Athletics

Jesús Luzardo: Everything you need to know on A's top pitcher prospect

Jesús Luzardo: Everything you need to know on A's top pitcher prospect

Who is A’s pitcher Jesús Luzardo?

A possible top-15 fantasy pitcher in 2020? Sure.

An AL Rookie of the Year candidate? Definitely.

But the 22-year-old lefty is so much more than that. 

Before the A’s

The Washington Nationals drafted the talented pitcher in the third round in 2016 out of Stoneman Douglas High School. Luzardo underwent Tommy John surgery around the time of the draft, but the Nats are known to take a chance on a guy despite the surgery.

Not a bad decision at all. 

The A's acquired Luzardo, Sheldon Neuse and Blake Treinen in 2017 from the Nationals in a trade for Ryan Madson and fan-favorite Sean Doolittle. Since then, he has been considered one of the best prospects in baseball.

With the A’s

During his stint last season with Triple-A Las Vegas, he boasted a 3.19 ERA with 1.19 WHIP and 34 strikeouts in 31 innings while pitching in a hitter’s haven in the PCL.

In 12 innings of relief after he was promoted to the A’s in 2019, Luzardo tallied a 1.50 ERA with 16 strikeouts in 12 innings. His spring training numbers would make you blush also, but I don’t want you filling my comments with the nonsense that “those numbers don’t count.”

Eh … I’ll do it anyway. 

In 8 1/3 innings of Cactus League play this year, he struck out 13 batters. See? That was worth bringing up. 

Oh, and he has only allowed six hits since his MLB debut after facing 58 batters in the regular season and playoffs.

His background

Luzardo is the first Peruvian-born player to play in Major League Baseball. He's also Venezuelan. 


Not a contact guy

On the mound, Luzardo is usually wearing his prescription Oakley glasses while he pitches and decides to forego contact lenses.

“My glasses are kind of like a routine for me,” he told NBC Sports California's Brodie Brazil. “When I pitch or throw without them, it’s kind of just weird. It’s more of a comfort thing.”

Hey, don’t mess with what works.

[RELATED: A's position battles heading into Summer Camp]

Now for the important stuff ... 

Luzardo’s (very proud) mom Monica, says that believe it or not, he’s very shy, but he has a big heart and is a hard worker.

I could see that. 

“His favorite Disney movie when he was young was ‘Mulan,’ ” she said. He also loves to fish and also is an excellent baker. His specialty? Tres Leches Cake, which is a Venezuelan dessert. 

Ramón Laureano says he regrets charging 'loser' Alex Cintrón in brawl

Ramón Laureano says he regrets charging 'loser' Alex Cintrón in brawl

Ramón Laureano said he regretted going after Houston Astros bench coach Alex Cintrón in Sunday's benches-clearing brawl, but the A's outfielder didn't hold back his feelings about Cintrón on Monday in his first comments since the kerfuffle at the Oakland Coliseum.

"I regret charging him because he's a loser," Laureano told ESPN's Jeff Passan in an interview Monday. "[A suspension] is understandable, but I hope it's not that many games. At the end of the day, I'm here to win a World Series with the Oakland Athletics -- this wonderful group of guys. I don't want to be a distraction. Obviously, I am right now. Hey, I've already moved on. I'm facing Julio Teheran (and the Los Angeles Angels) today, and that's all I'm thinking right now."

[BALK TALK: Listen to the latest episode]

Laureano said in the interview with Passan, and later on a video conference call with local reporters, that the Houston bench coach insulted the outfielder's mother from the opposing dugout. Former Astros beat writer Jose de Jesus Ortiz first reported Sunday those comments were the source of Laureano's ire, while A's manager Bob Melvin told reporters that day that something Cintrón said caused Laureano to charge towards the Astros dugout after reaching first base on his second hit-by-pitch of the game (and third of the series).

Cintrón denied talking about Laureano's mother to Passan via an Astros employee, though the Houston Chronicle's Chandler Rome noted the coach wasn't made available for comment after Sunday's A's win. Astros manager Dusty Baker said Cintrón was "remorseful."

Laureano said that he shouldn't have stooped to Cintrón's level, admitting "I look like not a very smart guy" (H/T Bay Area News Group's Shayna Rubin) for disregarding MLB's healthy-and-safety measures in place due to the coronavirus pandemic. "[Fighting] and instigating fights are strictly prohibited" under the protocols, and both Laureano and Cintrón reportedly are expected to be suspended.

"I guess it’s an unwritten rule that you can’t be doing that, you know, as a coach," Laureano said of Cintrón (H/T NBC Sports California's Jessica Kleinschmidt). So yeah, I guess it was wrong for him to do that. But, hey, I’m a man, I’m a freakin’ man -- whatever happens, happens. And I couldn't keep my cool, and I should've, and I wasted my time with that guy."

[RELATED: Why Laureano was tackled by Garneau in A's-Astros brawl]

Laureano, 26, is slashing .278/.406/.519 with three home runs and 10 RBI so far this season. Only Matt Chapman currently has more extra-base hits, and no batter has been worth more wins above replacement at the plate than Laureano (1.1).

The A's are riding a nine-game winning streak, and Oakland would miss Laureano's bat and glove for as long as he's out of the lineup. In the meantime, he said he has felt supported by the organization in the aftermath of Sunday's fracas.

“It meant a lot to me, that’s how close we are as a group," he told reporters. "Not only the players, but the coaching staff and everybody. It felt good, (all of) the support and people reaching out to me.”

A's vs. Angels live stream: How to watch MLB games online, on TV

A's vs. Angels live stream: How to watch MLB games online, on TV

The A's are going streaking.

Oakland (12-4) has won nine straight games and look to make it 10 in a row when they head south to face the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The A's are coming off a sweep of the rival Houston Astros, which was punctuated by a benches-clearing brawl between the two sides when Ramón Laureano charged at the Astros' dugout.

The Angels (5-11) just got swept by the Texas Rangers and sit in last place in the AL West.

Here's how you can watch the A's play the Angels online (download the MyTeams app here!) and on TV:

Monday, Aug. 10

When: A's Pregame Live at 6 p.m. PT -- First pitch at 6:40 p.m. PT
TV: NBC Sports California
Stream: MyTeams app

Tuesday, Aug. 11

When: A's Pregame Live at 6 p.m. PT -- First pitch at 6:40 p.m. PT
TV: NBC Sports California
Stream: MyTeams app

Wednesday, Aug. 12

When: A's Pregame Live at 12:30 p.m. PT -- First pitch at 1:10 p.m. PT
TV: NBC Sports California
Stream: MyTeams app

[BALK TALK: Listen to the latest episode]