Ventura, California —— On Wednesday afternoon, in the 39th round of the MLB Draft, the New York Yankees selected left-handed pitcher Andrew Nardi, a reliever out of Ventura College‘s well-respected baseball program in Ventura, California. Nardi had a phenomenal season at Ventura this spring, appearing in 14 games (one start), and pitching to a 1.17 ERA with 38 strikeouts in 30.2 innings while allowing just 22 hits and nine walks. This summer, he’s pitching in a college summer league in Alaska.
A second-to-last round selection in the draft, it’s unlikely Andrew Nardi signs with the New York Yankees this summer, but he’s got the pitching chops that’ll likely make him a professional one day very soon thanks to an advanced arsenal and a projectable frame with good athleticism. Below is our full Andrew Nardi scouting report, and some video of one of his outings this spring.
Andrew Nardi scouting report — notes
Tall and lanky with a lean body, long arms, and a delivery reminiscent of Clayton Kershaw, Nardi was lights out in the Ventura College bullpen this spring. Assuming he returns to school in the fall he’ll almost undoubtedly be moved into the starting rotation to further develop and build innings. (For what it’s worth, he’s been a starter during college summer league play this month, too.)
Armed with an 87-89 mph fastball that’ll touch 91 mph, Nardi’s velocity isn’t overwhelming, but he’s got the long, lean frame with good arm speed that suggests he’ll add velocity in the coming years. He gets great extension and plane on release and when he’s down in the zone his ball is tough to square up thanks to his great size (listed at 6’3″, 175 lbs., but may actually be slightly taller). He couples the fastball with a sweeping slider in the upper 70s, and he has a very good feel for the pitch; he’s able to give the illusion that it’s starting behind left-handed hitters before breaking across the plate, and it’s a tough pitch for lefties to stay on once Nardi is ahead in the count. He’ll back foot the slider to righties, too, giving them a sweeping breaking ball that’s tough to track and square.
Andrew Nardi hasn’t needed to use much more than that with Ventura College this spring, though he also shows a changeup—and as he presumably moves into a rotation role with Ventura next year, he ought to flash more of that pitch to work deeper into games. But for now, Nardi’s good stuff and above-average command profile for his age had him utterly dominating a very good junior college conference in 2017, and it earned him a place on the New York Yankees’ draft board. He’s projectable and should add weight in the next few years, which means more velocity is most certainly on the way, as well.
Andrew Nardi scouting report — video
We got a video look at Andrew Nardi’s mechanics while he was pitching for Ventura College this past April:
Andrew Nardi scouting report — projection
As a 39th round selection, it’s somewhat unlikely Andrew Nardi will sign with the New York Yankees. Perhaps they’ll have some roster spots to fill come July and pull the trigger with an above-round offer, but it’d behoove Nardi to return to Ventura College for another year, slot into the starting rotation, and build innings with the aim of a significantly higher draft selection next summer. He’s got the raw stuff and projectability to realistically have a chance at a top-ten round selection in 2018, especially if he adds more velocity to his repertoire as he builds strength.
In the short term, both in college and at the beginning of his professional career, it’d be good for Andrew Nardi to build out innings by slotting into a rotation and pitching every fifth day. That’ll develop his third pitch, improve the consistency of his slider, and build some arm strength to add velocity to his fastball while giving him an opportunity to get a ton of practice against right-handed hitters at a high level.
All that said, though, Nardi is a perfect long term fit for a professional bullpen, and his projection ceiling is likely that of a situational left-handed reliever who can be hell on lefties with that big slider and good fastball. Nardi might even turn into a relief prospect one day in pro ball, whether in another year or two with the New York Yankees, or with somebody else down the road if he doesn’t sign this summer. He was Ventura College’s most polished pitcher this spring, and that was a staff with several very good arms (including right-handed pitcher Austin Rubick, who was drafted in the 20th round earlier on Wednesday afternoon by the Milwaukee Brewers).
If the New York Yankees are able to sign him as a 39th rounder, Nardi could prove to be a steal for the round thanks to his high upside and a perfect pitcher’s body upon which to build. He’ll need some innings to refine his stuff and build arm strength, but he’s already polished in his pitchability and could soon prove a very shrewd under-the-radar draft selection. Don’t be surprised if he’s back at Ventura College in the fall, though, angling for a significantly higher draft slot one year from now.