The Top Three Pitchers in the 2019 MLB Amateur Draft
Nick Lodolo, Texas Christian University
Nick Lodolo is no stranger to the MLB amateur draft, as he was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the second round in 2016. The high school senior (at the time) decided not to sign with the team and chose to honor his commitment to Texas Christian University instead.
Considering he was drafted within the first 5 rounds, it is a bit surprising that he chose college over professional ball. The only reasons I could think of for not signing with the Pirates was that the money must not have been there, or he realllllly wanted to go play college ball.
Whatever the reason, he has surely boosted his draft stock since 2016.
As the #8 ranked prospect by MLB pipeline, Lodolo had a bit of a rough start to his college career.
Through his freshman and sophomore seasons, the 6’6 left-hander would throw for 4.35 and 4.32 ERAs respectively. While his strikeout numbers were solid at 72 and 93, but his walks really hurt the ERA with 28 (both seasons) in 17 and 16 games each season.
It is in 2019, during his Junior season, that Lodolo really turned things around.
He is currently pitching a 2.39 ERA and already has 100 strikeouts with approximately 3-4 games left in the season for him.
Combined with a decrease in his walks at 19, Lodolo has just been dominating on the mound this season, leaving hitters with a .205 batting average.
Lodolo’s sophomore season also saw him pitch more innings already than his two previous college campaigns, with games still left in the season.
Where will he sign?
It is a bit tough to predict where Nick Lodolo will be drafted as each team picking within the first 14 spots can arguably sign and could use a pitcher.
If I had to guess, Lodolo may get selected a bit earlier than his ranking with either the #5 Detroit Tigers, #6 San Diego Padres or possibly slide to the #9 Atlanta Braves. He is a left-handed pitcher which could make him more desirable to MLB teams.
Nick Lodolo is making good on his draft year, and he could see his name selected higher than his #8 ranking may suggest. Whatever the case, he took a gamble not signing with the Pirates and it looks like he may just cash in.