Jun 1, 2013; Louisville, KY, USA; Louisville Cardinals pitcher Nick Burdi (19) winds up for a pitch against the Miami Hurricanes in the top of the eighth inning during the Louisville regional of the 2013 NCAA baseball tournament at Jim Patterson Stadium. Louisville defeated Miami 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports
Baseball Prospectus, in conjunction with Pefrect Game USA, released their final mock draft ahead of tonight’s first round of the 2014 MLB Draft. Their selection for the Detroit Tigers at pick 23 is right-handed pitcher Nick Burdi from the University of Louisville.
"NICK BURDI – RHP – LouisvilleThe Tigers aren’t that hard to figure out. They love big arms and also have Nick Howard on their radar, but the arms don’t come any bigger than Nick Burdi’s."
Burdi was the closer for Louisville, and a player profile from Minor League Ball projects him to be a pure reliever going forward.
"He fires bullets that usually are 96-98 MPH while occasionally bumping triple digits. It’s rare when someone squares up a fastball as it is heavy and has some sink to it.There is almost no chance he will be a starter without overhauling his delivery"
Drafting pure relievers is certainly not my cup of tea, but the Tigers have rarely shied away from pulling the trigger on a closer in the first round if they feel like he’s their guy.