Three quick-to-MLB pitching prospects

Nick Burdi could potentially help a big league club as soon as 2015. AP Photo/Wade Payne

It may be hard to believe now, but there was a time when relief pitchers coming out of college were considered something of a commodity in the MLB Draft. The prevailing wisdom was that relievers wouldn't need much time in the minors before being able to give clubs a return on their investments.

These days, we typically don't see relief pitchers go early in round one -- the highest a pitcher who had no chance to start was drafted in 2013 was Corey Knebel by the Detroit Tigers with the 39th pick -- but there are a few guys that have a chance to be day one selections in 2014, and could be among the quickest players to reach the big leagues if things break their way.

• Louisville right-hander Nick Burdi came into the year as the highest-rated relief prospect for 2014, and he's done nothing to diminish that stock so far.