This top pitching prospect could find himself atop Reds draft board

Tennessee baseball Chase Dollander (11) pitches
Tennessee baseball Chase Dollander (11) pitches / Jake Crandall/ Advertiser / USA TODAY

The 2023 MLB Draft is approaching quickly. With the majority of high school seasons coming to an end, and tournament week beginning in college baseball, new mock drafts are popping up.

After the offseason’s inaugural draft lottery, the Cincinnati Reds are set to pick seventh overall in the 2023 MLB Draft. With this year’s draft having a good mix of college and high school talent, the Reds could go in a couple of different directions. 

Between now and July 9th, there will be risers and fallers on the draft board. However, as the spring baseball season starts to wind down, it is becoming more clear who the cream of the crop could be in this year’s draft class. 

2023 MLB Draft: Tennessee baseball pitcher Chase Dollander could go to the Reds in Round 1.

Chase Dollander is graded out as one of the top college arms in the draft along with LSU’s Paul Skenes and fellow rumored Cincinnati first round pick Rhett Lowder. Keith Law of The Athletic (subscription required) has Dollander being selected ninth by the Colorado Rockies but writes he has heard him connected to the Queen City as well. 

Dollander finished his 2022 sophomore season as one of the best pitchers in college. The 2022 SEC Pitcher of the Year, along with 1st-Team All-American filled a stat line that impressed nearly every scout in the sport.

Over 14 starts, the 6-foot-2 righty racked up 108 strikeouts and posted a 2.39 ERA in 79 innings pitched. Dollander helped lead Tennessee to an SEC regular and tournament championship, before getting upset in the Super Regionals by Notre Dame. 

The 2023 season, however, has been a bit of a step back for Chase Dollander. In the same amount of starts as 2022, his ERA spiked to 4.52. The strikeout-rate remained the same, but the home runs came a bit more than during his all-American season. 

Dollander still has great upside as a more traditional four-pitch pitcher. The right-hander has a big fastball that sits 95 mph and can touch 98 mph with a slider graded as a plus-pitch that has wicked swing and miss potential. 

The down season this year may cause some to be more hesitant on Dollander, though he has shown what his potential can be when he’s on his A-game. His last start in the regular season against a tough South Carolina lineup was one of his best performances of the year as he went 5.1 innings giving up just two hits, and two runs, while striking out 13 with no walks surrendered. 

Landing in a destination like Cincinnati could fare well with Chase Dollander. With the track record the Cincinnati Reds development department has with young pitchers, he could be in the best position possible to reach his full potential. 

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