Baseball America has updated their latest mock draft this week and they have the Cincinnati Reds going in a different direction than the past. TCU left-handed starter Nick Lodolo has been climbing up the draft boards. He is now the projected pick for the Reds. As noted Wednesday, Lodolo is the lone pitcher in the Top 13 prospects on the Fangraphs Draft Boart. It’s a draft dominated by position players – but more so because of the lack of pitching than an overwhelming abundance of great position player prospects.

While Major League Baseball teams never draft for needs at the Major League level, a guy like Nick Lodolo could be a good fit for the near-term Cincinnati Reds. The rotation is going to have spots to fill in 2020 with the loss of free agents to be Tanner Roark and Alex Wood. While Lodolo won’t be able (likely) to fill one of those spots, as a college arm he could (probably) be moved quickly. Cincinnati has moved now former starters Robert Stephenson, Sal Romano, and Cody Reed into the bullpen. While they could return to the rotation, until they do, the starting pitching depth has taken a big hit.

In 2016 the Pittsburgh Pirates selected Nick Lodolo with the 41st overall pick in the 1st round. They couldn’t come to an agreement and he moved on to college to pitch at TCU. During the first two seasons at TCU he was solid, but unspectacular. His ERA’s were 4.35 and 4.32 in 78.2 and 77.0 innings. He walked 28 batters in both seasons. He struck out 72 and then 93. The stuff would flash “1st round draft pick”, but it was inconsistent.

As a junior the 21-year-old has found more consistency and the numbers have been outstanding. Nick Lodolo has a 1.52 ERA through eight starts and 53.0 innings. His walk rate has been half of what it was his first two seasons, walking just 10 batters so far. And his strikeout rate is up once again – fanning 68 batters so far this season.

When it comes to scouting Lodolo, he’s simply been more consistent this season. His fastball is up a tick this year, but he’s still a tall (6′ 6″) lefty who can reach into the mid-90’s. He also shows a good breaking ball and change up.  The breaking ball becoming a pitch that isn’t hit-or-miss has changed everything. The fastball and change up now play better, and the walk rate has seen big improvements because of it, too.

8 Responses

    • Dollar Bill

      The last three Nicks the Reds have drafted in the first round [ Howard Travesio Senzel] have all stayed ‘nicked’ up.

      Maybe Reds should try a different name?

      • Stock

        Maybe they should draft another Homer. Except this time make sure he is a position player instead of a Pitcher.

  1. MBZ

    A lefty arm in the top 13. I like it. It’s always hard to get a good lefty

  2. Bob Anderson

    Bailey impressive………….maybe Price and his lackeys pitching coaches were a problem.

  3. RobL

    Lodolo would be a really nice fit for the system. With the loss of Josiah Gray, there is a dearth of quality starting pitchers in A ball. I do find it hard to believe though that a college lefty with his kind of stuff makes it to 7 if he continues pitching like he has so far this season.

  4. Shamrock

    Won’t this be a load of BS.
    Puig and Kemp continue to blow monkey chunks, Homer outpitches Wood all summer, and Josiah & Jeter go on to become Superstars.
    But hey, at least we got us a Farmer in the deal…….

  5. The Duke

    As long as Witt isn’t still available, i’d be thrilled with Lodolo at 7. He has some upside still as thin as he is, there could still be some physical maturity to where his fastball sits mid 90’s instead of low to mid 90’s (he’s largely been 92-94 this year, but has hit 96). It’d be a bit of a Mike Leake pick to where I don’t know if he is ever a top of the rotation guy, but I could see him being a stable mid rotation starter and maybe even a #2 guy on a good team. Couple him with Castillo, Gray, Mahle, and Santillan, and that has the potential to be a very good rotation for years 2021-2024