Daniel Tillo

From BR Bullpen

Daniel Tillo

  • Bats Left, Throws Left
  • Height 6' 5", Weight 215 lb.

BR Register page

Biographical Information[edit]

Daniel Tillo has pitched in the minors and for Team USA.

Tillo was named Iowa Mr. Basketball as the team basketball player in the state in high school, averaging 24.5 points, 9 rebounds and 4.3 assists while shooting 43.8% from the three-point line. [1] He was 6-0 with a 0.98 ERA and hit .495 one year and was 22-2 overall on the mound. [2] In football, he threw for 49 touchdowns in three seasons. [3] The Minnesota Twins took him in the 39th round of the 2015 amateur draft but he opted for college.

The big lefty struggled as a freshman at Kentucky (13 H, 5 BB, 8 R, 6 ER in 7 1/3 IP). [4] He transferred to Iowa Western Community College for 2016 and fanned 57 in 44 innings. [5] The Kansas City Royals took him 90th overall in the 2017 amateur draft, their third-round pick. The scout was Scott Melvin. [6]

He pitched that summer for the AZL Royals (6 R in 5 2/3 IP) and Burlington Royals (3-2, 3.48 in 7 G), walking only 6 in 36 2/3 innings. In 2018, he was with the Lexington Legends (1-1, 4.35 in 7 G) and Wilmington Blue Rocks (3-5, 4.94 in 19 G). He fanned 100, tying Scott Blewett for 8th in the Royals chain but he was 3rd with 65 walks.

The next year, he showed progress with Wilmington (7-8, 3.77 in 20 G) and the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (1-2, 3.47 in 9 G), cutting his walks by 11 in only 3 2/3 fewer IP. He also allowed 19 fewer hits. He tied for 4th in the Royals chain in wins and tied for 8th in losses. Assigned to the Surprise Saguaros of the Arizona Fall League, he was 1-1 with a save and a 6.94 ERA in 10 games.

Tillo then made the US squad for the 2019 Premier 12 and was one of their better relievers, with a 2.08 ERA in three outings. His first appearance came against Mexico, relieving Tanner Houck with one out in the 5th, two on and a 2-2 tie. He struck out both Juan Pérez and Esteban Quiroz but a passed ball by veteran Erik Kratz let in the winning run. He went 1-2-3 in the 6th against Christian Villanueva, Matt Clark (on a K) and Efren Navarro before Caleb Thielbar relieved. His next game, he relieved Houck in the 6th with a 2-0 deficit versus Australia. He retired Tim Kennelly on a grounder and fanned Andrew Campbell. Robbie Glendinning reached on an error then Tillo fanned Logan Wade. In the 7th, he retired Aaron Whitefield, Mitch Nilsson and Darryl George in order, the last one on a whiff. Noah Song relieved in the 8th. He had now retired 11 of 12 batters he had faced in the event with the only exception being an error. So it made sense that Scott Brosius turned to him in the Bronze Medal Game, with the winner getting a spot in the 2020 Olympics. Facing Mexico again, he took over for Cody Ponce in the 6th with a 1-0 lead. He struck out Javier Salazar but Jonathan Jones singled and Quiroz walked. Tillo struck out Navarro but hit José Vargas to load the bases. Clark singled in the tying run and Wyatt Mills entered to bail out Tillo. Mexico would prevail, 3-2, in 10 innings. [7]


  1. University of Kentucky bio
  2. 2019 Royals Media Guide, pg. 407
  3. ibid.
  4. Kentucky bio
  5. 2019 Royals Media Guide, pg. 407
  6. ibid.
  7. 2019 Premier 12