Ranking the 10 most important young players for the Reds future

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Elly De La Cruz
Cincinnati Reds shortstop Elly De La Cruz / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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3. Nick Lodolo, Reds starting pitcher

Nick Lodolo has gotten off to a rough start in 2023. After a fine rookie season, the sophomore jinx has hit Lodolo hard. So have the opposing batters. But, there's every reason to believe that the former No. 7 overall pick will get back to the player that he was in 2022.

The Reds spent a first-round pick on Lodolo back in 2019 and he's been dominant at all levels of the minor leagues, so there's every reason to believe that his current struggles won't last for the entire season. Let's not forget the horrific start that former Reds pitcher Luis Castillo endured during the start of the 2021 season.

Lodolo's success is critical to the long-term success of this franchise. There were plenty of Reds fans clamoring for Lodolo to be Cincinnati's Opening Day starter, and there was certainly merit to that discussion. Having Lodolo at his best at or near the top of the starting rotation should produce a winning formula for the Redlegs.

Nick Lodolo needs to get back on track this season - that's a given. There's little doubt in the minds of most Reds fans that Lodolo will bounce back. He, along with the other top pitchers within the Cincinnati Reds organization, is crucial to the long-term success of the franchise.