 2018 LBCA Region 8 Hitter of the Year
• A 2019 ABCA/Rawlings All-America nominee and a member of the 2019 LHSAA Class 4A All-Academic Team

Head Coach Paul Mainieri on Wes Toups:
Wes Toups is that prototypical left-handed hitting centerfielder that covers a lot of ground on defense and is a tough out at the plate. He is a very speedy runner (6.5 seconds in the 60-yard dash), and he closes well on the ball, allowing him to make highlight-reel catches on a regular basis. He has a very patient approach at the plate, allowing him to draw a lot of walks. However, he also has pop in the bat and the ability to hit the ball out of the ballpark. He could be the next in a long list of great outfielders at LSU.”

Hayden Travinski, C
6-3, 234, R-R, Fr., HS
Shreveport, La. (Airline HS)

• Four-year letterman at Loyola College Prep and Airline High School in Shreveport, La.
• Batted .429 as a senior at Airline High with eight doubles, three triples, 12 homers, 41 RBI, 28 walks and a 1.560 OPS
• A two-time All-State and three-time All-City selection
• Named the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year in Shreveport and the All-Region Team Hitter of the Year
• Named a 2018 Perfect Game All-American
• Playing this summer for the Saugerties Stallions (Saugerties, N.Y.) in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League

Head Coach Paul Mainieri on Hayden Travinski:
“There is no one in our class with more power than Hayden Travinski. Hayden is a big, strong catcher with big-time power in his bat. Essentially, he is another Saul Garza – albeit a couple of years younger. He has a plus arm behind the plate, although he is still developing his catching skills. It takes time to learn the nuances of catching, and Hayden is a hard worker that will keep getting better. He will have to learn to make more consistent contact at the plate, but when he does make contact, usually something special happens. He is also a tremendous competitor and will not back down from challenges. Hayden could have been drafted fairly early and signed for a significant bonus. However, because of his desire to attend LSU, he went undrafted.”