When the 2019 baseball season began, Nick Lodolo was starting his junior season at TCU. The left-handed pitcher dominated the Big 12, posting a 2.36 ERA in 103.0 innings with 25 walks and 131 strikeouts for the Horned Frogs. The Cincinnati Reds used the #7 overall pick in the draft to select him, making him the first pitcher taken in the draft this past season.
After signing with Cincinnati, the Reds send Nick Lodolo to join the Billings Mustangs when their season began in late June. He was on a very limited pitch count as the team wanted to keep his innings and workload low after throwing 100+ innings in college earlier in the season. Over the first two weeks of the season he made four starts, but threw just 103 pitches across four starts. In that stretch he allowed six hits in 6.2 innings with no earned runs, no walks, and he struck out 11 batters.
In what would be his final two starts for Billings he allowed three earned runs in 4.2 innings where he gave up six hits – including the first home run of his professional career, while walking no one and striking out 10 more hitters. On July 25th he would make his debut in Low-A with the Dayton Dragons. It would be his longest outing to date in his career, allowing one run over 3.0 innings against Great Lakes where he struck out five batters without a walk. Five days later would be the final start of the year for the lefty. Taking on Bowling Greene he allowed a run over 4.0 innings – throwing a season high 49 pitches. He struck out four batters without a walk. He was shut down for the season at that point in order to not put too many innings on his arm.
For all 2019 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason).
Nick Lodolo Scouting Report
Position: Left-handed pitcher | B/T: L/L
Height: 6′ 6″| Weight: 202 lbs | Drafted: 1st Round, 2019
Fastball | The pitch works 92-94 MPH and touches 96.
Slider | A pitch he focused on more in 2019, it’s a plus offering he throws in the low 80’s with sweep and bite.
Curveball | This pitch got limited use in 2019 as he focused on the slider, but it’s still there and is a solid offering in the upper 70’s to low 80’s.
Change Up | It is a bit firm, but will flash itself as an average offering at times.
There’s a lot to like about Nick Lodolo. He’s a 6′ 6″ left-handed starter who throws tons of strikes and has plus stuff. His fastball velocity is above-average and there could be room to add a little bit as his frame has more than enough room to fill out. His slider is his go-to secondary pitch and can put hitters away with two-plane action. The curveball gives him a third average or better look, and the change up – while certainly a work in progress and a pitch he needs to throw more as he continues to develop, shows itself as a potentially fourth average or better offering.
To top off the “he’s got outstanding stuff” side of things, he throws strikes. Lots of them. In his professional debut he didn’t walk a single batter, hit just one, and he struck out 30 of the 74 hitters that he faced. Lodolo knows how to work hitters, both in terms of location and pitch sequencing. He’s about as advanced of a pitcher as you’re going to be able to draft.
You don’t have to squint very hard to see how Nick Lodolo can move quickly up the ladder in the Reds farm system and reach the Major Leagues soon. The team does have options at the big league level, and that gives them the ability to let his performance and development dictate how quickly he can move.
Interesting Stat on Nick Lodolo
He struck out 41% of the hitters he faced as a professional in his debut.
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