When the A's got Luzardo from the Nationals as part of the package in return for Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson, they knew the left-hander was the prize acquisition, even though he had just returned to the mound in 2017 after having Tommy John surgery in the spring of his senior year of high school in Florida. They may not have known he'd show why he was the best player in the deal so quickly, as Luzardo began the year with a leap to the California League to start 2018 and finished it in Triple-A, working in a start for the World Team in the All-Star Futures Game for good measure.
Luzardo's pitchability and polish have him just about ready to impact a big league rotation. Right before his elbow injury, Luzardo's velocity had spiked, raising his Draft stock. It's come all the way back post-surgery, with a fastball that often sits in the mid-90s and touches as high as 98 mph. Thrown with excellent sink and outstanding command to both sides of the plate, Luzardo both misses bats and gets groundball outs. His best secondary offering is his fading and sinking changeup, a second plus pitch in his arsenal. His curve has improved and is at least above-average, a pitch he adds to and subtracts from at will.
With his stuff, command and plus presence on the mound, there isn't much more for Luzardo to prove in the Minors. He'll spend the 2019 season at age 21 with the chance to pitch at, or near, the top of a big league rotation soon, though his chance to make that rotation on Opening Day ended with a left shoulder strain during Spring Training.
Statcast - Pitching
Hard Hit %
Oakland Athletics selected the contract of LHP Jesus Luzardo from Las Vegas Aviators.
Las Vegas Aviators activated LHP Jesus Luzardo from the 7-day injured list.
AZL Athletics Green sent LHP Jesus Luzardo on a rehab assignment to Stockton Ports.
Las Vegas Aviators sent LHP Jesus Luzardo on a rehab assignment to AZL Athletics Green.
Las Vegas Aviators placed LHP Jesus Luzardo on the 7-day injured list.
LHP Jesus Luzardo assigned to Las Vegas Aviators from Stockton Ports.
LHP Jesus Luzardo assigned to Stockton Ports from AZL Athletics Green.
Oakland Athletics invited non-roster LHP Jesus Luzardo to spring training.
LHP Jesus Luzardo assigned to AZL Athletics from Nashville Sounds.
LHP Jesus Luzardo assigned to Nashville Sounds from Midland RockHounds.
LHP Jesus Luzardo assigned to Midland RockHounds from Stockton Ports.
LHP Jesus Luzardo assigned to Stockton Ports from Vermont Lake Monsters.
LHP Jesus Luzardo assigned to Oakland Athletics.
Aguilas del Zulia released LHP Jesus Luzardo.
LHP Jesus Luzardo assigned to Aguilas del Zulia.
LHP Jesus Luzardo assigned to Vermont Lake Monsters from AZL Athletics.
LHP Jesus Luzardo assigned to AZL Athletics.
Oakland Athletics traded RHP Ryan Madson and LHP Sean Doolittle to Washington Nationals for RHP Blake Treinen, LHP Jesus Luzardo and 3B Sheldon Neuse.
GCL Nationals activated LHP Jesus Luzardo from the 7-day disabled list.
How this works: Every pitch is affected by the forces of gravity, which means that every pitch drops on its way from the mound to the plate. These numbers are reported with gravity, which makes them larger and different than other pitch movement numbers you may have seen. Since gravity requires time, and slower pitches aren’t ‘better’ just because they have more time to move, the movement of a pitch is compared to ‘average’ movement by comparing it to other MLB pitch types within +/- 2 MPH and from within +/- 0.5 feet of extension and release.