Clearly the Twins focus with the deadline in less than 2 weeks is pitching. Starters, Bullpen, literally any form of pitching would help.
We’ve all mocked up lists that feature candidates we think would be the best fits. Trade packages that include X player for Y. I wanted to dig a little deeper and see if there were any players that haven’t been mentioned on any of these lists.
Andrew Nardi, a 6'3 left-handed, 23-year-old pitching prospect currently in the Miami Marlins organization was the name I found. Drafted in the 16rd of the 2019 draft out of Arizona, Nardi has never been a top prospect. Never been on any top 30 prospect lists at all.
Yes, I understand this is obviously not a conventional trade target for contending teams at the deadline ... 99.9% (maybe even 100%) of the time you’re trading for a late inning reliever, who has a proven track record, and you can plug in with confidence day 1.
Nardi has a resume that reads blank when you look at baseball reference on the major league level tab.
In fact he's not even on the 40 man roster. So yes, this could be a horrible idea to throw out there. But while everyone is zigging, lets zag and think like the Rays, who somehow finding pitching out of no where every year.
Anyways, ill try and frame up why it might be worth a shot.
Nardi pitches from a 3 quarter slot and works mainly between a Fastball that sits 95-96 and a Slider that ranges anywhere from 82-85. He also does mix in a Curveball.
He started at AA to begin the 2022 season and was promoted May 13th to AAA after posting a 1.40 ERA in 19 IP with 31 K's.
His success after the promotion has continued at AAA and he's been pretty much just dominating all year....
Opponents are hitting .092 ... Yes, 0.92. The Marlins, who are facing a ton of tough decisions regarding the rule 5 draft this winter, don't exactly have a great, or even good bullpen, so it's safe to say if he was on the 40 man roster, he'd have been called up by now.
Anyways, to sum up just how dominate Nardi has been, here are the players between AA and AAA, under the age of 23 that meet the following criteria:
- Max BB/9 of 4.0
- Min K/9 of 10
- MIN SWST% of 19%
It's a small sample size, but you cannot completely dismiss it.
Baseball America's midseason update has 4 of those pitching prospects in the top 25 overall rankings, all 5 are in the top 100.
- Shane Baz - 2nd
- Eury Perez - 9th
- Daniel Espino - 15th
- Bryan Bello - 24th
- Logan Allen - 96th
Again, Its not exactly a perfect comparison. These prospects are all currently starters and project to be starters at the next level. The counterpoint to that as well though is none of those 5 prospects are a sure fire thing to end up being starters.
With that said, it's absolutely noteworthy that the results Nardi is currently getting in the upper minors is on par with results Baseball America takes note of when ranking the elite of the elite in the next wave of young pitching.
To sum it up, If fantasy world works out and you hit on this trade and Nardi turns out being the next Andrew Miller, you look like a genius. Nardi becomes a staple next to Duran for the next 6 years and your backend of the pen is top of the league.
Again, fantasy world.
Obviously for all we know Andrew Nardi might not even be available in a trade. Nardi could just be on some insane stretch of pitching. But, for an organization with very few remaining options internally and a trade market that could feature more buyers than usual, its an interesting idea for a player that may cost very little.
Fun fact - he struck out Tim Anderson while he was on a rehab assignment earlier this year.