Yesterday marked the beginning of the 2014 MLB Draft. Although the Major League Baseball event doesn’t get the press that follows the NFL or NBA draft, it could be argued as equally, if not more important to the sport. Although first round picks would most closely reflect what teams would hope to be a sure thing, it is in the second round and later that Major League franchises start to groom their teams for the future.
After selecting a high school shortstop from Florida, Nick Gordon, the Minnesota Twins went the college route with their second round selection. With the 46th overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft, the Twins took Nick Burdi, a right-handed pitcher out of the University of Louisville.
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Burdi has a solid frame, measuring 6’4,” 220lbs. Nick and his brothers, Drew (older) and Zack (younger), all have reputable arm strength. Drew was a quarterback for Western Michigan while Zack was throwing in the mid 90’s as a high school senior prior to heading to Louisville.
Nick is well revered as having the strongest arm of the three, and possibly in this years draft. He can routinely make the radar gun reach triple digits. After two years with Louisville, Burdi watched his stock rise 22 rounds as he was drafted in the 24th round out of high school. With a low 90s slider and the impressive fastball, Burdi is incredibly tough to hit. Nick projects as a big league closer that will use his plus fastball and slider to make hitters look overmatched on a nightly basis.
Although the Twins recently resigned Glen Perkins to a multi-year deal, it is great to have a closer in waiting, and Nick Burdi projects as exactly that. At 20, and with two years of college seasoning, he could watch himself climb through the minor leagues rather quickly. The Twins have watched Jared Burton struggle this year, and without a definitive candidate for the setup man role, Burdi could look to be occupying that spot at the back of the bullpen in the coming years.
The Twins followed up their first round selection of Nick Gordon, a strong athlete and offensive contributor, with Nick Burdi, a relief pitcher who projects to be a staple in the big league bullpen in the near future.