Jesus Luzardo
21-Year-Old PitcherRP
Oakland Athletics AAA
2019 Fantasy Outlook
The A’s jumped Luzardo over Low-A, assigned him to the Cal League and promoted him to Double-A after just three starts at High-A. It was around that point when he cemented his status as the best left-handed pitching prospect in the game. The foundation for his filthy three-pitch mix is a low-to-mid-90s fastball that he locates to both sides of the plate. Once ahead in the count, he sits hitters down with his plus changeup or above-average curveball. At 6-foot-1, 205 pounds, Luzardo doesn’t cut the figure of a typical ace, but has the combination of stuff, command and pitchability that is typically seen in frontline starters. He logged 109.1 innings in his first full season since undergoing Tommy John surgery, and should eclipse 150 innings if he stays relatively healthy. The A’s surprisingly called up Sean Manaea in late April of 2016 with just three starts at Triple-A under his belt, so we could see Luzardo in the big-league rotation pretty early this season. Read Past Outlooks
Mentioned as rotation candidate
POakland Athletics  AAA
January 26, 2019
Luzardo was among the pitchers general manager David Forst named Friday as candidates for the Oakland rotation this season, Chris Haft of MLB.com reports. "We're not going to rule [Luzardo making the Opening Day rotation] out. I think we've said that for a little while," Forst said. "If he's good enough, there's no reason not to have him in the rotation. It's obviously a big leap for someone who has thrown only a few innings at Triple-A. But he's going to get a nice, long look in spring training -- as long a look as you can get in 32 days, or however long we're down there."
ANALYSIS
Beyond free-agent signings Mike Fiers and Marco Estrada, Oakland appears to have no other surefire rotation members from a group that includes Luzardo, Daniel Mengden, Paul Blackburn, Chris Bassitt, Aaron Brooks and Frankie Montas. While Haft notes that Forst rattled off five of those names before mentioning Luzardo, the 21-year-old lefty unquestionably has the highest fantasy upside of the lot. Across stops at three minor-league levels in 2018, Luzardo rode his big fastball to a 2.88 ERA and 129 strikeouts over 109.1 frames. Now almost three years removed from March 2016 Tommy John surgery, Luzardo could push for over 150 innings, with a decent chunk -- if not all -- likely to come at Oakland if the organization determines he's sufficiently battle tested in the high minors.
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Jesus Luzardo
The Z Files: Building an Aceless Staff
13 days ago
Todd Zola looks at what it would take to build a competitive pitching staff without using early picks on true aces and focuses on upside arms like Zack Wheeler.
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16 days ago
Jeff Erickson identifies starting pitchers who might be undervalued on the basis of projected innings. Does that mean you should bump up Rich Hill in your rankings?
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20 days ago
Todd Zola looks at a couple of recent drafts in which he avoided chasing aces early, and instead found himself with Mike Foltynewicz topping his staff.
MLB Barometer: Early Risers -- Pitchers
29 days ago
With three openings in the Houston rotation, Forrest Whitley's path to a 2019 debut is clear. Derek VanRiper looks at Whitley and other early draft-season risers on the mound.
2018 Fantasy Outlook
It's not often that teams part with lefties with advanced pitchability who project to have at least two plus pitches, but that's exactly what the Nationals did in a mid-July trade that netted them Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson while sending Luzardo, Sheldon Neuse and Blake Treinen to Oakland. Luzardo's fastball sits in the mid-90s and he boasts above-average command and a changeup that projects as a second plus offering. He fell to the 94th pick in the 2016 draft after undergoing Tommy John surgery less than two months before the draft. However, prior to the injury, he was seen as a first-round talent. Even if his curveball never becomes better than an average pitch, the package equates to a No. 3 starter. His 2017 production was outstanding, but he was working on strict pitch counts and his overall repertoire was way too advanced for most short-season hitters. Building up his workload and getting more consistent with his secondaries will be his directives for 2018. He could move extremely quickly once the training wheels come off in 2019.
More Fantasy News
Could fight for rotation spot in 2019
POakland Athletics  AAA
October 5, 2018
Luzardo will be in the mix for a spot in Oakland's starting rotation during spring training, Jane Lee of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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May be shut down for 2018
POakland Athletics  AAA
August 28, 2018
Luzardo was scratched from Wednesday's start for Triple-A Nashville, perhaps due to an innings restriction, Nashville Sounds' broadcaster Jeff Hem reports.
ANALYSIS
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Solid in Triple-A debut
POakland Athletics  AAA
August 6, 2018
Luzardo (1-0) made his debut with Triple-A Memphis on Monday, firing five scoreless innings in which he allowed eight hits and recorded six strikeouts.
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Moving to Triple-A
POakland Athletics  AAA
July 31, 2018
The Athletics will promote Luzardo to Triple-A Nashville ahead of his next scheduled start, Julian McWilliams of The Athletic Bay Area reports.
ANALYSIS
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Impressive scoreless streak at Double-A Midland
POakland Athletics  AAA
July 4, 2018
Luzardo currently has a scoreless streak of 15.1 innings that encompasses his last four starts at Double-A Midland, Mike Rosenbaum of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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