Kolozsvary catches on with US Olympic Team

July 2nd, 2021

CINCINNATI -- Reds catching prospect Mark Kolozsvary has some big plans this summer.

One: Go to Tokyo. Two: Bring home a gold medal.

Kolozsvary, 25, was officially named to Team USA and its Olympics baseball squad to compete in Tokyo later this summer.

“Definitely just trying to bring home a gold, that’s something I think is really cool to say you can try to do,” said Kolozsvary, who is playing at Double-A Chattanooga this season. “In the past, I’ve been a part of some pretty big games in college and this will be something very cool to accomplish.”

A seventh-round pick out of Florida in the 2017 MLB Draft and Cincinnati’s No. 30 ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline, Kolozsvary was informed a couple of weeks ago that he made the team by USA manager Mike Scioscia.

During the qualifiers last month, Kolozsvary started all four games and batted .417 (5-for-12) with two home runs.

“Just getting out there to compete with those guys in the qualifier, and kind of getting to know the team and knowing that I can actually do this at a high level and finally getting to here,” Kolozsvary said. “That was just a great feeling knowing that they wanted me to come back and compete with them.”

Team USA’s roster features a few former Reds -- including infielder Todd Frazier, outfielder Patrick Kivlehan and veteran catcher Tim Federowicz.

In 26 games for Chattanooga -- a team that features top prospect Nick Lodolo, and until recently, also had No. 2 prospect Hunter Greene -- Kolozsvary is batting .269/.364/.484 with three home runs, 11 doubles and 20 RBIs.

Chattanooga manager Ricky Gutierrez has praised Kolozsvary for showing leadership, while also improving his skills.

“His all-around game has improved tremendously,” Gutierrez said. “He has worked hard, and we’ve been together now since 2019, and I’ve seen the progress. I’m so proud of him, his work ethic is unbelievable. As a catcher, you have to do your catching and you have to hit also, so he doesn’t lack in either one of them. He’s always at the park early preparing for the game, for the other team, and he gets his own personal work in on the catching side and also on the hitting side. I’m just happy for him to have this big moment and play in an Olympics.”

Kolozsvary made some waves this year during a Spring Training "B’" game with the Reds. On March 6 vs. Cleveland on one of the backfields in Goodyear, Ariz., he slugged a home run against the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner, Shane Bieber.

“Definitely knowing that you can hang with the best in baseball and just giving you confidence going forward in your work every day and just knowing that, 'Hey man, I can do this and it's not just something you can see on TV, this is something that I can actually do,'” Kolozsvary said.

India hurt shoulder on diving play

In the top of the fifth inning of Thursday’s 5-4 Reds win over the Padres, second baseman Jonathan India made a nice diving stop to his right on Eric Hosmer’s grounded infield single. But he got his glove caught on the dirt and hurt his left shoulder on the play.

India spent a few moments on the ground and was checked by manager David Bell and head athletic trainer Steve Baumann. The rookie showed he could make the throwing motion and took some swings with his arm and was allowed to continue.

“That was not a minor thing that happened to him out there,” Bell said Friday. “That was significant, what had happened. It’s something that happened that could have a pretty quick solution to it, but yes, he plays through things just because he has a really strong desire to play. He loves to play, so he recovered really quick from that. I was ready to take him out of the game. He was demonstrating and doing everything he could to stay in the game, and he convinced me. I don’t want to take that away from him.”

Since moving to the leadoff spot in the Reds' lineup on June 5, India has 22 runs scored in 25 games, tying him for the Major League lead in that span.

“Pretty early on, he became a big part of our team [with] just, I think, the way he plays the game,” Bell said. “He’s really tough. He wants to be in there all the time. Just so many little intangible things that make him a winning player.

“I think he’s always been like that, but I think showing that on a daily basis has made him more comfortable. It has allowed his abilities to come out in all areas of the game.”