2016 MLB Draft Scouting Report: Zack Burdi

By: Burke Granger

Zack Burdi – RHP – Louisville. 6’3″ 205. Class: Junior. DOB: 3.9.95. Last Drafted: Never.

Scouted:

Louisville Cardinals @ Ohio State Buckeyes – April 14, 2015. Columbus, Ohio.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish @ Louisville Cardinals – March 11, 2016. Louisville, Kentucky.

In speaking with a scout last season, I mentioned that I hadn’t yet seen Zack Burdi pitch.  His reply was, “if you’ve seen his brother, then you’ve seen Zack because they’re the same guy.”

The brother in this story is Nick Burdi, who saved 34 games for Louisville between 2012-2014.  While on campus, the elder Burdi posted a 1.80 ERA while striking out 13.36 per 9 innings. Nick was a second round selection of the Minnesota Twins in 2014 and has struck out 13 batters per 9 innings as a professional, relying almost elusively on a fastball/slider mix.  He does have a changeup, but when you bump 100 with your fastball and 90 with your slider, there isn’t much need for it in short spurts.

Undrafted out of Downers Grove (Ill.), Zack Burdi saw just 10.1 innings of action as a freshman.  After missing nearly a month with an oblique injury to start the 2015 season, Burdi stepped into the closer role when he returned.  As a sophomore he allowed just 16 hits in 29.1 innings, while going 6-1 with a 0.92 ERA.

That effort was enough to earn a spot on the Collegiate National Team where he had a 3.72 ERA over 6 appearances.

Entering the 2016 campaign, Burdi was ranked as the #37th best college prospect per Baseball America, while coming in at #29 on the D1Baseball list.

*Statistics as of 6.7.16

YEAR

CLASS

W-L

ERA

G

S

IP

H

K

BB

2014

Fr.

1-0

4.35

13

0

10.1

8

6

7

2015

So.

6-1

0.92

20

9

29.1

16

30

8

2016

Jr.

1-2

2.20

26

11

28.2

15

46

7

REPERTOIRE

Fastball:  Burdi’s fastball ranged from 96-99 mph in the two appearances that I was able to get eyes on him, and has reportedly been up to 101 mph during the 2015 season.  Throwing strikes hasn’t been an issue as Burdi had a respectable 2.45 BB/9 rate last season, but there’s not a lot of movement on this pitch which makes command all the more important.

Slider:  A sharp offering at 86-88 mph, Burdi generates swings and misses with his slider.

DELIVERY: The arm slot on Zack Burdi is a tick higher than that of his brother Nick’s mid 3/4, and Zack also has the smoother and more repeatable delivery.  Starting each pitch from the stretch regardless if a base is occupied, Zack throws slightly across his body and falls off the mound to the first base side.

FUTURE:  Guys who throw 100 mph don’t grow on trees but they’re no longer an endangered species.  More guys in baseball can touch triple digits than at any time in the sport’s history.  Burdi is one of the better true relievers in this class and will be drafted as such.  How quickly he progresses will depend on fastball command and the continued development of his slider.

DISCLAIMER:  It’s important to note that I’m not a scout.  I don’t have the training or expertise that they do.  I do, however, actually go to see these guys play live, which is more than you’ll get from many online “Scouting Reports”.  I also talk to scouts when I’m there.  While scouts reserve their reports for their employer, I can share my thoughts with you, the reader.

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One thought on “2016 MLB Draft Scouting Report: Zack Burdi

  1. Pingback: Live Blogging the 2016 MLB Draft | Prospect Junkies

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