Nick Lodolo, the Cincinnati Reds 1st round pick from the 2019 draft made his Dayton Dragons debut. He would wind up throwing to big leaguer Kyle Farmer who joined the team for a rehab assignment after suffering a concussion last week with the Reds. For the most part, Lodolo seemed like he too was a big leaguer, as he just looked like a men among boys against the Great Lakes Loons. At the end of the day, the left-handed pitcher did allow a run over his 3.0 innings pitched on three hits, and he hit a batter. He also struck out five.
After a long college season where he threw 103.0 innings, and a handful of innings in Billings, the Reds have kept Nick Lodolo’s pitch count rather low. On Thursday night he threw 43 pitches. Of those 43 pitches 30 of them went for strikes.
“I was throwing a lot of strikes. The main thing was just trying to get ahead of guys, mix a little bit in there. It felt pretty good,” said Nick Lodolo after the game.
“He’s got a bright future for sure. Any pitcher who is that tall is hard to pick up. That slider is top notch. He looked really good. I faced (Chris) Sale a few times in spring training, and man, he’s got good stuff like Sale does. He pitches inside to righties like Sale does, and his sliders a sweeper,” noted Kyle Farmer after the game on what he saw from Nick Lodolo from behind the plate.
That’s one heck of a comparison made by Kyle Farmer, who also noted that he was likely heading back out on Saturday for another rehab game. This one would likely be in Louisville, and he said that the plan would be for him to be behind the plate again.
Nick Lodolo’s fastball was 93-95 MPH all night. There were 26 fastballs thrown in the game for the left-hander. 11 of them registered at 95. The slider worked between 80-83 MPH on the night and he mixed in 15 of those. There were only two change ups thrown and they were both 88 MPH.
The Loons hitters didn’t do much swinging at Nick Lodolo’s off-speed stuff. Of the 17 off-speed pitchers thrown by Lodolo, Great Lakes swung at just five. They looked at seven called strikes between the slider and change up. There were only two swinging strikes on the day – one fastball and one slider. Eight fastballs were taken for called strikes, one change up was, and five sliders were.
With the workload restrictions the Reds have for Lodolo, we may not see much more of him this season. What I saw last night looked really good, though. The fastball has movement on both planes. The slider is a wipe-out pitch. His change up still needs some work, but it’s a usable offering right now and should get better. Toss in how well he hides the ball, and his size giving him just a different angle, and you can see why he was the top rated pitcher in the entire 2019 Major League Baseball draft. The guy’s real good.