Jason Buursma: Lowdown on Top of the Mound

With the New York–Penn League playoffs now underway, Dustin Mattison recently was able to talk with Batavia Muckdogs reliever Jason Buursma.

During the 25th round of the 2008 MLB First-Year Player Draft, the St. Louis Cardinals selected pitcher Jason Buursma. 


A two-way star at Bucknell University, Buursma experienced record-breaking years at the plate and on the mound.  His nine wins pitching broke the program's mark while he posted a 2.58 ERA.  In 83.2 innings, Buursma struck out 78 and walked only 10.  He was recognized as the Patriot League Tournament MVP award after earning the win in relief in all of the team's four victories. 


At the plate, Buursma hit .367 with 13 home runs and 37 RBIs.  He finished as the Bucknell leader in home runs, wins, and saves.  He finished his career with 17 appearances on the school's top 10 lists. 


Buursma was tabbed as the Patriot League's Male Scholar Athlete of the Year as well as being named as one of the finalists for the Brooks Wallace Player of the Year Award.  Three different organizations named him as an All-American and he was named the NCBWA District 1 Player of the Year.  He was also recognized as the Patriot League Player of the Year and Baseball Scholar Athlete of the Year. 


ESPN the Magazine named the right-hander an Academic All-American after he graduated with a 3.57 grade point average as an economics major. 


The Seattle Mariners previously drafted the two-way star in the 43rd round of the 2007 MLB draft.  


The Cardinals assigned Buursma to the Batavia bullpen where he has posted a 2.35 ERA going into Monday night's action.  In 23 innings, the submariner has recorded three saves while posting a 2.50-to-1 groundball to fly ball ratio. 


Just before the New York-Penn League Playoffs began, I was able to catch up with the submarining right-hander. 



Dustin Mattison: Tell me about your introduction to professional baseball.


Jason Buursma: My first taste of pro ball has been great.  The coaches have taught me a lot of things and shown that we can have fun in pro ball too.  As far as my teammates go, I thought the atmosphere would be more competitive within our team but it actually has been what has made for a much more pleasurable experience.

DM: What has the biggest adjustment you have had to make?


JB: The hardest thing has been dealing with my own internal pressures of trying to succeed.  When I realized that I have a chance to move up within the organization I started to push too hard mentally.  It took me about half the season to realize that I was caring too much and it was hindering my performance.


DM: Could you tell me about your repertoire? 


JB: As a submariner, I rely on my sink and movement.  I don't throw hard so I need to use that to get hitters out.  I throw a fastball, a sweeping, and a changeup.  If I can induce a groundball, I feel like I have done my job.

DM: When you are not pitching, what do you like to do?

JB: Well there isn't much to do in Batavia, but I spend a lot of time on the internet.  I like to play golf on our off-days though; it helps get my mind off of baseball.

DM: What are your plans for the off-season?

JB: I'm planning on returning to Bucknell to start getting ready for the next season.  I have everything I need there as far as baseball goes as well as a really supportive coaching staff that will help me out.  I will also get to see a lot of my friends and play golf at the school's course.  Now that I am a pitcher only I have to act like one, right?

DM: Of course I ask this tongue in cheek, but where did the double U in your name come from?


JB: well my dad is of Dutch heritage so the double u is a Dutch thing.  It makes for a good nickname.

DM: What are you going to miss about Bucknell?


JB: I will miss all of the great friends I made and just living in an atmosphere where there are thousands of people my age.  I had a great time at Bucknell, which is why I want to go back for the off-season. 


DM: You will quickly learn that there are thousands of Cardinal fans that closely follow the organization's minor leagues.  What should they know about you that they probably don't already know?

JB: The best thing I can say is that my style of pitching pretty much resembles my personality. 

I wish Buursma and the rest of the Muckdogs great success in the New York-Penn playoffs. 


Dustin Mattison can be reached via email at dustin@whiteyball.com.


© 2008 stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed.

The Cardinal Nation Top Stories