Puckett’s Pond presents our Top 20 Minnesota Twins prospects. At #9 is Nick Burdi
Honorable Mentions #20: Travis Blankenhorn
#19: Wander Javier #18: Stuart Turner #17: Jermaine Palacios
#16: Mason Melotakis #15: Jake Reed #14: Taylor Rogers
#13: Lewis Thrope #12: J.T. Chargois #11: Adam Brett Walker
#10: Alex Meyer
Nick Burdi is another one of the Minnesota Twins’ many relief prospects. He’s a power pitcher and strikes out opponents in droves. He’ll need to curb his wildness and improve his strikeout to walk ratio if he is to be successful at the major league level.
Name: Nick Burdi
Position: RP Age: 23
Height: 6’5” Age: 215 lbs.
Throws: Right Bats: Right
Acquired: 2nd Round of the 2014 draft
The Minnesota Twins drafted Nick Burdi at age 23 in the 2nd round of the 2014 draft. The Twins had drafted him in 2011 as well but Burdi decided to go to the University of Louisville instead where he was their star closer. Burdi has possessed a powerful arm since his high school days and could throw 95 MPH then. Over his time with Louisville, he was able to increase his velocity to 100 MPH. He overwhelmed his collegiate opponents and maintained a ludicrously low ERA.
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He was assigned to Cedar Rapids after joining the Twins organization. He pitched 20.1 innings between Class A and advanced A ball in 2014. He struck out 38 but also walked 10. He allowed no home runs.
Burdi split his time in 2015 between Hi-A and AA. He began the season in Chattanooga. The more experienced hitters there were more selective and Burdi’s walks ballooned to 6.6 BB/9 while his strikeout rate stayed high. His 4.53 ERA and 1.649 WHIP were also unsightly. He threw 43.2 innings with Chattanooga in 2015. With Fort Myers, Burdi again found the success he’d had the year before. He posted a 13 K/9 and reduced his walk totals with a 1.4 BB/9.
He was assigned to the Arizona Fall League after the AA regular season ended. With the Scottsdale Scorpions, over 8 innings, Burdi was dominant. He struck out 11, allowed no runs and only allowed 2 hits and a walk.
The Twins could certainly use a high strikeout/velocity arm in the bullpen but they can’t have one that will also walk batters at a 4.8 BB/9 clip. Batters in the majors will be even more selective and patient than the opposition Burdi faced in AA. It’s also very unlikely that he’ll be able to maintain the same gaudy strikeout totals against big leaguers. Burdi could open 2016 with Chattanooga, Rochester and has an outside shot of making the major league opening day roster. If Burdi is able to rein in his wildness like he did in the AFL and in Fort Myers, he’ll find himself in the Twins’ pen very quickly.