Tue February 5, 2013
By Sean Duncan
The pitchers at the 11th Annual Super 60 Pro Showcase at The Max were amazing – especially for it being the first weekend of February. Exactly how good were the pitchers?
Of the 26 pitchers from eight states, 16 touched 90 mph or better, seven were 88-89 mph, and the remaining three were 85-87 mph.
With that said, there was one pitcher who arguably helped his draft status more than any of the other in attendance: RHP Zach Burdi from Downers Grove South HS (IL). Burdi’s performance at the Super 60 not only catapulted him to the No. 1 prospect in Illinois when the Class of 2013 rankings are updated, but he should undoubtedly become the hottest draft prospect of interest this spring in Illinois.
The athletically built 6-foot-3, 195-pound University of Iowa recruit had the most explosive fastball at the Super 60, sitting at 93 mph, touching 94 with late, hard sink. He operates from a 3/4 slot with a loose, lightning quick arm. Burdi loads up on his backside and the ball jumps out of his hand. (The only pitcher at the Super 60 who matched Burdi’s velocity was 6-foot-3 RHP Cory Wilder (Lima Shawnee HS, OH), a NC State recruit who also was also 93-94.)
Equally as impressive was Burdi’s changeup, which sat at 82-84 mph with late arm-side sink. He located the pitch down in the zone and threw it with conviction. The changeup gives Burdi two legitimate swing-and-miss pitches. He also threw two breaking balls: a 74-77 curveball and an 80 mph slider. With his 3/4 angle and arm action, his slider also has the potential to strikeout pitch.
While Burdi’s early-February velocity was surprising, he has always been one of the premier prospects in Illinois. Currently ranked No. 8 in Illinois, he earned top prospect honors at last year’s loaded Preseason All-State Showcase after he sat 88-90 with his fastball.
He’s also the younger brother of Nick Burdi, a 2010 graduate from Downers Grove South HS who held the No. 1 rank in Illinois for most of his high school career. Nick, who stands 6-foot-4, is currently a sophomore at Louisville. Over the summer, Nick established himself as a top-level draft prospect in another year when he sat at 100 mph in a stint at the Cape Cod League.
The big question now is which Burdi will be drafted first?