February 6, 2010

Top 50 Twins Prospects 2010: #18 Alex Burnett

2010 Top 50 Twins Prospects #18 Alex Burnett

Position Pitcher

Bats/Throws Right/Right

Born July 26, 1987 (Anaheim, California)

Ocean View High School


190 lbs.

2009 Ranking 23

Since being taken by the Twins in the 12th round of the 2005 draft, Alex Burnett has been a starter. A good one, at that. But last year, the Twins foresaw Burnett as a reliever, and since making the switch, he's made their decision look genius. This adrenalin-junky showed all of us in 2009 that he's meant for the bullpen.

Burnett posted a 4.06 ERA in two years of Rookie Ball (split between the Gulf Coast League and Appalachian League), before moving up to Single-A Beloit in 2007. As a 19-year-old, Burnett gained respect by posting a 3.02 ERA in 27 starts in the Midwest League. He moved up to Advanced-A Fort Myers in 2008 and made 25 starts while appearing as a reliever in three more. Now keep in mind, Burnett has been a workhorse up to this point in his career, averaging around 150 innings per year between Beloit and Ft. Myers. The Twins decided to give Burnett a try in the bullpen in 2009, which did surprise me. But the Twins went with the decision, and I'm glad they did. Burnett had a 1.99 ERA in 18 appearances with the Miracle before being promoted to Double-A New Britain. He went on to make 40 appearances with the Rock Cats, posting a 1.79 ERA in 55 1/3 innings. Besides ERA, Burnett also made great improvements in his strikeout numbers. As a starter, Burnett had a career 6.56 K/9 ratio, in '09 that ratio was 9 even.

After the season, Burnett appeared in the Arizona Fall League and made 10 appearances and recorded three saves. Going forward, Burnett should be viewed as either a set-up man or closer. He can crank his fastball into the mid 90's and has a sharp cutter/slider that he uses as his out pitch. Burnett is one of several relievers that should be ready to go in 2011.

2009 Statistics

          Level      W     L     ERA     IP     K     BB     WHIP     FIP

          A+         2     1    1.99   22.2    26      7     0.93    1.96

AA 1 2 1.79 55.1 52 19 0.99 2.98

2010 Outlook

Despite appearing in 40 games with New Britain in 2009, Burnett will likely begin the 2010 season with the Rock Cats before being promoted to Rochester mid-season. Expect Burnett to pick up a majority of the saves with New Britain early on. If he mows down the competition (which I believe he will), there is a possibility he could be considered for a promotion when rosters expand in September.

Pitching Repertoire

  • 2/4 seam Fastball (89-94)

  • Slider/Cutter (83-86)

  • Curveball (76-78)

  • Change-up (81-83)

Estimated Time of Arrival


Anonymous said...

What makes you think he's a "adrenaline-junky"?

Anonymous said...

Is it just me or do most of these "prospects" have an ETA of 2011? If these players were that good the twins should have a top 10 ratings for minor leagues. Too bad I have not seen anyone make a splash in a few years. There should be an ETA of never for some guys. Flat out career minor league guy, will never get a sniff of the majors. By the way I see great things in Burnett. Its all these wannabe bloggers copying another site to make a list to feel special.

Josh Johnson said...

@Anonymous #1

In a Q&A last summer, Burnett admitted to loving the adrenaline that goes along with being a reliever.

@Anonymous #2

For starters, all but three players that I have ETA's of 2011 have played in Double-A (and there's pretty darn good chance that they'll see time in Triple-A this year or early next year). And the other three (Joe Testa, Deibinson Romero and Evan Bigley) could all move multiple levels in 2010 (2/3 are former college players and Romero plays at a position of need).

Two, an ETA doesn't necessarily imply that the player WILL get to the Major Leagues. It's more so a guideline as to when (if they do) they could get there, if all goes right. Obviously some players don't work out...

Three, I wasn't aware that there was such a thing as a "wannabe blogger?" And in no way am I copying information from other sites. I've read scouting reports, talked to the players themselves (such as with Burnett, who I've had several conversations with), I've talked to people both associated with the Twins and people associated in Minor League Baseball/scouting and most of all, I make MY OWN inferences by reading the statistics of the players.

When you combine things such as height, weight, age and numbers, you can generally get a pretty good idea of what the player is all about.

And I didn't know "wannabe bloggers" weren't allowed to make lists. Must have missed that in orientation.

viperdk said...

Can't wait to see Burnett. Looks like he's gonna be something special.

Hey Josh, keep up the good work. Don't mind the idiots who hide behind the Anonymous name. They obviously don't know what they are talking about.

Maybe weed them out by forcing users to actually log in rather than post anonymously.

Anyway, keep up the good work man.

David said...

Hey Josh, keep up the good work. Don't mind the idiots who hide behind the Anonymous name. They obviously don't know what they are talking about.

Maybe weed them out by forcing users to actually log in rather than post anonymously.

Anyway, keep up the good work man.

Agree 110%. Your dedication, thought and research show. Putting together a top 50 list - 50! - is a ton of work and is damn impressive, and this one has a ton of information, to boot. Seems to me a "wannabe blogger" would be someone who posts non-informative comments under an "anonymous" name. Whatev.

Josh Johnson said...

viperdk and David,

Thanks for the kind words!

Dan said...

Happy Birthday, Josh.

Anonymous said...

Josh, you and the rest of the Twins Blogger Community are very much appreciated. Nothing helps a long Iowa winter go by then getting a chance to read some informitive information and some projection of our prospects. I suspect Anonymous is Patrick Ruesse.

Josh Johnson said...

Anonymous and Dan,

Thanks, I appreciate it!

thrylos98 said...

Interesting to see that he made it to the bigs this year (even for a week or 2). I hope he does great, because I think that he is light years ahead of Condrey at this point.

Unknown said...

if he can get his fastball under control he will be a great aset for twins for a long time