Less than a month from now, the LA Angels will be finishing up their 2019 Amateur Draft along with the rest of the MLB.
So now, we will be highlighting potential picks for the LA Angels leading up to the draft. These will be focused mostly on first round prospects, but some Day 2 picks will be sprinkled in.
So to kick off this new series at Halo Hangout, I’ll be looking at my favorite prospect in the 2019 MLB Draft, Nick Lodolo, a left-handed pitcher out of Texas Christian University.
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While stats aren’t everything when it comes to draft prospects, Lodolo‘s are worth pointing out. He has broken out in his junior year, posting a 2.34 ERA through 12 starts. He has been the best starting pitcher throughout the NCAA season.
More importantly for Lodolo, his walk and strikeout numbers have improved vastly. With 89 strikeouts and 16 walks, he has shown he can control the strike zone consistently.
While this may be due to the college strike zone and there may be some early struggles when the strike zone shrinks once Lodolo is drafted, these numbers are very impressive.
In fact, they might be too impressive in the case of the Angels. Lodolo started the season as a mid-first round prospect, ideal for the Halos at pick #15. However, he may have pitched himself out of their range at this point.
Lodolo has shown the ability to use four pitches. His fastball sits in the low-90’s, but has shown some solid run at times. His breaking balls all have excellent spin, with his curveball and slider acting as his go-to strikeout pitches.
His slider especially has flashed. It has spectacular dive to it, and has given right-handed hitters fits all season. His fourth pitch, a changeup, will be a work in progress as he ascends to the MLB but has a promise as an above-average pitch.
Despite entering the draft as a junior, there is still some upside to Lodolo. He stands at 6 feet, 6 inches tall but weighs only 185 pounds. If he can add muscle to his lanky frame (while also cleaning up his delivery a tad), he could add velocity to his game.
Nick Lodolo would be the perfect draft pick for the Angels. He has ace-level potential, is still young at only 21 years old, and could contribute to the big league club relatively soon. Unfortunately, Lodolo very well has pitched himself out of the Halos’ range.