NICK BURDI, RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: January 19, 1993
Drafted: 2nd Round, 46th overall pick, 2014 (Twins)
How Acquired: Trade from Phillies (for international pool money)
College: University of Louisville
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Minnesota drafted Burdi as a reliever and he’s pitched strictly out of the bullpen as a pro. He throws in the mid- to upper-90s, hitting 103 once in the Cape Cod League. He also has an excellent slider and has occasionally thrown a change. He’s had control issues that he seems to have made progress on at times, but his career has been interrupted by injuries before he’s had a chance to establish himself above class A. After he went out during the 2017 season for Tommy John surgery, the Twins chose not to put him on the 40-man roster and the Phillies selected him in the Rule 5 draft. They immediately traded him to the Pirates for international slot money.
The Twins sent Burdi to full season ball after he signed; he got into 13 games in low A and seven in high A. He had some control issues initially, but hitters obviously had serious problems making contact against him. Baseball American ranked him the Twins’ seventh best prospect after the season.
Burdi moved up to AA and struggled through the end of July, as he had trouble falling behind in the count. The Twins moved him back to high A until late in the season. He dominated there, then pitched better in a return to AA, although he still walked a lot of batters. BA ranked him tenth in the Twin’s system after the season.
Burdi got into just three games at the start of the season, then missed the rest of the year due to a bone bruise on his right humerus.
Burdi returned to AA and dominated through 14 appearances, including substantially improved control. He had Tommy John surgery in May, though, ending his season.
Burdi opened the season on the disabled list and returned to action in mid-July, working his way up to AAA on rehab. (The maximum rehab, normally 30 days for a pitcher, is 60 days for Tommy John recoveries.) The Pirates called him up on September 1 and he pitched twice during the month. The first game went very badly, but the second went fine. His velocity appears to have recovered, as his fastball averaged over 96 mph in the two outings.
Burdi went into 2019 needing to stay on the active roster for the first 60 days to satisfy the Rule 5 requirements. He had a strong spring and earned a bullpen spot on merit. Through his first ten games, he had a couple shaky outings, mainly due to control issues, but as the K rate shows, he showed extreme swing-and-miss ability. In his 11th game, he went down in severe pain. At the time, it was thought he might need another Tommy John surgery, but in the end he had thoracic outlet surgery, ending his season.
Burdi pitched very well in spring training and, when the season belatedly started, appeared to take over the closer role with Keone Kela out. He looked dominant in his first two games, but in his third game he didn’t pitch as well and, afterward, went out for the season with a forearm strain. He didn’t need surgery, so the Pirates are hopeful he’ll return for 2021.
Burdi’s repeated injuries are extremely frustrating, because he has elite stuff. Things got worse still just after the 2020 World Series when the news came out that Burdi had had a second Tommy John surgery in mid-October. He’ll miss all of the 2021 season. The Pirates removed him from the 40-man roster and, five days later, outrighted him to Indianapolis. Hopefully, he’ll get another shot and it’ll come with the Pirates.
|2021: Minor league salary
2020: Major league minimum
|Signing Bonus: $1,218,800
MiLB Debut: 2014
MLB Debut: 9/11/2018
MiLB FA Eligible: N/A
MLB FA Eligible: 2023
Rule 5 Eligible: N/A
Added to 40-Man: 12/14/2017
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 3.000
|June 8, 2011: Drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 24th round, 748th overall pick.
June 6, 2014: Drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 2nd round, 46th overall pick; signed on June 24.
December 14, 2017: Selected by the Philadelphia Phillies from the Minnesota Twins in the Rule 5 draft.
December 14, 2017: Traded by the Philadelphia Phillies to the Pittsburgh Pirates for $500,000 in international bonus pool money.
November 1, 2020: Designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates; outrighted to Indianapolis on November 5.