Ruston’s Gibson joins Tech teammates for historic day in MLB Draft

Ruston’s Cade Gibson joined three other LA Tech teammates in making history Monday during the second day of the 2022 MLB Draft (Courtesy photo).

by Malcolm Butler

Cade Gibson knew Monday was the second day of the 2022 Major League Baseball Draft.

But the former Ruston Bearcat and Louisiana Tech Bulldog put it in the back of his mind as he went about his business, throwing a morning bullpen session.

“I had zero clue (anything was going to happen today),” said Gibson. “I came to my fiancée’s house for lunch. She went back to work. I told her I was going to turn on the TV just to watch because I wanted to be there when my teammates got selected.”

That’s when things started to heat up for the southpaw.

After watching teammates Ryan Jennings (4th round, Toronto Blue Jays), Kyle Crigger (7th round, Miami Marlins) and Taylor Young (8th round, Los Angeles Dodgers) get selected Monday, it was Gibson’s turn to hear his name called.

And by the middle of the afternoon, Gibson joined Crigger as a member of the Marlins, being selected in the 10th round with the 292nd overall pick.

It marks the first time in Tech baseball history that four players were chosen in the top 10 rounds of the same draft. In fact, the Bulldogs had never had more than two players selected in the top 10 rounds in the same year.

Quite a testament to Lane Burroughs and Co. something Gibson was quick to point out.

“Today was awesome,” said Gibson, who will fly to the Marlins spring training site in Jupiter, Florida, later this week. “It was just awesome. I am so proud of those three that I don’t know what to say.

“It’s always been a dream of all of ours. We’ve talked about it. We all four knew we that we could (do it), but I tell you (Coach Burroughs) and the coaching staff has put us in a tremendous spot to be successful. We wouldn’t be here without them.”

Monday moved so fast for Gibson that he had to make a quick call to his parents to make sure they didn’t miss the moment.

“My parents got (to my fiancee Lindsay Corie’s house) not too long before the Marlins called me,” said Gibson. “I had called my parents after getting a couple of calls. I told them ‘Look I am not getting my hopes up because I have no idea what is about to happen, but if you may want to come over here. I don’t want you not to be here if something happens.’

“They came over here and about an hour later it happened. It was a dream come true to have the people that are closest to me be here with me to see it.”

Meanwhile, earlier in the day in New Braunfels, Texas, Jennings had his moment in the sun.

“Just keep playing. That is the goal,” said Jennings Monday afternoon. “The (Blue Jays) regional scout called me (Monday) morning and was talking money. I sent them over to my advisor. It was at the beginning of the (4th) round. I didn’t expect it to be drafted that early. Initially they were low on their offer, but they came up pretty quick.

“It all happened really quick. In fact, it kind of happened, and was over. I was like ‘That’s it?’

Jennings said he is scheduled later this week to fly out to Dunedin, Florida, the site of the Blue Jays spring training facility where he will be accessed by the organization’s player development personnel. He said he may start off-season activities or he could be sent to one of the affiliates for the remainder of the minor league season.

Regardless, he said he owes a lot to Louisiana Tech.

“It’s been everything. The community, the coaches and my teammates,” said Jennings. “I’ve made lifelong friends there. I am so thankful the coaches gave me the opportunity. It’s a special place to go and play.

“Louisiana Tech is a school where everyone is so loyal and loves the program. The last few years has been a dream for me because I have gotten to play with my best friends. It’s been the best experience I could have asked for.”

Burroughs said he couldn’t be prouder of all four of the newest Bulldog major leaguers.

“The most amazing thing is that none of these four have ever been drafted,” said Burroughs. “You think about the fact all four of them have gone through numerous injuries and some of them multiple surgeries, it’s amazing. I will go ahead and add in they didn’t have a field or clubhouse or locker room for two years, and all they did was kept showing up and working hard and pushing and low and behold four guys that have never been drafted all go in the top 10 rounds. That’s pretty salty.

“In the college game it isn’t considered much of a developmental game, but that’s one thing we take pride in here at Louisiana Tech. You have to get good players, but we take pride in developing those young men. I think it says a lot about our coaching staff and our ability to develop them.

“It’s definitely been a good day. No doubt about that.”

The third and final day of the MLB Draft is today as rounds 11 through 20 will be conducted. Burroughs said a few more Bulldogs could be selected.

Ryan Jennings, 4th round (128), Toronto Blue Jays

Kyle Crigger, 7th round (202), Miami Marlins

Taylor Young, 8th round (255), Los Angeles Dodgers

Cade Gibson, 10th round (292), Miami Marlins

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