Nicholas Frank Lodolo
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 6", Weight 185 lb.
- School Texas Christian University
- High School Damien High School
- Debut April 13, 2022
Pitcher Nick Lodolo was the last player drafted in the first round of the 2016 amateur draft, his selection being the 46th overall, in Competitive Balance Round A, by the Pittsburgh Pirates. However, he was the only player from that round not to come to an agreement on a contract, and went on to attend Texas Christian University instead (he had been drafted out of high school). He was the only one of Pittsburgh's top 14 picks not to sign, and as a result they received a compensatory pick in the 2017 amateur draft, which became a second round pick as there were only 36 first-rounders that year. In college, he continued to improve his stock and was considered a likely top-10 selection in the 2019 amateur draft, a prediction which materialized when the Cincinnati Reds selected him with the #7 pick. He was the highest-drafted pitcher that year, in a draft notoriously short on pitchers (there were only two among the first 16 picks, and 7 among the first 34), and the highest draft pick ever in the history of Texas Christian.
He made 8 starts in his first pro season, 2019, but logged just 18 1/3 innings between the Billings Mustangs and Dayton Dragons, finishing at 0-1, 2.45 with 30 strikeouts and not a single walk. He would have to wait over a year to issue his first free pass, as he spent the 2020 season at the Reds' alternate training site with the minor leagues shut down by the Coronavirus pandemic. In 2021, he made 13 starts between the AA Chattanooga Lookouts and AAA Louisville Bats, his time being cut short first with a blister issue, and later with left shoulder strain. He still managed to be named the Double-A South Pitcher of the Month for May and to be selected to take part in the 2021 Futures Game, finishing the year at 2-2, 2.31 and 78 strikeouts (against 11 walks) in 50 2/3 innings.
In spite of having less than 100 professional innings under his belt, he made the Reds' starting rotation out of spring training in 2022, due to injuries to other projected starting pitchers. His debut came on April 13th against the Cleveland Guardians. he gave up 5 runs on 7 hits in 4 innings to be charged with the 7-3 loss, but did manage to be the first pitcher to strike out fellow rookie Steven Kwan, who had started his career on an unbelievable hot streak.