Nick Burdi ready for his big week

University of Louisville junior reliever Nick Burdi is prepared for one of the biggest weeks of his life. Burdi is expected to get picked high in the MLB June Amateur Draft and then will try to help the Cardinals back to the College World Series. Cardinal Authority has the latest.

It should be quite a week for Nick Burdi.

The University of Louisville junior All-American closer is expected to be picked in the first round of the MLB June Amateur Draft, which begins on Thursday evening.

The 6-foot-4, 215-pound hard-throwing right-handed pitcher said he's been hearing he could be picked anywhere from 20-35 and is ranked as the No. 24 prospect by Baseball America.

Other publications have him ranked between 30-40, but there's no question he will be picked early in the draft.

Burdi called it a dream come true but also said he has something else to concentrate on this week - the Louisville Super Regional. The Cardinals will play Kennesaw State in a best-of-three game series beginning on Friday night at Jim Patterson Stadium.

"We'll wait and see and see what team takes me," he said. "It's surreal it's here. But right now it's all about this team.

"When Thursday comes, it's going to be a special 15-20 minutes and then it's going to be time to concentrate on Kennesaw State."

Burdi, who picked up two saves last week in the NCAA Regional, said he knows pro ball is coming but he wants another shot at winning the College World Series before he signs.

"I have a pretty good idea of where I am going to go and if I am going to get picked on Thursday," Burdi said. "It's going to be something that I have worked for my whole life and something I will remember the rest of my life. My family is excited but at the same time this is the last few weeks that I am going to be able to wear the Louisville uniform, so I am going to stay focused on this."

Burdi, who has hit 102 MPH in a game this season, is 3-1 with a 0.54 ERA, which is the lowest single-season ERA in school history. He has 58 strikeouts in 33.1 innings pitched and has 16 saves on the season. He's the school's all-time leader with 32 career saves.

"We're just really proud of him," U of L coach Dan McDonnell said. "He's one of the hardest working kids that I have ever coached. There's a lot of self discipline, he works so hard.

"He's had this goal to be great and you can see it in his eyes. We're happy for him."

But even after getting drafted there's still work to be done. Burdi only pitched 1.2 innings in the Regional and would be ready for anything this weekend in the Super Regional.

"I'm excited but at the same time but as a college baseball player one of the biggest goals is to win a national championship and dog pile in Omaha," he said. "I want to leave my legacy by doing just that."