Baby Bird Watching: Alec Burleson showing prowess at the plate early

It’s so nice to lastly have the Minor League Baseball season again and get to see among the latest St. Louis Cardinal prospects at work. Certainly one of my obsessions thus far is a man the Cardinals chosen out of East Carolina College within the second spherical of the 2020 MLB Draft, and that’s Alec Burleson.

In a world the place former Cardinal outfielders appear to be all the fashion, it’s good to see the workforce have a prospect that may make some noise with the bat. The 22-year-old slugger was given the project of Excessive-A Peoria and within the small pattern dimension of video games to date there’s a lot to love.

Background

By way of his first six video games Burleson is slashing .350/.480/.650 with a pair of homeruns. He additionally has similar stroll and strikeout percentages at 20. Small pattern sizes are actually one of the best.

There are some spectacular little tidbits from these first couple of video games. Amongst them, there are solely two of these video games the place Burleson didn’t draw a stroll. In fact, the spotlight is the again to again nights the place Burleson hit a homerun.

Particularly the place small pattern sizes are concerned, getting eyes on video is much more necessary. Honest warning, he’s a enjoyable hitter.

The Video Room

Those that know me know I’ve a robust affinity for ECU hitters as a result of they’re simply good on the plate. They’ve a knack for placing collectively skilled at bats. There’s not a lot chasing, they present the power to learn spin, they usually have good really feel for barrel. That’s as true with fellow ECU obsession within the Tigers group Bryant Packard as it’s with Burleson. They will simply flat out hit.

Despite the fact that Burleson made noise together with his energy, that isn’t essentially his loudest instrument. With that being stated, right here’s his first skilled homerun

Minor League Baseball – milb.com

Take a look at the placement of the pitch. Burleson crushed an 1-0 mistake to his pull facet. It was up within the zone, however he simply did job getting the barrel to the pitch and driving it out of the park.

Right here’s what I like most about Burleson. He isn’t pull completely satisfied and his barrel performs across the zone. You’ll be able to see right here that he takes a pitch much more up the ladder and fights off a 2-2 pitch for an RBI single. Oh, and he takes it the opposite approach.


Minor League Baseball – milb.com

Burleson reveals all of the qualities of hit instrument on the plate. From having the ability to cowl it and discover the barrel to figuring out the zone and drawing walks. He spits on breaking balls and might crush fastballs. Even higher, he’s not a simple out. Burleson will foul pitches off and lengthen at bats with two strikes on him.

There may be one other facet to the strike zone and walks coin, nonetheless. Burleson is extremely affected person, not passive which is a crucial distinction, however he’s affected person. That may put him in dangerous counts on the plate. It may be seen right here the place he discovered himself in a foul rely and needed to attempt to struggle, however made the unsuitable learn and struck out. That can occur, it wouldn’t be stunning if the 20 % small pattern dimension was correct to a bigger pattern.


Minor League Baseball – milb.com

Raving about his hit instrument is one factor. However within the recreation that the video up up to now is from solely reveals him making contact on excessive pitches, which hardly seems like his bat can cowl the zone. Properly, look no additional than the following day the place he pokes a single on a pitch down within the zone.


Minor League Baseball – milb.com

For good measure, simply to push the purpose throughout, as his profession goes I believe it’s more likely we see a stable hitter that may benefit from errors and drive them out of the park reasonably than an enormous energy hitter. Both approach, right here’s one other single, this one up the center.


Minor League Baseball – milb.com

The final swing is his different homerun. He bought one more mistake early within the rely and he didn’t miss it. Burleson was capable of capitalize and knock it over the fence for his second homerun in as many days.


Minor League Baseball – milb.com

Classes Discovered In The Video Room

These movies are swing examples from simply two of the six video games he’s performed in on the time of penning this. Nevertheless the consistencies are what inform the story in these small pattern sizes. The persistence, the strike zone recognition, and the power to seek out the barrel throughout the zone are actually standout talents for Burleson.

Let me break that damaged report sound. The video reveals his energy is generally pull facet at this level, no less than his over the fence energy. If he can get round on these errors up within the zone, then he’ll hit these lengthy balls. Along with his fringe energy he’s extra more likely to be a niche energy kind of hitter. Don’t be discouraged that Burleson hasn’t discovered one but as a result of these singles will ultimately discover gaps and turn into additional bases. It’s in there.

It’s additionally fairly clear that his common strategy is to suppose middle-away. The homeruns got here on pitches up within the zone in 1-0 and 3-2 counts. Aside from that Burleson is comfy simply taking the pitch again up the center or punching it into the alternative discipline.

His affected person strategy could inflate his strikeout numbers larger than it looks as if they need to be. That is the sport hitters play to attract walks. Perhaps extra aggression would drop his strikeout numbers, however they’d additionally drop his stroll numbers. I’ll take the strikeouts. Burleson is affected person, however he’s not passive. He’ll assault the ball early within the rely if he will get his pitch, he’s not sitting again and ready to be in a nook earlier than taking the bat off his shoulder. Time will inform, however the strikeout numbers ought to by no means be egregious.

Burleson is a enjoyable hitter. He has been to begin his skilled profession and he’s displaying the intangibles to proceed that pattern. As he performs extra video games, possibly a few of what I’m seeing adjustments. So this gained’t be the final time I pull movie on him. Because it stands now although, the Cardinals drafted a man who could be very enjoyable to dream on in a future lineup.

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