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Baby Jesus Moves to Miami; Jesus Luzardo

Jesús G. Luzardo is a Venezuelan-Peruvian professional baseball pitcher for the Miami Marlins of Major League Baseball. He previously played for the Oakland Athletics before being traded to the Marlins for Starling Marte. He will join an embarrassment of pitching riches.

Selected by Nationals in the 3rd round of 2016 draft; signed June 20, 2016, heading to the DL until early October. Luzardo was traded by Nationals with RHP Blake Treinen and 3B Sheldon Neuse to Athletics for LHP Sean Doolittle and RHP Ryan Madson, July 16, 2017. Oakland Athletics placed LHP Jesus Luzardo on the 10-day injured list with a Left-hand fracture. Oakland Athletics sent LHP Jesus Luzardo on a rehab assignment to Las Vegas Aviators. Oakland Athletics optioned LHP Jesus Luzardo to Las Vegas Aviators and traded him to Miami Marlins for LF Starling Marte. Miami Marlins optioned LHP Jesus Luzardo to Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.

Miami"s Own, Jesus Luzardo

A native of Parkman, FL, Luzardo attended Stoneman Douglas High School where he was drafted out of high school in the third round of the 2016 MLB Draft by the Washington Nationals. However, Luzardo was traded to the Oakland Athletics a year later as part of the deal that sent Sean Doolittle to the Nationals.

After posting a combined 1.66 ERA during his first professional season between the two organizations, Luzardo began the 2018 season by dominating High-A posting a 1.23 ERA during three starts. The left-hander quickly earned a promotion to Double-A as a 20-year old where he would spend a majority of the season posting a 7-3 record with a 2.29 ERA with 18 walks and 86 strikeouts across 16 starts.

He ended the 2018 MLB campaign ranked as the Athletics No. 1 prospect, as well as the No. 12 prospect in all of baseball.

Luzardo entered the 2019 season, Luzardo remained Oakland’s top prospect, as well as No. 18 in all of baseball. Luzardo started the season in Triple-A, he posted a 3.19 ERA across seven starts before earning a big-league call-up. He pitched out of the Athletics bullpen where he posted a 1.50 ERA across 12 innings pitched with 3 walks and 16 strikeouts. In 2020, the left-hander worked primarily as a starter for the Athletics posting a 3-2 record with a 4.12 ERA across 59 innings pitched.

The 23-year old left-hander despite his recent struggles is still considered one of the top young southpaws in baseball. Still under team control for the foreseeable future, the Marlins will have the chance to develop Luzardo where there will arguably be not as much pressure on him pitching in a deep Marlins rotation. Sixto Sanchez, Pablo Lopez, Sandy Alcantara, Max Meyer, etc. will take the spotlight off Luzardo.

Baby Jesus Pitch Mix

Pitch-wise, Luzardo displays a five-pitch mix that includes a four-seam fastball, sinker, curveball, slider, and changeup. Luzardo does a nice job of pitch usage and features a lot of movement with strong velocity. While he has split time between the rotation and the bullpen, Luzardo has the potential to be a top-end of the rotation starter, a potential Ace.

Luzardo was acquired in the July 2017 trade that sent closer Sean Doolittle and right-hander Ryan Madson to the Washington Nationals.

There is no question that Jesus Luzardo is one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, but at some point, a prospect becomes a disappointment (in relation to anticipated success). The Oakland Athletics youngster has been a consensus top 15 prospect prior to each of the past two seasons, with the expectation that he will become the A’s next ace. His major league debut only served to whet the appetite, as his 1.50 ERA and 16 strikeouts over 12 innings showed what type of pitcher he could be.

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Main image credit Embed from Getty Images

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