Early-season struggles could see this pitcher fall to the Reds in 2023 MLB Draft

Tennessee pitcher Chase Dollander (11) celebrates
Tennessee pitcher Chase Dollander (11) celebrates / Jake Crandall/ Advertiser / USA TODAY

Chase Dollander was the unquestioned top pitching prospect heading into the 2023 season. After a tremendous sophomore season, Dollander looked like a lock to be among the top couple picks in the 2023 MLB Draft.

Dylan Crews is all but locked into the No. 1 spot, and thanks to the first ever draft lottery, the Pittsburgh Pirates jumped from No. 3 to No. 1 and will undoubtedly select Crews with the first pick in the 2023 MLB Draft.

But, while Dollander could have easily laid claim to the No. 2 pick, which is held by the Washington Nationals, the right-hander has seen a downturn in consistency this season and could very well fall to the Cincinnati Reds at No. 7.

Early-season struggles could see Chase Dollander fall to the Reds in 2023 MLB Draft.

Last season, Chase Dollander was amazing on the bump for the Tennessee Volunteers. During his sophomore season, Dollander went undefeated with 10-0 win-loss record and an ERA of just 2.39. The right-hander struck out 108 batters over 79 innings of work and owned a WHIP of only 0.797.

This year, however, Dollander's numbers have looked anything but crisp. Arguably the top arm in the country heading into 2023, Dollander is 5-4 with a 4.24 ERA and 1.238 WHIP. His strikeouts per nine innings (12.9) are up from last season (12.3), but so are his walks per nine innings (3.3).

Currently, the draft experts (Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo) over at MLB.com are split on where Dollander will be drafted later this year. The duo predicts that he could go as early as No. 6 to the Oakland Athletics, or as late as No. 9 to the Colorado Rockies.

If Chase Dollander is available at No. 7 when the Cincinnati Reds make their selection, Nick Krall and company need to take a long, hard look at the former Georgia Southern University standout. The Reds have several top pitching prospects in the farm system at the moment, but as the old adage goes, you can never have enough pitching.

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