Zack Burdi made his professional debut as a member of the Arizona League (AZL) White Sox Wednesday night. The 21 year old right-hander came on in relief in the bottom of the 6th, with his team trailing the Mariners 7-2.
After his final warm-up toss, Burdi stepped off, walked around the mound, and took a moment to quiet himself. The last pitch Burdi had thrown was just 10 days earlier, June 12th , at the Louisville Super Regional in that fateful game against UC Santa Barbara and well, we know how that ended. No one expected a grand slam would send the Gauchos to the College World Series and least of all, to be hit off Louisville’s flame throwing stopper. But, that’s baseball. The good news was that Burdi, selected by the White Sox in the first round of the MLB Draft, would be able to complete the paperwork and details, and get his professional career started a little sooner than expected. And that he did.
Wearing number 96 on his jersey, and his black socks up to almost his knees, the White Sox 1st round/ 2nd selection, was taking the first step toward living his dream. Watching Burdi stretch and get ready to come into the game, I imagined he was warm – first pitch temp was at 108 degrees. By the 6th inning (close to 9PM in AZ) the temperature in Peoria and the velocity on Zack Burdi’s first pitch were the same: 100. Pitch number 2 was a change-up at 92, followed by several 99’s on the radar gun – and his control was very good. Those nasty pitches resulted in two groundball outs to start the inning, then gave up a hit, and finally struck out the final batter of the inning, swinging.
Here’s a video from his outing:
A very good debut before shipping off to the next level, where he will spend the season.
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