School: St. Mary’s College; Class: Junior
Position: RHP; B/T: R/R
Height: 6-3; Weight: 205
Previously Drafted: N/A
Background: Slow, steady, and ever-increasing production, Burnes’ draft stock has reached a boiling point during his junior campaign at St. Mary’s College. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound right-hander got off to a disappointing start to his collegiate career, throwing 43.2 innings of mostly lackluster ball during his freshman season, fanning 38 and walking 21. He rebounded – or progressed – nicely during his sophomore season as he moved into the rotation fulltime, averaging more than a punch out per inning with solid-average control.
Burnes earned a trip to the Cape Cod Summer League as well, where – unfortunately – he didn’t look all that overpowering. In 38 innings with the Orleans Firebirds, he averaged just 6.63 strikeouts and 4.26 walks per nine innings (to go along with a 3.79 ERA).
This season Burnes has sparkled across his first 97.0 innings: he’s averaged career bests in strikeout (10.39 K/9) and walk (2.88) rates and ERA (2.23).
Projection: OK. St. Mary’s College isn’t exactly a baseball powerhouse, though it has given baseball birth to the like of Mark Teahen and Von Hayes. So a lot of Burnes’ production this season has to be taken with some level of skepticism – especially considering his struggles and/or downturn in the Cape Cod against vastly improved competition.
With that being said, however, Burnes’ numbers are far better than former St. Mary’s second rounder Martin Agosta.
Burnes looks like a backend starter, perhaps peaking as a decent #4.
Ceiling: 1.5-win player
Floor: 0.5-win player
Risk: Moderate to High
Grade: Third Round