2014 MLB Draft Profile: Nick Burdi, RHP, Louisville

Burdi hits 103 on stadium gun

Burdi's future is in the pen but the now stuff makes him a solid pick early in the draft.

Nick Burdi - RHP - University of Louisville (05-18-2012 at Pitt) (via Jeff Reese)

At 6'4, 215, Burdi looks the part. He throws from a low ¾ delivery and has an unusual delivery. He steps wide, about a foot or so more towards first than most as he delivers. He fires bullets that usually are 96-98 MPH while occasionally bumping triple digits. It's rare when someone squares up a fastball as it is heavy and has some sink to it.

There is almost no chance he will be a starter without overhauling his delivery and that usually ends poorly. There is no need to even attempt it but when you think about how much his value would increase if he could start would be incredible. His arm is meant to be at the end of games and high leverage situations. This is more of a macro view, but he is the type of arm that I would like to see used as the old school fireman who would come in to the game in the sixth when the game is close and the starter is tiring and give you three innings. I think he could do that.

Burdi also has a high end breaking ball. It's a swing and miss pitch and sits in the 88-91 range. With this two pitch mix, he had 15.6K/9as a sophomore. His command is erratic but he has enough control to throw strikes and with his velocity and movement, he can afford to aim down the middle because it probably won't end up there and if it does, it's pushing triple digits. I think his command will improve with time. He is from Illinois, a more cold weather state than Florida or Texas, so he doesn't have the innings on his arm to gain consistency or to wear it out.

Pitchers with a similar traits are few and far between. It is hard to approximate where he will go in the draft based on history. He will be a closer or setup man in pro ball. He should move very quickly and with that profile, he should go in the first round. While not offering the ceiling others at the top of the draft offer, he's a good bet to pay some MLB dividends.

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