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  • Twins Select Nick Burdi in the 2nd round

    With their 2nd round pick, 46th overall, the Twins selected someone they had drafted before. They drafted RHP Nick Burdi, a relief pitcher from Louisville that they selected in the 24th round in the 2011 draft out of high school. They couldn't convince him to sign then, but he should certainly sign this time around.

    Burdi throws serious heat, occasionally touching 100 mph on a radar gun. He immediately takes over the spot as the top-rated reliever in the Twins organization.



    Prior to the 2011 draft, many projected Burdi to be a 2nd or 3rd round pick, though he had committed to Louisville. Because teams knew he was unlikely to sign, he fell. He was happy that the Twins drafted him, but he wanted to honor his commitment to the Cardinals.

    He has been one of the most dominant relievers in the college ranks since his freshman year. He is blessed with an arm that reaches 100 mph regularly, and even touched 103 at one point.

    There is a fair question of what is too early to select a relief pitcher, but Burdi may be an exception. He was projected to be a mid-to-late first round pick this year and fell to the Twins.

    He immediately becomes the #1 relief pitching prospect in the organization, far ahead of Zach Jones or Michael Tonkin. He is the type who could move very quickly. In fact, he could probably (in theory) pitch for the Twins right now.

    The Twins will likely, and wisely, be more patient, protecting such a valuable arm.

    At 6-4 and 215, pounds, he was ranked the #31 prospect by MLB.com and #36 by Baseball America, so getting him at #46 would appear to be a great deal. In 33.1 innings for Louisville (so far) this season, he had 58 strikeouts and just ten walks. Opponents hit just .125 against him.
    Comments 124 Comments
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Quote Originally Posted by Beezer07 View Post
      What other orgs would do this?
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      Seattle, for one...
      Detroit for another. Chance Ruffin and Corey Knebel come to mind. No team was more tied to Burdi than Detroit was either.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      There's a good chance we'll get to see Burdi in action starting tomorrow night on ESPNU:


      LOUISVILLE SUPER REGIONAL
      Jim Patterson Stadium

      Friday, June 6
      Game 1: No. 3 Kennesaw State (40-22) vs. No. 1 Louisville (48-15) (ESPNU, 6:30 p.m.)

      Saturday, June 7
      Game 2: ESPNU, 7 p.m.Sunday, June 8
      Game 3: ESPN2, 6 p.m. (if necessary)

    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      I'd like this pick better if I actually thought the Twins would fast track him, but they are so damn reluctant to rid themselves of the most fungible kinds of baseball players: relief pitchers.

      Seriously, Pino, Hoffman, Guerra, Ibarra, Achter, Pressly and Thompson can't get a look over Matt Guerrier, who did nothing to deserve a call up?And that's saying nothing about Burton, Swarzak and Tonkin's struggles.
    1. Sweetwater's Avatar
      Sweetwater -
      This is a damn fine pick. I'll take his odds of being a lights out RP anyday.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      I'm not big on relief pitchers this high in the draft, but this one could be the exception to the rule. He's never pitched more than 35 innings at Louisville, so we don't have a power guy with a burned-out college arm. There's no reason with his electric stuff that he can't be up very fast to the big club- some time next year is not out of the realm of possibility. It sounds like a little fine tuning of his form to protect his arm health and strength for the long-term, and he's good to go.

      This certainly opens up the possibility of being able to move Fien or Perkins at their peak value, as well.
    1. jorgenswest's Avatar
      jorgenswest -
      Quote Originally Posted by kab21 View Post
      I would trade him for Ervin Santana since you asked.
      Can we throw in Mike Pelfrey?
    1. Brandon's Avatar
      Brandon -
      Quote Originally Posted by Beezer07 View Post
      I don't follow the draft closely at all...but I'm not wild about using a 2nd round pick on a guy whose ceiling is being really good for 50 innings per year. On second thought, though, how often to 2nd round guys even contribute meaningful innings at the ML level?
      If we have 2 draft picks make the majors its a good draft so if Burdi and Gordon make it then we have a successful draft. Hopefully we can get 1 or 2 more major leaguers out of it.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
      I'd like this pick better if I actually thought the Twins would fast track him, but they are so damn reluctant to rid themselves of the most fungible kinds of baseball players: relief pitchers.

      Seriously, Pino, Hoffman, Guerra, Ibarra, Achter, Pressly and Thompson can't get a look over Matt Guerrier, who did nothing to deserve a call up?And that's saying nothing about Burton, Swarzak and Tonkin's struggles.
      I would strongly recommend that the Twins look to move Burton, Guerrier and Swarzak out as soon as possible. I'd probably do it by Sunday if I could get any kind of value at all, with Pino, May and Pressly replacing them. Correia to long relief with May starting in his place.

      I'm not worried a bit yet about Tonkin, I think he'll be fine, pitchers go through adjustment periods and funks, he showed enough last year and early this year that he can still be very effective in time.
    1. The Wise One's Avatar
      The Wise One -
      Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
      I'd like this pick better if I actually thought the Twins would fast track him, but they are so damn reluctant to rid themselves of the most fungible kinds of baseball players: relief pitchers.

      Seriously, Pino, Hoffman, Guerra, Ibarra, Achter, Pressly and Thompson can't get a look over Matt Guerrier, who did nothing to deserve a call up?And that's saying nothing about Burton, Swarzak and Tonkin's struggles.
      Achter probably should be up. Pressly last year was a below average pitcher used in low leverage situations. There would be a reason for that. Tonkin had a shot this year. What did he do that would say "I'm ready". Low strikeouts, high ERA are not what keeps you in the big leagues. You can't have both as Tonkin did.
      Talent will rise up through the system. Keep your eyes open and you might see some of the promotions that happen.
    1. Monkeypaws's Avatar
      Monkeypaws -
      An 80 fastball?! With a plus slider? Pretty nice value in the 2nd round.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by The Wise One View Post
      Achter probably should be up. Pressly last year was a below average pitcher used in low leverage situations. There would be a reason for that. Tonkin had a shot this year. What did he do that would say "I'm ready". Low strikeouts, high ERA are not what keeps you in the big leagues. You can't have both as Tonkin did.
      Talent will rise up through the system. Keep your eyes open and you might see some of the promotions that happen.
      Year over year, Tonkin lost 2 MPH on his FB and 3 MPH on his slider. Those kind of drops will kill an inexperienced RP without another out pitch. It looks like he's piecing things back together nicely in Rochester. Let's not sell him short prematurely.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by The Wise One View Post
      Achter probably should be up. Pressly last year was a below average pitcher used in low leverage situations. There would be a reason for that. Tonkin had a shot this year. What did he do that would say "I'm ready". Low strikeouts, high ERA are not what keeps you in the big leagues. You can't have both as Tonkin did.
      Talent will rise up through the system. Keep your eyes open and you might see some of the promotions that happen.
      The reason Pressly was used in low leverage situation is because he was a Rule 5 selection that they used conservatively, and considering he'd jumped from AA, his numbers were pretty good for a rookie. He's throwing quite well in Rochester, his K%, now over 20% is a career high at any level, and he is putting up good numbers overall, even with an aberrational BABIP spike.
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      Quote Originally Posted by halfchest View Post
      I'm not going to claim to know anything about anything. It just seems like the Twins have a recent history of drafting relievers to switch them to starters. So why is this guy not possible for that?

      I do find it strange, if a guy is that good why didn't he start in college? But they've been trying it now for a couple of years. Either way, seems like a nice value pick when looking at the pre draft rankings.
      I think that's a bit of an overstatement. They certainly tried to make a few relief pitchers into starters but not all. Corey Williams - who might have had the best stuff - stayed a relief pitcher. And some of the relief pitchers got stretched out just to work on stuff but they were never expected to be starters at the ML level.
    1. zchrz's Avatar
      zchrz -
      I really like this pick big nasty durable flame thrower that shouldn't have much to absorb in the minors.

      I've read about this training program he is apparently on, and it seems like a positive thing especially since 100 mph arms can be risky. Lots of work on throwing different weights of balls and throwing without releasing to build strength in the entire delivery.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhCPvJDAWH0
    1. ScottyB's Avatar
      ScottyB -
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      I would strongly recommend that the Twins look to move Burton, Guerrier and Swarzak out as soon as possible. I'd probably do it by Sunday if I could get any kind of value at all, with Pino, May and Pressly replacing them. Correia to long relief with May starting in his place.

      I'm not worried a bit yet about Tonkin, I think he'll be fine, pitchers go through adjustment periods and funks, he showed enough last year and early this year that he can still be very effective in time.
      As long as we're cleaning house can we add Kubel and Duensing as well?
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      I guess I'm curious......what are the odds we see him by spring training of 2016?
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
      I guess I'm curious......what are the odds we see him by spring training of 2016?
      Very high.
    1. savvyspy's Avatar
      savvyspy -
      This guy should be on the major league roster in 2016 at the latest. He doesn't start because he doesn't have a 3rd pitch at all. But he might have been the top relief pitcher in this draft. High risk of arm injury though so they shouldn't waste time moving him up.
    1. Heimer's Avatar
      Heimer -
      Why didn't he start in college?
    1. drivlikejehu's Avatar
      drivlikejehu -
      He throws super hard and has a violent delivery, with poor command. There's no guarantee he'll stay healthy long enough to even make it to the Twins (see, e.g., JT Chargois) or do much once he's there.

      That's my problem with it - there's limited upside due to his relief role, yet still a good amount of risk. It's not necessarily a bad bet purely in WAR terms, but it's a missed opportunity to add depth at a more important position.
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