Age: 22 yr, Weight: 209 lbs, Height: 6-0
School: Stoneman Douglas (FL) HS
MLB Draft: Round 3, Overall: 94
Current Level: MLB, ETA: 2020
Hard throwing lefty with big time stuff and a smaller frame that has been held back by various injuries.
It’s been the same story since high school for Luzardo. The young lefty was expected to go in the first round of the 2016 draft, but fell into round 3 due to Tommy John surgery just a few months before the draft. The stuff was still good enough for him to get a 1.4 million dollar signing bonus. He dazzled in his debut but was even better in 2018 post being traded to the Athletics, managing to make it to Triple-A in his first full season and throwing a career high 109 innings. His highly anticipated 2019 debut was waylaid by a rotator cuff injury early on in the season and a lat strain upon his return in July. It limited him to just 43 minor league innings in 2019, but he made it back in September for a strong 12 inning MLB debut where he was simply dominant out of the pen.
On the mound, Luzardo stands out for true plus control and bordering on plus command of a dynamic arsenal. Luzardo sits in the 94-97 range with both his two and four-seam fastballs that have tremendous movement and will touch 98. He generates high levels of swing and miss with his dynamic power curve that he can manipulate into a slider type movement at times. He rounds out the repertoire with a mid 80’s changeup with elite tumbling fade. Not only can he generate swing and miss, but gets heavy ground ball percentages and hits his spots. All of his stuff plays up in a pen role.
There are some genuine concerns as to whether Luzardo can handle a full starters workload. He is smaller for a starter, maxed out at 6-foot, 210 pounds with TJS under his belt and two injuries that tend to come back up in rotator cuff and lat strains. He’s never thrown over 109 innings in a season and seemed to break down after doing so. But from a pure talent standpoint, Luzardo is arguably the top arm in the minors and has a high end SP2 upside with a chance to pitch all of 2020 in the majors. And if he is a reliever, he has the stuff and small sample size results to be the best reliever in the entire game.