Jesus Luzardo was the lone high school player taken by the Nats on day two of the draft. He’s certainly a long-term project for them, considering he underwent Tommy John surgery back on March 22.
The fact that the lefty went under the knife wasn’t a red flag for the Nats. They have a pitcher in their rotation (Stephen Strasburg) and another in the minors (Lucas Giolito) who have already gone through the recovery process. The organization and medical personnel must feel confident that Luzardo will come back strong, or they wouldn’t have selected him in the third round.
According to MLB.com, “Luzardo over the summer was touching 93 mph and sitting in the 89-91 mph range. It played up thanks to its sinking action and how well he commanded it. He also changes speeds on his curveball well and has a good feel for his changeup.”
Luzardo is still very young, as he ‘s just 18 and there’s still time for him to mature. It’s possible through the recovery process that his arm becomes stronger.
His fastball could increase from 93 mph to 96 and he already has terrific command of the pitch so far.
The young pitcher already has an understanding of how to change speeds with his secondary offerings and this will improve with more starts under his belt.
The Nats have a good history of developing young arms in the minors and Luzardo could be another success story
I think since he’s a high school pitcher and has not thrown a pitch at the collegiate level, there wasn’t too much risk involved. Luzardo could be a major contributor for the team in several years as he the stuff to be a quality pitcher.
This is a move that could pay off in the future for the Nats. Now, let’s take a look at the selection of Banks in round four:
Next: Nick Banks, OF, Texas A&M