The Cincinnati Reds selected left-handed pitcher Nick Lodolo out of TCU with the 7th overall pick in the 2019 Major League Baseball Draft on Monday night. The 6′ 6″ lefty dominated in 2019 for the Horned Frogs, posting a 2.48 ERA in 98.0 innings where he walked 21 batters and had 125 strikeouts on the season.

This wasn’t the first time that Nick Lodolo was selected in the draft. In the 2016 draft, the Pittsburgh Pirates selected him with the 41st overall pick, but he chose to not sign and go to college. We have not been able to confirm the rumor that Clint Hurdle is going to direct someone to throw a baseball at someone on the Reds over this.

In his first two seasons at TCU, Nick Lodolo showed good control, and he missed bats – though not to the level he did in 2019. He battled some consistency, though, and as a result his ERA was mediocre, posting a 4.35 mark as a freshman and a 4.32 mark as a sophomore.

Here’s the scouting report that I shared on Nick Lodolo at RedsMinorLeagues.com.

The 6’ 6? and 185-pound left-handed pitcher from TCU is having a dominant junior season. He was a 1st round pick back in 2016 out of high school, going 41st overall to the Pirates, but would go unsigned and head to college. After having solid, but unspectacular results in his first two seasons as a starter, 2019 has seen him break out in a big way. He’s made 15 starts and posted a 2.48 ERA in 98.0 innings with 21 walks and 125 strikeouts for the Horned Frogs.

The big lefty throws his fastball in the low-to-mid 90’s and he does so on a downhill plane thanks to his height and arm angle. He’s scrapped a curveball in favor of a slider that has flashed itself as a well above-average pitch in the low 80’s. His change up will also flash itself as an above-average pitch.

The consistency with his secondary offerings have been the difference maker in 2019. He’s set himself apart from the rest of the college pitchers this season and was the top arm on the board.

With three potential above-average pitches, and control, he could move rather quickly. Jim Callis said he believes that Lodolo will be the first pitcher to reach the Majors from this draft. He’s expected to sign for the full slot value of the pick according to Jeff Passan of ESPN.

For full draft coverage for all 40 rounds over the next three days be sure to stop by RedsMinorLeagues.com where there will be scouting reports, video, stats, and as much other information as possible through Wednesday night.

18 Responses

  1. Jreis

    When is he due for his Tommy John Surgery?

  2. matthew hendley

    roughly guessing 2023 due time to the majors, with roughly a year in each level starting in the mid to high A level. Assuming of course he doesn’t get injured. or traded.

    • Lwblogger2

      I think he’s a good bet to be ready before that. His ceiling isn’t particularly high but his floor isn’t very low either. Assuming no serious injuries, I’d think as early as 2021 with 2022 more likely. Of course that’s just my guess based on scouting reports and what little I’ve seen of him.

  3. CFD3000

    If he turns out to be a tall lefty (that seems like the easy part right now) with a mid 90’s fastball and a wicked slider then he’ll be… Amir Garrett. Which wouldn’t be so bad. The best and worst things I’ve seen about Lodolo are the same thing. He hasn’t been really good until this year. That might mean he’ll never be great and 2019 was a bit of an anomaly. Or it might mean he’s starting to figure it out and will, with high level coaching and competition, turn into Amir Garrett’s alter ego “Starter Amir”. And that would be great. Hard to argue with taking the best pitcher in the draft. Now we’ll wait and see whether Nick and some random shortstop from the 8th round can eventually blossom into future major league studs. Here’s hoping. Go Reds!

  4. WVRedlegs

    I was reading an article that gave out grades on the first round selections. The Reds did not do so good here. They gave the Reds pick a C+. In the top 20 picks there were 3 C+’s and 3 C’s. Nothing below a C in the top 20. There was 1 A and 1 A- grades given out in the top 20. KC got the A with the #2 pick of Witt. And the Nats got the A- for drafting Jackson Rutledge at #17. There were a couple of A’s and A-‘s given lower in the 1st round as were a couple of D’s also.
    The Reds needed a Home Run at #7 and got average, a C+ player. Alek Manoah got a solid B grade at #11 with Toronto. The Reds sought out average and got average. They passed on the top of rotation arm in Manoah for a “safe” average pick. But how safe?
    And word out of Dallas today is that Lodolo may have been quietly nursing a sore arm most of the season at TCU. And he is seeking full slot money when Manoah would have been agreeable to a little less under slot deal.
    Another draft that doesn’t help the rebuild, that is 3 drafts in a row now for that. What did the Reds get with their 1st round pick? A LH Mike Leake? That is an insult to Mike Leake. He won’t be anything near a Mike Leake as he’ll need 2-3 years in the minors. Or a Manny Parra? The Reds got a first round, #7 overall, LOOGY.

      • Lwblogger2

        Were the grades also based on where the players were drafted? Maybe Manoah at #7 is a C+ but was a B at #11? Do the percieved needs of the drafting team play I to it?

        The sore arm talk is troubling but I think it’s way too early to complain about picking Lodolo when he hasn’t even signed yet. It’s not like he was a giant reach or anything.

    • Foxy

      What a random negative take.

      Pretty much every ranking had Lodolo above Manoah and had Lodolo in the top 10(normally around 7-8 and top pitcher) while Manoah was closer to 11-15.

      From the various takes from mainstream press that i’ve read, Lodolo has flashed 3 plus pitches with a large frame and room to fill out. Not sure why we would be upset about that.

    • greenmtred

      Given the nature of draft picks, doesn’t it make more sense to pan them retrospectively?

      • Lwblogger2

        Right… He hasn’t even signed het.

    • Michael E

      A well respected baseball site had Lodolo #5 (Fangraphs). The crappy Bleacher Report random fan had the C+ grade. Basically a you or me grading it. Getting the best SP on the board, a college one, closer to ready AND big AND a lefty?

      Sign me up!

      Reminds me of Chris Sale, drop that arm angle just a bit more and your Sale or Scherzer. Some stupid site said his arm angle was too low, so likely an RP? WHAT? The best pitchers lately throw lower than 3/4, save for a few overhand guys like Verlander. Over-the-top guys get arm injuries at a higher rate (for good reason, the shoulder doesn’t like that windmill thing, wasn’t meant to roll around 360 perpendicular to the body).

      The last point, the hitters had already been chewed up. There were no clear-cut, he’ll succeed types. It was one-year wonders, swing-n-miss or skin n bones types. I wanted a pitcher with Lodolo (preferred) clearly the best in this class).

      I also am seeing the much improved pitching this year as a sign that Derek Johnson will have a big impact and hopefully the lower level coaches will be applying some of his theories/teachings and we’ll suddenly have solid pitching development.

      FYI, I also like a few of the SPs they got later. LHP Evan Kravetz and RHP Graham Ashcraft (99 mph, several quality pitches, BUT walks a bunch of hitters, maybe a near arm slot and voila…paging Derek Johnson!)

    • Michael E

      Also of note, I am less than impressed with the position players drafted after round 3. None of the scouting reports are favorable as anything but projects, defensively challenged or contact (hitting) challenged.

      I was hoping they’d take Tristan English 1b/OF/closer, from Georgia Tech, or maybe even Kyle McCann, C from GT. English looks like a real player, good approach, calm. McCann has such easy power, though just a middling defensive catcher. Oh well. Looks like Arizona got a good one (English). McCann went to Oakland.

  5. matthew hendley

    Thanks for the link, your right about tenn. they do see some ballplayers come through there. Suck at everything else though