Scouting Twins Prospect #26: Alex Burnett

Burnett has moved quickly thus far.

Alex Burnett was selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 12th round of the 2005 draft, after a standout senior season at Ocean View (CA) High School. After finishing up his fourth season in the Twins organization, Burnett is now one of the top pitching prospects in the Twins organization.

Name: Alex Burnett
D.O.B.: July 26, 1987
Height: 6-foot-0
Weight: 190
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Alex Burnett was selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 12th round of the 2005 draft, after a standout senior season at Ocean View (CA) High School. An All-Region selection, Burnett starred with both the bat and the glove during his time at Ocean View, but it was his pitching prowess that earned him the attention of Major League scouts. After finishing up his fourth season in the Twins organization, Burnett is now one of the top pitching prospects in the Twins organization.

During his senior season at Ocean View, Burnett batted .374 as the team's centerfielder. At the plate, Burnett smacked ten home runs, drove in 31, and stole ten bases in ten attempts. He was even more dominant on the mound, winning his last 11 starts for the team, while striking out 140 batters in only 93 innings.

Overall, Burnett pitched four shutouts, four complete games, and posted a 1.73 earned run average.

Burnett was originally assigned to the Gulf Coast League Twins, where he was used from noth the bullpen, and the starting rotation. He appeared in 13 games for the GCL Twins, making eight starts, and finished the year with a respectable 4.10 earned run average.

In 48.1 innings of work, Burnett struck out 33 batters, but he did struggle with his command a bit. He hit seven batters, walked 14, and had one wild pitch. He was pretty impressive in his first season of professional baseball, and earned himself a promotion to the Appalachian League in 2006.

For the Elizabethton Twins in 2006, Burnett was used exclusively as a starter, and was one of the more reliable starting pitchers in the Appalachian League. He finished fourth in the league in innings (71.1), third in strikeouts (71), and his complete game shutout was one of only a few in the league.

Burnett was one of the main reasons why the Elizabethton Twins made a return trip to the Appalachian League title game. He finished the year 4-3 in his 13 starts, showing much better control of his pitches.

During the 2007 season, Burnett had a breakout year for the Beloit Snappers. He joined Cole Devries in being Brodie Trophy winners, given to the top player on the Snappers for the season, and etched his name as one of the top young right-handers in the Twins organization. Burnett won nine games in his 27 starts, posting a 3.02 earned run average, and would go on to hold the opposition to a .239 batting average. He also was named a Midwest League All-Star.

In 2008, Burnett was a key member of the Fort Myers Miracle pitching staff, finishing fourth in the Florida State League in innings pitched (143.2). A main cog in the rotation, Burnett started more games that almost every pitcher in the entire league, and finished with a 3.76 earned run average. Only 20 years old during the season, Burnett is definitely fast-tracking his way to the major leagues.

Here is a link to our interview with Burnett during the 2008 season.

Alex Burnett TCD Interview

Repertoire. Fastball, Sinker, Changeup, Curveball

Fastball. Burnett has a very live fastball, which is one of the better heaters of guys in his age group. His fastball can sit in the mid-90s range, and he has good control. He has a quick, live arm, and he uses his fastball in almost every situation. For a guy who is only 6-foot tall, Burnett really can rear back and throw some gas.

Other Pitches. Burnett has a really good curveball, and it is a pitch that could progress to be a plus-pitch in the future. When we spoke to Burnett in June, he told us that he felt that his curveball with his outpitch. It has a nice, hard breaking action to it, and Burnett has gained great control over it over the past two seasons. His third pitch is an average changeup, and he also throws a sinker. He has good control of his changeup, and really has a full complement of pitches.

Pitching. Burnett is an innings eater, and he is someone who brings it every time he takes the mound. In his short time with the organization, Burnett has shown the ability to go late into games, and he even threw a complete game shutout this past season. He has confidence in all of his pitches, and he shows true grit when he is on the mound. He has what it takes to succeed in Minor League Baseball, and he is not afraid of any situation. He is a guy who could be in the top-20 next season.

Projection. Due to his ability to go late into games, Burnett definitely projects as a starting pitching prospect. He has racked up plenty of innings during his young career, and continues to get better. He could honestly be a 21 year old in the Eastern League in 2009.

ETA. 2011. The Twins are really starting to get behind this kid, and are very excited about what he can bring to the organization. It could be a steady rise for him through the organization, but being a right-hander, he does have some bigger name prospects ahead of him in the organizational depth chart. Still, as far as youth and experience, there really is not another prospect that has done the kind of things he has the past few seasons. He could be in Rochester by the end of the season.

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