Zack Burdi

Zack Burdi (Kim Contreras / Future Sox)

Position: RH RP
Born: 3/9/1994
Ht: 6'3" Wt: 205
Acquired: Drafted 1st Round - Supplemental (26th overall) from Louisville in 2016
Career Stats

FutureSox Prospect Rankings

  • #4 - 2016 Midseason
  • #8 - 2017 Preseason
  • #17 - 2017 Midseason
  • #14 - 2018 Preseason

FutureSox Media

Accolades

  • 2nd best fastball from the 2016 draft, per Baseball America
  • Best fastball in White Sox system, post-season 2016 (Baseball America)
  • Best slider among all MLB prospects, Preseason 2017 (Baseball America)
  • Best slider in White Sox system, Preseason 2018 (Baseball America)
  • #89 Prospect in MLB, Pre-season 2018 (Fangraphs)

Scouting report
The White Sox selected the flame-throwing Zack Burdi 26th overall in 2016, as a potentially near-MLB ready reliever. His selection near the top of the supplemental round was approximately in line with most mocks and rankings just before the draft. His brother Nick is also a hard-throwing pro pitcher (in the Twins organization), and they are Chicago area products to boot, both graduating from Downers Grove South High School. At Louisville, the younger Burdi worked as the team's closer in 2016. After being drafted, Burdi signed for slot, and made a very brief tune-up appearance in the AZL in June (see link to story and video above) before being promoted to Winston-Salem. There we saw his High-A debut live as well, getting a second in-person look and interviewing him pre-game. He only pitched in four Carolina League games, before being promoted to AA Birmingham for 12 more. He then finished his whirlwind tour of the Sox minors at AAA Charlotte with 9 more appearances. In the end across four levels, he finished with these numbers for 2016: 38 IP, 23 H, 14 ER, 20 BB, 51 K. 2017 had Zack back in Charlotte, but just as he looked ready for a call-up he tore his UCL and underwent Tommy John surgery. He's just started a rehab assignment in early August of 2018, in the AZL.

Burdi throws hard - exceptionally hard. His fastball typically runs 97 to 100, but has hit as high as 102 as we saw in June. It's a lively fastball too with significant (and variable) movement. His location isn't always great with the pitch, but that command has improved markedly since he started his pro career. He's also got a slider with impressive 2-plane break and comes in around 90 as a plus offering. His third pitch is a change-up in a similar velocity range to the slider; it's a tumbler but the movement wasn't impressive in our looks and he was leaving it up. His delivery has some oddities, but is relatively smooth, despite the dramatic acceleration and rotation with a low 3/4 delivery. That nearly side-arm delivery had some fearing future injury. He certainly has the velocity and movement he needs, but his command a little more work to do before he's likely to be effective in the majors against more patient hitters. A pitcher with this repertoire doesn't need to be a surgeon to be effective, but some command is still a necessity. TJS won't keep Burdi off the radar - look for him to be part of the discussion for an MLB role in 2019, after he spends 2018 rehabbing and then shaking off the rust.

Major League Outlook: High leverage reliever
ETA: 2019

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