TCN 2022 St. Louis Cardinals Prospect #45 – Todd Lott

photo: Todd Lott (Palm Beach Cardinals)

At number 45 in The Cardinal Nation’s Top 50 prospect countdown for 2022 is an emerging standout first baseman-left fielder at two levels of A-ball in 2021. FREE report!



Todd Lott

Position: First base
Age: 24 years old
Bats/Throws: R/R
Height/Weight – 6’4/235
Acquired: 2019 Draft – 9th round (275th overall) from Louisiana – Lafayette
Primary team in 2021: Palm Beach Cardinals (Low-A)
Finished 2021: Peoria Chiefs (High-A)

Prior Top 50 rankings – not ranked

Click on the above photo to be taken to Lott’s player page at The Cardinal Nation, with additional biography and history information.

Link to Lott’s career stats

Jake Tweedie’s scouting report

(current grade/future grade)

HIT POWER FIELD ARM RUN FV
30/40 35/50 35/40 45/45 35/35 40
AVG OBP SLG OPS HR SB CS K% BB%
.254 .339 .467 .806 13 4 4 31.3% 8.6%
ISO wRC+ GB/FB GB% LD% FB% Pull% Cent% Oppo%
.213 99 (A+) 0.78 (A+) 34.8% (A+) 20.7% (A+) 44.6% (A+) 46.7% (A+) 25% (A+) 28.3% (A+)

The powerful first baseman, who can also play left field, was noted by The Cardinal Nation as the system’s Emerging Player of the Year in his first experience of full season ball. He hit 13 home runs and logged a strong .855 OPS with Palm Beach before his promotion to High-A.

Although he wasn’t as impressive with the Peoria Chiefs, Lott put up solid numbers and hit more home runs there than he did in Low-A. As he is more of a power hitter than a contact hitter, his downside is a high strikeout rate. His twitchy front foot and readiness at the plate makes him look like he is ready to swing as hard as possible on every pitch, but he showed patience and pitch recognition in Low-A as his walk rate was 10.9%, nearly double that of his High-A appearances.

With slightly bent knees at the plate, he uses his solid frame to generate significant power through his swings. Coupled with his smooth arm action, he is more than capable of going deep with minimal effort.

A versatile defender, Lott spent most of his time at first base, but made the occasional start in left field. His body and frame are well suited for first base, and he has a solid arm to make plays across the diamond. He has been known for making a few errors, but his .967 field percentage indicates his ability to work in either position.

Lott made a big splash in his first full season in pro ball but will need to continue this growth and momentum into 2022. At 24 he will need to ascend closer to the Majors in order to be an option for the future, but 2021 was a step in the right direction. A powerful first baseman with fielding potential, Lott has a bright future.

Future Value: 40
Role: Reserve
Risk: Moderate

Video

Lott is not against going with the pitch and taking the ball the other way when warranted.

Brian Walton’s environmental impact report

2021 recap – professional

Lott finished 2019 as a standout in the playoffs, batting .364 as his Johnson City Cardinals won their final game of existence, winning the Appalachian League title. He had been selected that June in the ninth round, an area of the draft in which teams have been known to take longer shots on players with talent but who have yet to fully emerge. The former Louisiana-Lafayette standout was ready to begin his professional career. Lott was the first in his class to come to terms with the organization and did so for slot value, $152,000. He had been an All-Sun Belt Conference player after earning an All-Star berth in the most prestigious college wood bat showcase, the Cape Cod League.

Todd Lott (Robert Kell)

After the forced year off of 2020, Lott began 2021 with Low-A Palm Beach and was promoted to High-A Peoria on July 27 when Chiefs first sacker Brady Whalen was placed on the injured list. It is worth noting that he has passed the former Top 50 prospect Whalen in our assessment of the organization’s pecking order.

In 2021, the 6-foot-4, 235-pounder logged a strong .855 OPS and 132 wRC+ in 52 games with the Beach Birds and continued with a .742 OPS and 99 wRC+ in his final 39 contests with the Chiefs. With Palm Beach, Lott most frequently batted fifth for manager Jose Leon and continued in that middle of the order spot with Peoria.

The main factor behind Lott’s decline at High-A was a reduction in his walk rate by almost half (10.9% to 5.6%) as he moved up in competition. His strikeout rate increased accordingly (from 28.1% to 35.8%). Still, that 99 wRC+ indicates that Lott was able to relatively quickly play to the level of his new league – in about six weeks.

Lott’s overall 118 wRC+ in 2021 was a 31-point improvement over his 87 wRC+ posted in 2019 at short-season Johnson City. Year-to-year, he went from 13 percent below his league to 18 percent above while competing at a higher level. That system-best progress made the right-handed hitter a worthy choice as The Cardinal Nation’s Emerging Player of the Year.

2022 outlook

Now that Lott has played to the level of High-A competition, will he return to Peoria to open 2022? It is possible, though our no. 50 prospect, Thomas Francisco, has shown a readiness for regular duty at first for the Chiefs. Of course, the designated hitter position as well as Lott’s valuable diversity to play in left field creates flexibility that many other first basemen do not offer.

If Lott continues to progress, he should take over first base at Springfield for Luken Baker. If that doesn’t happen Opening Day, it could relatively quickly with a fast start by Lott at Peoria. If not lost in the Rule 5 draft, Baker is expected to be the regular first baseman at Triple-A Memphis, with no other top prospects in the mix at the position.

Lott will play most of 2022 as a 24-year-old, not celebrating his next birthday until late August.

Future outlook

The challenge for Lott is to continue to increase his power enough to one day become MLB-relevant at first base – while keeping the strikeouts and walks at comparable levels. As noted, his ability to man left field as well gives him a notable edge over more one-dimensional players who preceded him, such as John Nogowski and Baker. It goes without saying that this is especially important in an organization with an All-Star first baseman playing on a long-term contract.

A decent progression for Lott would be to reach the majors in late 2023, though 2024 seems more likely. The rub (at least if the rules governing Rule 5 do not change in the next Collective Bargaining Agreement) is that Lott will first become eligible for the draft in December 2022.

To earn a 40-man roster spot in the next 12 months seems an overly aggressive target for Lott to achieve, but that may not be the end of the world (or at least the end of his time as a Cardinal). For another organization to be willing to take a chance on him in Rule 5, they would have to assess he is ready for a full year in the majors, at a time when the Cardinals wouldn’t yet even see him as a viable 40-man roster addition. As we saw with Baker in 2021, a good prospect can be left unprotected in part because his path to playing time with St. Louis is unclear.

In other words, the Cardinals can be prudently aggressive with Lott, but should also have enough time to demonstrate patience if needed. If he can eventually reach St. Louis, it would be another illustration of the organization’s long proven ability to unearth future MLB talent in the later stages of the draft.

2022 will be extremely important for Lott to show that his solid 2021 start in the large ballparks of the Low-A Southeast League and his new label as an emerging standout are previews of what is ahead, rather than one-year anomalies.

MLB debut: 2024
Rule 5 Eligible: 2022

Our 2022 Top 50 series continues

To see the entire list of top Cardinals prospects, grading scales and remaining article schedule, click here. This includes the Top 50 countdown and 12 in-depth, follow-up articles planned daily into early 2022.

50 Days, 50 Nights, 50 St. Louis Cardinals Prospects for 2022


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