The White Sox made it two Zacks in the first round on Thursday when they took Louisville closer Zack Burdi with the No. 26 pick.
Burdi is a hard-throwing right-hander, like his older brother Nick. Nick, also a former closer at Louisville, was drafted by the Twins in the second round in 2014 and is currently in AA. Both are natives of Downers Grove in the western suburbs of Chicago.
The first thing to note about Zack Burdi is his fastball. He throws it hard, very hard. Burdi has topped out at 101 and typically sits in the upper 90s.
He also has a slider and a changeup, which in theory means he could profile as a starter, but most have projected him to stay in the bullpen. Jim Callis in the MLB.com live stream of the draft said he wouldn’t be surprised if Burdi took the Chris Sale route and could even pitch in the White Sox bullpen this season.
Burdi is 6-foot-3, 210 pounds and 21 years old. In addition to his plus-plus fastball, his changeup has received positive reports and his slider is a decent pitch right now as well.
This season he has 11 saves, a 2.20 ERA to go with 46 strikeouts against just seven walks in 28.2 innings. As a sophomore in 2015 he was an All-American with these numbers: 9 saves, 0.92 ERA, 30 K, 8 BB, 16 hits in 29.1 innings. The combination of velocity and control has led many to expect Burdi to move quickly through the minors.
Notable Zack Burdi links:
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