Miami has seen several of its young starters blossom into emerging stars over the past three seasons, including Jesús Luzardo. The left-hander rebounded from a tough 2021 campaign last year, and could be poised to next another step forward if this spring is any indication.
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A Look at Luzardo
Aside from a rough, yet truncated May, Marlins LHP Jesús Luzardo had himself a rather strong 2022 season. Across 100.1 IP, Luzardo went 4-7 with a 3.32 ERA and 120 strikeouts. The Marlins left-hander, acquired in 2021 in a one-for-one trade with Oakland for Starling Marte, owned a gaudy 10.8 K/9 last year. That total ranked among the top 15 pitchers (min. 100 IP), putting his name among the likes of Max Scherzer and Corbin Burnes.
All of Luzardo’s numbers went in the right direction in 2022. The 25-year-old’s K% rate jumped by almost eight percentage points, and saw dips in both BB% and ERA. In fact, his ERA could have been lower had he not given up six runs over 8.2 IP last May — just before he hit the IL with a forearm strain.
Had it not been for the forearm strain, it could have been a breakout campaign for the Marlins youngster. However, he looks primed to do that this year.
The left-hander started right where he left off in 2022 in the 2023 World Baseball Classic with Team Venezuela. In what was likely his only appearance in the WBC, Luzardo struck out five over four scoreless innings against Israel on March 15. Even though it’s March, the left-hander’s stuff looked incredible.
The young Marlins starter flashed a very good change with fade, along with a hard fastball that sat in the upper-90s and a touch more velocity than last season. In addition to those weapons, he also has a sinker and a slider that can be a really difficult pitch to hit.
2023 Fantasy Outlook
With Pablo Lopez now in Minnesota, the Marlins will be leaning on Luzardo, as well as Sandy Alcantara and former All-Star Trevor Rogers to give the team quality innings in 2023. With three above-average offerings, he’s capable of doing just that.
In terms of fantasy value, both ESPN and Yahoo! rank him in the top 200. For ESPN H2H/roto leagues, the 25-year-old ranks #143 overall, while Yahoo has him at #149. Luzardo can be a very valuable arm, if he can stay healthy. Durability is question mark for the left-hander, as is how many wins he can accrue on a Marlins team that doesn’t have a deep lineup. But, he should be able to accumulate a ton of strikeouts.
He didn’t make our top 100 or top 30 starters lists, but he just might might after this season. Don’t be shocked if Luzardo comes off the board earlier than his rankings,.