LAFAYETTE — UL-Lafayette received some good news Tuesday when Florida high school outfielder Todd Lott announced his intention to come to school rather than pursue a pro baseball career with the Cincinnati Reds.
Lott announced his decision in a tweet Tuesday morning. He said later in a phone interview that going the college route had too many positive factors to turn down.
“I felt like the coaches — coach (Jeremy) Talbot, coach (Tony) Robichaux and coach (Anthony) Babineaux — all wanted me there,” Lott said. “They showed that they needed me, and I just love the fans, love the atmosphere.
“I can develop more in three or four years; I can get faster and stronger. I won’t be as pressured in college ball, because pro ball is basically a job. In college ball, I’m still an 18- or 19-year-old going to school and playing baseball for fun.”
The Reds selected Lott, a 6-foot-4 outfielder from Trinity Christian Academy who signed with the Cajuns last fall, in the 20th round of last week’s draft.
He said he anticipated being selected at some point in the draft, but when the call came it was a humbling moment — especially after a shoulder injury sidelined him for “a couple months.”
That injury may have caused his draft stock to slip a little bit.
“I knew because of my shoulder injury that I should’ve went higher, but it was still humbling to know that even with my injury I was drafted, and I was privileged enough for a major league team to want me to come into their system,” Lott said.
He talked with his parents after the draft about his options, but they left the decision largely in his hands. All they wanted him to do was to make a decision with conviction, and they told him they would support him.
Now that he’s officially planning to enroll this fall, Lott said he can bring a physical presence as a hitter to the middle of the Cajuns lineup while also providing a strong arm from the outfield — a scouting report his new coach seems to agree with.
“Todd is the best hitter we saw this summer anywhere in the country,” coach Tony Robichaux said in a statement after Lott signed with the Cajuns in November. “He has an advanced approach with very clean mechanics, and big power.”
With Lott now in the fold, the only player the Cajuns are waiting on is junior college catcher Handsome Monica, whom the Braves selected in the 33rd round.