Once again, the Atlanta Braves farm system was represented, as on Monday MiLB.com released its picks for Batter and Pitcher of the Week for last week’s contests (May 17-22). Giving the org another weekly accolade, prospect lefty Dylan Dodd took home one of the 11 Pitcher of the Week awards for his performance with High-A Rome in its most-recent series versus top South Atlantic League team, Aberdeen.
The award-winning start came this past Friday, when Dodd pitched six shutout innings as part of a three-hitter, in which he struck out four and walked none. In what began as a pitcher’s duel between the Rome southpaw and Aberdeen’s Carlos Tavera, the R-Braves bats came alive with a four-run sixth, giving both the team and Dodd a victory. For Atlanta’s third-round pick last year, it was his second-straight outing in which he didn’t allow a single run, giving him 13 scoreless frames over the last couple of weeks.
Given Dodd is set to turn 24 early next month, the kid was always going to need to perform well right out of the gate as a pro. As a three-year starter at a smaller college prior to the 2021 MLB Draft, there admittedly wasn’t as much upside with him as a few of the other team’s first handful of selections, hence his ultra-under-slot signing bonus last summer. But so far Dodd is doing what he’s supposed to do.
It was a bit of slow start to the 2022 season. The numbers weren’t ideal during his first five games this year, as Dodd allowed 14 runs in his first 24 innings of the campaign – coming out to a bloated ERA of 5.25. Then, his sixth outing – back on May 8 – was an absolute disaster, featuring a whopping seven earned runs from nine hits. But over the last pair of starts, Dodd has really settled in nicely and found some sort of groove – and this past Friday’s performance mostly quiets the concerns, especially with him doing so well against such a great team, in Aberdeen. The recent strides are obvious, shown by his 5.30 ERA in four April outings, compared to the 3.80 ERA he’s posted so far this month. Hopefully Dodd can keep it up.
Entering the 2022 season, I ranked the southpaw 18th on my 2022 Braves Top 35 Prospect List. If he can continue to string multiple solid outings together going forward, I don’t see any reason Dodd can’t sneak into the top 15 when I update the rankings around the mid-season mark.