2019 MLB Draft Preview: Nick Lodolo scouting report
The 2019 MLB Draft is just over five weeks away — the first round kicks off on June 3, 2019 — its time to start offering capsule looks at players the Texas Rangers could select with their top picks. The Rangers’ first round pick is at #8, their second round pick is at #50, and they have Milwaukee’s competitive balance pick, acquired in the Alex Claudio trade, which is #41.
Leading up to draft day, we will be doing writeups of some of the players who could end up getting selected by the Rangers with one of their first three picks. Today, we are looking at TCU pitcher Nick Lodolo.
Nick Lodolo is a 6’6” lefthanded pitcher who is in his junior season at Texas Christian University, and is listed at anywhere from 180 to 195 lbs. Lodolo was drafted #41 overall in the 2016 draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates out of Damien High School in La Verne, California, but didn’t sign. He has a low- to mid-90s fastball, a good changeup, and a breaking ball I’ve seen described as either a slider or a curve, depending on the source. He’s got the type of three-pitch mix that profiles in the rotation, but the reports indicate there’s concern that he’s been hit harder than his stuff would suggest he should be hit.
MLB Pipeline has Lodolo at #16 on their pre-draft rankings right now. Keith Law has Lodolo ranked #10, and has him pegged as the likely first college pitcher off the board. Baseball America has Lodolo at #7 on their most recent rankings, up from #11 previously. Fangraphs has Lodolo at #6 on their pre-draft board.
The 2080 mock draft from earlier this week had the Rangers snagging Lodolo at #8, though I’m not real confident that Lodolo will be there when Texas picks, given his recent rise in the rankings and the fact college pitchers often get taken higher than one would expect. Fangraphs most recent mock has San Diego taking Lodolo at #6, while BA has Lodolo going to the Reds one pick before Texas.
Like Josh Jung, who we discussed yesterday, Lodolo is going to get more attention as a possible pick from Rangers fans given that he goes to school in Texas. My guess is that he’s not an option when Texas picks, but if he is still on the board, we could see the Rangers break from their history of preferring prep pitchers and go the college route instead.