By: Matt Rothman
Marjory Stoneman Douglas graduate Jesus Luzardo has been spectacular after making his major league debut earlier this month with the Oakland A’s.
Parkland resident Luzardo entered the game in the bottom of the sixth in his major league debut and pitched three innings, allowing just one run and one hit in Oakland’s 5-3 win over the Houston Astros. He ranked as their number one prospect and 18th best prospects in Major League Baseball.
He followed that up with his first career save with another three-inning outing striking out four batters, allowing only one run. What has stood out for Luzardo has been his fastball. He reached nearly triple digits on the radar averaging 96.2 on his fastball, nearly four miles per hour faster than the league average.
Through his three appearances, the lefty is pitching to a 2.57 earned run average with eight strikeouts in seven innings.
Born to Venezuelan parents in Lima, Peru, Luzardo identifies as Venezuelan. He moved to South Florida at the age of one, and graduated from MSD in 2016, after playing four seasons on the varsity baseball team where he was a captain for the State Championship team won in 2016. He pitched in four games making three starts pitching to a .066 ERA. In his high school career, Luzardo won 23 games and struck out 235 batters in 217 innings.
His former high school coach knew early that he was going to be a dynamic player.
“I think he is going to be a big leaguer for a long time and a perennial all-star,” said Todd Fitz-Gerald, head coach for MSD baseball.
He was selected in the third round of the 2016 MLB draft to the Washington Nationals before being traded to the Oakland A’s in 2017 in a package that brought closer Sean Doolittle to the Nationals.
After spending nearly three years in the minor leagues, Luzardo will spend the rest of the regular season with the Oakland A’s hoping to help them get back to the playoffs.
- Matt Rothman is a 2018 graduate from Florida Gulf Coast University receiving his bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is now attending the University of Florida as a graduate student. Matt also covers the New York Islanders for The Hockey Writer, the New York Mets for Last Word on Baseball and Florida Gators Athletics for ESPN Gainesville.
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