Lodolo is a 6’6″, 202-pound lefty out of Texas Christian University who was a consensus Top 10 prospect headed into the 2019 draft. He posted dominant numbers this year, logging a 2.48 ERA with 11.5 K/9 against 1.5 BB/9 in a total of 15 starts and 98 innings. Fangraphs ranked him as the draft’s No. 7 prospect, while he ranked eighth at both Baseball America and MLB.com as well as 10th at ESPN.com.
Lodolo adds a polished, high-end pitching prospect to a Reds system at a time in which the organization has been looking to emerge from an ongoing rebuilding process. Baseball America called him a “high-probability Major Leaguer” that has above-average control and the potential for three plus pitches (fastball, slider, changeup), although each is considered to be more of an average offering at the moment. ESPN’s Keith Law gives him credit for “at least midrotation upside,” and Callis calls him the best pitching prospect in this year’s draft class.
If he’s a familiar name to baseball fans, it’s likely because Lodolo was drafted by the Pirates with the No. 41 overall pick back in 2016. Lodolo opted not to sign and instead pursued his college career. That type of risk doesn’t always pay off from a financial standpoint but certainly did in this case; the No. 41 overall pick back in 2016 came with a $1.576MM slot value.