This year, the Boston Red Sox have a pair of guaranteed first round picks. They could have potentially gained another one if they had not re-signed Stephen Drew and another team signed him instead. Given that Boston’s picks in the first round are not too high, the odds of landing a potential superstar are lessened. There will be, however some high quality talent available at the end of the first round. Among these men is Nick Burdi, the closer for the Louisville Cardinals, a man who Boston should strongly consider drafting.
Burdi is a junior at Louisville and serves as his team’s closer. Burdi gained some attention early in his college career for consistently hitting 100mph with his fastball. He also throws an impressive slider which sits in the low 90′s. A dominant closer, Burdi’s ERA on the year stands at 0.58 in 31 innings pitched. To go along with this, Burdi has fanned 54 strikeouts and walked just eight batters. In other words, Burdi is nothing short of dominant.
According to several mock drafts, Burdi projects to be picked late in the first round, whether it be in the first round or supplemental first round. Either way, Boston is in a great position to snag the flame throwing righty. Burdi fits in perfectly for the Boston Red Sox for several reasons.
First of all, he is a closer. After this season, Boston’s future closer is uncertain given that Koji Uehara is getting up there in age and there is a chance that he may retire. Instead of going to the free agency market to find a closer, a more viable idea would be to grow a closer from the farm system.
Secondly, relievers advance to the Majors quicker than any other position. In the fourth round of the 2013 MLB draft, the Cleveland Indians picked Kyle Crockett, a reliever out of Virginia. In 2012, Crockett pitched well in the Cape Cod League and now he is pitching in the Major Leagues for Cleveland. Compare this to the Red Sox who selected: Trey Ball Ball was a high school starter, whom Boston selected 7th overall in the 2013 MLB draft. Ball is currently in low-A Greenville and has a 9.42 ERA in four starts.
Also, if Nick Burdi is not an MLB closer, he could be a valuable reliever for the Boston Red Sox. There is no doubt that he could be a dominant setup man like Daniel Bard in his prime, and later on in his career he could get a shot at being a closer. Not to say Nick Burdi is a guaranteed MLB player, but he may be the closest thing to it in the draft this year.
One last reason why Boston should draft Nick Burdi is the signing bonus pool. Boston has a lot to work with as far as money goes in this draft. If Boston drafts a reliever in the first round, odds are they will be able to save some cap room for a high ceiling high schooler who would not have otherwise signed.
To recap, Nick Burdi is definitely a guy to look for in the draft this year. He is a guy who Boston could walk away with and be satisfied with the output they receive from him. In all drafts, many players fail to meet their full potential, but Nick Burdi is someone who will not disappoint whoever drafts him.