Dragons on Deck: Nick Lodolo

By Tom Nichols / Dayton Dragons | October 25, 2019 9:06 AM

Position:  Left-handed starting pitcher

Lodolo is currently ranked as the Cincinnati Reds #2 prospect and the 56th best prospect in all of baseball by MLBPipeline.com. He is also ranked as the #6 left-handed pitching prospect in baseball. He was the Reds first round selection and seventh overall pick in the 2019 draft out of Texas Christian University.

2019 Season: Lodolo completed his junior year at TCU in the spring, where he was named 1st Team All-Big 12 Conference and 2nd Team All-American. He was the first pitcher selected by any team in the June draft. After throwing 103 innings during the college season, Lodolo's innings were carefully limited after he joined the Reds organization. He began his professional career by making six starts with the Billings Mustangs in the Pioneer League, logging 11 innings and allowing just three earned runs. He was promoted to the Dragons on July 22.

With the Dragons:  Lodolo's first start with the Dragons on July 24 against the Great Lakes Loons in Dayton attracted big media attention. Coincidentally, his catcher that night was Kyle Farmer of the Reds, who had been assigned to the Dragons on an MLB injury rehab assignment. Lodolo was impressive in his first performance in the Buckeye state, tossing three innings while allowing one run and striking out five batters. Five days later, he started again for the Dragons and tossed four strong innings, allowing one run and striking out four. The second start in Dayton was Lodolo's last of the season as the Reds decided that the 121 innings compiled by the young southpaw between his college campaign and his two-stop pro experience was enough for one year. Lodolo did not issue a single walk over his 18.1 innings with the Dragons and the Mustangs while striking out 30 hitters and posting a combined earned run average of 2.45. Lodolo impressed observers with his strong command of multiple pitches, showing a fastball that could reach the mid-90s and an excellent breaking ball. 

Click here to see highlights and comments from Lodolo after his first start in Dayton, courtesy of Hutch Konerman of WDTN TV.

Outlook:  Lodolo will move up in the Reds organization in 2020. During his time in Dayton, he garnered positive comments for his poise, confidence, and mound presence in addition to his advanced pitching skills, leading many observers to believe those traits, along with his three years of experience in a top college conference, will allow him to move rapidly up the ladder.

Fun Facts: Lodolo became the 18th Reds first round pick to play for the Dragons and the 10th in a row…Lodolo attended the same high school (Damien HS in LaVerne, California) as former MLB slugger Mark McGwire and former Reds pitcher Frank Pastore…Lodolo was the highest-drafted player ever at TCU…Lodolo pitched in many high-pressure games during his college career including an appearance in the College World Series as a true freshman in 2017 against a University of Florida team that featured future Dragon and future Reds #1 draft pick Jonathan India.

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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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