Jesus Luzardo
21-Year-Old PitcherSP
Oakland Athletics AAA
Injury Shoulder
Est. Return 6/1/2019
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
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Successful throwing session
POakland Athletics  AAA
April 24, 2019
Luzardo (shoulder) threw from 90 feet Wednesday and remains on track to return in 4-to-6 weeks, Martin Gallegos of reports.
Luzardo's session apparently went off without a hitch and marked the first time he threw since being shut down last month. The promising prospect is fully expected to make his regular-season major-league debut at some point in 2019 after wowing in spring with an 0.93 ERA, .176 BAA and 15:4 K:BB across four Cactus League appearances.
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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.
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Set to throw from 90 feet
POakland Athletics  AAA
April 23, 2019
Luzardo (shoulder) is scheduled to throw from 90 feet Wednesday, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
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Progressing well in rehab
POakland Athletics  AAA
April 14, 2019
Luzardo (shoulder) is making encouraging progress from the left rotator cuff strain that shut him down in late March, Dave Sessions of reports. "Luzardo feels absolutely fantastic, but he's still not throwing yet," manager Bob Melvin said. "He's champing at the bit -- he wants to throw. But we also understand for a guy like him, when you set a timetable, there's really no need to speed it up. We just want to make sure when he comes back, he's fully healthy."
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Out with shoulder injury
POakland Athletics  AAA
March 20, 2019
Luzardo will be shut down for 4-to-6 weeks with a strained rotator cuff in his left (throwing) shoulder, Jane Lee of reports.
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Spring surge continues
POakland Athletics  AAA
March 11, 2019
Luzardo allowed an earned run on four hits and a walk over four innings in a Cactus League split-squad win over the Giants on Sunday. He struck out five.
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Impressive spring continues
POakland Athletics  AAA
March 5, 2019
Luzardo struck out six of the 10 batters he faced in a 2.2-inning, 51-pitch Cactus League outing against the Rangers on Tuesday, Jane Lee of reports. "You look for the nerves or whatever, first big-league camp, and we haven't seen a sign of it," manager Bob Melvin said. "Comes in the dugout between innings, very cognizant of what's going on, has conversations with the catchers, the pitching coaches."
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