Climbing Up The Ranks: Nick Lodolo and Michael Toglia Promoted To New Levels

With the second half in motion comes new players being promoted within their ball club’s organization. Two prospects a part of MLB Top 100 Prospects are heading up to new levels within their farm systems. LHP Nick Lodolo, Cincinnati Reds farmhand will be moving up to AAA Louisville. 1B Michael Toglia climbs up to AA Hartford after playing for Colorado’s High-A Spokane.

Lodolo is ranked as MLB’s number 42 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. Lodolo was dominant performing at the AA level, posting a 2-1 record in 10 starts. He held a 1.84 ERA, striking out 68, and only walked 9 batters through 44 innings of work. The former TCU standout joins top prospects Hunter Greene and Jose Barrero at AAA Louisville. Greene also started the year at AA and is now approaching his ninth start with AAA Louisville. With his fastball, the right-hander can reach up to 102-103 and currently holds a 4.23 ERA through eight starts.

Now, Louisville carries the “1-2 punch” having Lodolo join the rotation. It could be potential for Reds fans to see him pitching this September at the major league level.

As for the Rockies decided to promote top 1B prospect Michael Toglia to the AA Hartford Yard Goats. Toglia is the number three prospect in the Rockies organization, behind OF Zac Veen and left-hander Ryan Rolison. Toglia displayed his power for High-A Spokane, blasting 17 home runs, 66 RBI’s, but only hitting .234. The power-hitting first baseman is capable of driving in runs, which is huge for a Rockies offense that needs help. Toglia was also a participant in the 2021 MLB Futures Game, where the switch hitter drove a home run at his future home ballpark at Coors Field.

The Rockies are hopeful that Toglia will be their first baseman of the future. But can Toglia live up to the expectations that Todd Helton did?

The future does look bright at the minor league level. But how will these players adjust to the future of their ball clubs plans? Lodolo has rocketed through the minor leagues, showing he has what it takes to compete in the major leagues. The Reds have worked out pitchers, Tony Santillan and Vladimir Gutierrez this season, where both pitchers have faired well in the MLB. Santillan has pitched in 10 games, making four starts for Cincinnati. He carries a 4.24 ERA and has struck out 30 batters. As he continues to work in AAA, he could be a future option to join both Lodolo and Greene in the Red’s plans. Vladimir Gutierrez is proving himself to be capable of starting ball games.

The 25-year-old has started in 12 games for Cincy, keeping his ERA at 4.39 and having a 6-3 record. The Reds have struggled due to Sonny Gray’s injuries, Luis Castillo’s under-performing year, but have been able to play well with Tyler Mahle, and Wade Miley. Could the Reds rotation be super scary come the middle of 2022, once Greene and Lodolo are ready for the show?

With being ready for the show, 1B Michael Toglia has some way to go. After one game with the Yard Goats, Toglia went 0-3. Currently, the Rockies are a team looking to rebuild but decided to hold onto Trevor Story at the deadline.  With that being said, Toglia has plenty of time to get his average up with joining a new ball club. The Rockies don’t have the strongest farm system in baseball but are patiently waiting for OF Zac Veen to continue raking in the minors. Rockies prospect Colton Welker was suspended for PED’s at the beginning of the year, so he is one offensive player that they are missing in their lineups for either AA Hartford or AAA Albuquerque.

Toglia joins a hot-hitting Elehuris Montero, where both players man each corner for Hartford’s club right now. Montero is having a great year, hitting 20 home runs, 58 RBI’s and carries a .281 average with the Goats. With Toglia joining this lineup, Hartford will have some power added to their lineup. Colorado is also excited for OF prospect Benny Montgomery, who has a long road ahead towards the show. Will Toglia be the next Todd Helton for Colorado?

With new faces heading to new places, fans become more excited to see their top prospects inching their way closer to the MLB. Both these farm systems will hopefully stay intact for the upcoming 2022 season. Both Lodolo and Toglia should remain untouchable in their respective organizations. Anything could be possible this offseason, especially for Cincinnati looking to be contenders for future postseasons to come. The Rockies have time to develop these prospects, but they need to add a veteran leader since Charlie Blackmon is getting older in his career. Was promoting both Lodolo and Toglia great ideas for their respective teams?

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