NORTH PORT, Fla. — Bismarck-Henning/Rossville-Alvin graduate Dylan Dodd will be a Major League Baseball player in just a few days.
The left-handed pitcher learned Sunday morning that he's earned a spot on the Atlanta Braves' opening-day roster. The team begins its 2023 regular season Thursday at Washington.
Dodd is scheduled to debut on April 4, when he'll start against the St. Louis Cardinals.
He and Jared Shuster, another pitcher, were called into manager Brian Snitker's office and informed of the decision prior to a spring training game versus Pittsburgh.
"We knew a decision was coming. Really had no idea what to expect going in," Dodd, 24, told assembled media members shortly after he was informed he'd cracked the roster. "Grateful for what they decided on both me and Jared. I'm super excited, and I can't wait."
The 2016 Blue Devils alumnus attended Kankakee Community College and Southeast Missouri State before being selected by the Braves in the third round of the 2021 MLB Draft.
Back when Dodd was named a News-Gazette All-Area baseball first-teamer after his senior season of 2016, he said his dream job was "to become a professional baseball player."
"I know I was smiling pretty big when I was calling my family," Dodd said. "It was super stressful. It's like the biggest start of your life every single outing. ... I'm just thankful that I continued to stack good outings, and glad it was enough."
Dodd has thrown 18 innings across five spring training games this year, including three starts. The 6-foot-2, 210-pounder boasts an earned-run average of 2.00 and a batting average against of .227, allowing four earned runs, 15 hits and four walks while striking out 20.
That last statistic led the Braves' pitching staff in spring training entering Sunday's game.
Dodd previously spent time with the Braves Class A+ Rome, Class A Augusta, Class AA Mississippi and Class AAA Gwinnett teams. He's compiled a 12-11 career record as a professional pitcher, carrying an ERA of 3.87 across 156 innings in 30 games (all starts) with 173 strikeouts against 34 walks.
Dodd will become the first player with local ties to make his MLB debut since Danville alumnus Chuckie Robinson did so with the Cincinnati Reds last season.
"It's everyone's dream when they're growing up," Dodd said, "and now I get the chance to live it."