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JOB OPENING: TC Bear

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:48 AM
Which TD member is going to step up and wear the costume? Squirrel? Chief? North?
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Nicholas Castellanos, FA, your thoughts

Other Baseball Today, 10:48 AM
Nicholas Castellanos had 88 Xbh last season with the Tigers and Cubs. He only had a 2.7 WAR. Apparently his defense weighed down this t...
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Front Page: Handing a Qualifying Offer to Michael Pineda

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:46 AM
The Minnesota Twins are going to be looking at filling a starting rotation that has just one guaranteed arm for 2020. A top-tier talent o...
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Falvey: "...We're going to target impact pitching...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:39 AM
Make it rain up in here, Derek.   http://www.startribu...rket/562665252/
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2019/20 Off-season Manager Openings

Other Baseball Today, 10:29 AM
With the season winding down, let's talk about what manager spots will be open this winter. Already open: Kansas City - Ned Yost retirin...
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Twins Daily Draft Preview: Zack Burdi

Two years ago, the Twins used the 46th pick in the draft to select Louisville closer Nick Burdi, who quickly developed into one of the their best relief prospects.

Next week, they will have the opportunity to draft his brother, Zack, also a dominating closer for the University of Louisville. What's the saying about two Burdis with one stone?
Image courtesy of University of Louisville Sports Information
WHO IS HE?

Just like his older brother, Zack Burdi has emerged as one of the nation's most powerful collegiate arms while closing out games for a heralded Louisville program. The Cardinals have reigned over the Atlantic Coast Conference for two straight seasons with the flame-throwing righty handling the ninth.

In 2015 Burdi posted a 0.92 ERA, 0.82 WHIP and 30-to-8 K/BB ratio in 29 1/3 innings. This year he's at 2.00, 0.74 and 45-to-7 K/BB in 27 innings. Earlier this month he was named ACC Co-Pitcher of the Week after tallying nine strikeouts in 4 1/3 perfect fraames across three appearances against top-ten ranked teams. He's dominant.

Zack is a couple inches shorter than his brother Nick and throws with a slightly different arm angle, but the similarities between the two siblings out on the mound are numerous. So much that one scout remarked to the editor of Prospect Junkies, "If you've seen his brother then you've seen Zack Burdi because they're the same guy."

WHY THE TWINS WILL DRAFT HIM

Zack and Nick Burdi have a common trait that not many people in the world share: the ability to consistently fire fastballs at 100-plus miles per hour. Like his brother, Zack mixes in an upper-80s slider and he also throws a changeup that is rarely called upon.

One thing that might differentiate the younger Burdi – and make him far more attractive to the Twins – is that some believe he has a chance to start games at the next level. Converting college closers into starting pitchers, or at least attempting to, is not something the Twins have shied away from in recent years.

The idea of Burdi's premium velocity and aggressive approach being unleashed over six or seven innings is tantalizing. And taking a pitcher who optimistically projects as a starter but has a stellar relief background to fall back on can be a good strategy for an organization desperately needing any kind of impact arms. This undoubtedly played into the decision to gamble on Tyler Jay last June.

Whichever role he settles into, Burdi certainly has the look of an impact arm, and a fast-rising one at that. The 21-year-old would likely follow in the footsteps of his older bro and report straight to Single-A, with a quick path to majors assuming good health and good performance.

Plus, there's a cool novelty in the idea of two fireballing brothers locking down the eighth and ninth innings for the Twins in a few years.

WHY THE TWINS WON'T DRAFT HIM

The Twins have had three top 50 draft selections in the past two years and they have spent two of them on college relievers. Their pattern of using high picks on such players extends far beyond that sample.

Even if you ignore the mixed results of these decisions, it is necessary to vary strategy a little bit over time. While the Twins will always have a need for more high-caliber power pitchers, there are obviously other needs to be addressed. If there isn't a very strong belief internally that Burdi has a good chance of catching on as a starter, he just doesn't offer enough upside that is required in an organization's No. 1 draft pick.

Also, while Nick's injury issues this year (he's been limited to three total appearances) shouldn't be held against Zack in any way, they do speak to the magnified risk that is assumed when dealing with a kid who's touching triple-digits at such a young age.

Based on where Burdi is being ranked presently as a draft prospect, he would be a bit of a reach for the Twins at 15. MLB.com has him ranked as the 39th-best player in the class, whereas Baseball America has him 21st. (It should be noted that Hudson Belinsky, who helps compile the BA rankings, is a believer in Burdi as a starter).

I suspect the Twins will go another direction, for various reasons. But the excitement attached to the younger Burdi bro is undeniable.


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14 Comments

If you think he can start, maybe a second round pick. But if i had a nickel everyone I heard fast rising reliever in the last five years I would have some dough.
    • d-mac likes this

"What's the saying about two Burdis with one stone?"

 

You just couldn't help yourself, could you?

 

:D

    • Seth Stohs and HitInAPinch like this

 

If you think he can start, maybe a second round pick. But if i had a nickel everyone I heard fast rising reliever in the last five years I would have some dough.

 

In Jeremy's Mock Draft from earlier this week, he had him going at #12 to the Red Sox with people/scouts saying that would make a ton of sense. 

    • HitInAPinch likes this
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HitInAPinch
Jun 01 2016 08:40 AM

 

In Jeremy's Mock Draft from earlier this week, he had him going at #12 to the Red Sox with people/scouts saying that would make a ton of sense. 

I had a brief chat with Jeremy on the Mock Draft about offering a big bonus to a draft-able player so a team could draft him in a lower round.I'm will a little confused about that.But, if the Twins are interested in Burdi #2, is that a possibility for them?

 

I had a brief chat with Jeremy on the Mock Draft about offering a big bonus to a draft-able player so a team could draft him in a lower round.I'm will a little confused about that.But, if the Twins are interested in Burdi #2, is that a possibility for them?

I don't think so. I think he might go before 15 anyway.  BA's most recent mock had him going #12 as a fast to the majors reliever.  He's a first round talent but we said that about his brother (who every mock had going at 23 to Detroit) and he fell to the second round.  

 

If I'm the Twins, I do something else at 15 but would jump all over him if he fell like his brother at 56.

    • HitInAPinch likes this

 

I don't think so. I think he might go before 15 anyway.  BA's most recent mock had him going #12 as a fast to the majors reliever.  He's a first round talent but we said that about his brother (who every mock had going at 23 to Detroit) and he fell to the second round.  

 

If I'm the Twins, I do something else at 15 but would jump all over him if he fell like his brother at 56.

He won't fall past #40.

If the Twins want to draft another college reliever, I'd take Burdi over Dunn any day. But I have yet to read a convincing explanation as to why people think he could be a starter if his stuff is identical to his brother's. 

 

So I hope they stay away. 

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Nick Nelson
Jun 01 2016 10:25 AM

 

"What's the saying about two Burdis with one stone?"

 

You just couldn't help yourself, could you?

 

:D

haha nope 

    • HitInAPinch likes this

 

If the Twins want to draft another college reliever, I'd take Burdi over Dunn any day. But I have yet to read a convincing explanation as to why people think he could be a starter if his stuff is identical to his brother's. 

 

So I hope they stay away. 

From mlbpipeline - "That said, it's easier to project Zack as a possible starter because he has a cleaner delivery and throws more strikes. He also has the makings of a plus changeup with sink, though it can get a bit firm at times and he hasn't used it much as a reliever. Louisville has kept him in the bullpen, as may the team that drafts Burdi in hopes of expediting him to the big leagues."

 

From mlbpipeline - "That said, it's easier to project Zack as a possible starter because he has a cleaner delivery and throws more strikes. He also has the makings of a plus changeup with sink, though it can get a bit firm at times and he hasn't used it much as a reliever. Louisville has kept him in the bullpen, as may the team that drafts Burdi in hopes of expediting him to the big leagues."

 

Like I said: Convincing explanation.

 

Like I said: Convincing explanation.

I think that's a pretty good explanation - better control and cleaner mechanics.  Usually that's what separates relief pitchers from starting pitchers.  Add in a possible third pitch and you have a potential starter.  

    • nicksaviking likes this
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Jeremy Nygaard1
Jun 01 2016 11:23 AM

 

I had a brief chat with Jeremy on the Mock Draft about offering a big bonus to a draft-able player so a team could draft him in a lower round.I'm will a little confused about that.But, if the Twins are interested in Burdi #2, is that a possibility for them?

 

The Twins don't have the pool to manipulate the draft the way other teams can.

Another "fast track to the majors" Burdi brother. Wonder who makes the big show first, Zack or Nick?

I wonder if Nick ever makes it. By the time he has put in enough time to show he's good, he'll be scheduled to be hurt again. I soooo hope I'm wrong about that.