The Cincinnati Reds have selected left-handed pitcher Nick Lodolo out of TCU with the #7 overall pick in the 2019 Major League Baseball Draft.
- School: TCU
- Position: Left-handed starting pitcher
- Height: 6′ 6″
- Weight: 205 lbs.
- Bats/Throws: Left/Left
- Previously drafted: 1st round, 41st overall, Pittsburgh – 2016
The 6’ 6″ and 205-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 and was the top arm on the board.
This isn’t much of a surprise. Nearly ever mock draft for the last five weeks has had the Reds selecting Nick Lodolo. According to Jeff Passan of ESPN he’s already agreed to sign for the full slot value of the pick at $5.43M.
The Reds get the top pitcher in the draft. While the draft is considered to be a bit weak, landing the top pitcher in the draft while selecting 7th is rare. In fact, this is the lowest spot that the first pitcher has EVER been selected in the draft. There’s plenty to like with Nick Lodolo. He should move quickly thanks to his polish and advanced abilities.
Nick Lodolo’s thoughts after the draft
“No, not really, honestly. It’s just awesome. I was hoping to hear my named called early, and it was.” said Lodolo when asked if he was surprised the Reds selected him. “I’m absolutely ecstatic for the opportunity. From just the little bit of knowledge I have from the area scout (Paul Scott) and the scouting director (Brad Meador), I couldn’t be more excited, especially to get going and get up there (Cincinnati) as I can to help out.”
“I’m a guy who throws a lot of strikes, commands three pitches very well. I pitch a lot off of my fastball and move the ball in and out,” he said when asked to describe himself as a pitcher.
When asked why he didn’t sign out of high school when he was selected by the Pirates in the 1st round in 2016: “I really wanted to go to school and I knew that if I signed out of high school I knew that I wasn’t going to go back to do four years of education. And education was important to me and my family. I really wanted to get the college experience and college baseball. Just getting out there and growing up on my own in the college environment. And TCU has been awesome to my family, to me. It’s hard to explain, but this place is something special.”
“The biggest things I’ve learned here at school is the mental game and learning how to pitch. Coming out of high school you don’t get any of that. Your stuff in high school is good enough to just win games. You don’t need to learn how to pitch and how to slow the game down. That’s one of the biggest parts. And obviously my physical development. I came here as an absolute string bean. I’ve gained 30 pounds since being here. Getting that strength and everything helped me develop as a pitcher.”