Giants Top 50: #21 - Emmanuel Burriss

Last June's draft generated a lot of buzz for the Giants. Some selections came with their own hype, while others had to build it up on their own. Emmanuel Burriss is no Tim Lincecum but he shares a few things with that other high San Francisco draft pick. Burris brings proven talent, excitement, and most of all, hope that the minor league system is getting stronger.

Date of Birth: 01/17/1985 Position: SS Height: 6'0" Weight: 170 Bats: B Throws: R
Acquired: Drafted in the 1st Round (#33 Overall) of the 2006 Draft
2006 Stats
Salem-Keizer - Short-A .307 .384 .366 .750 254 50 78 8 2 1 27 27 22 35 11

One of the first things Emmanuel Burriss did when he signed with the San Francisco Giants after being selected in the supplemental first round of the 2006 draft was meet incumbent shortstop Omar Vizquel. Burriss admires the perennial Gold Glover and jumped at the chance to just be around him. Both Emmanuel and his father Allen are Giants fans, and with the draft selection the younger Burriss has found a home.

Vizquel is a hard act to follow at shortstop. Burriss has time to work up to inherit the position from Vizquel with little pressure on the new shortstop. He already has excellent tools in speed and on-base percentage which breeds runs scored. He entered the draft tabbed as the fastest runner in the nation. In three seasons at Kent State University Burriss stole 92 bases. He set the Cape Cod League record for stolen bases in 2005 with 37 and won Most Valuable Player that year.

Burriss never stopped running once he reached professional ball. He made an immediate impact with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes in 2006. He had more stolen bases than anyone in the Northwest League with 35 and was among the leaders in several other offensive categories: fourth in batting average (.307), fourth in hits (78), third in runs scored (50), sixth in on-base percentage (.384). The Volcanoes had their best season in history, 55 wins and their third NWL championship. He was one of three Volcanoes named a post-season All Star; ace starting pitcher Adam Cowart and closer Juan Trinidad the other two.

More than just a table setter, Burriss holds his own as an above average hitter for his usual position in the lineup. He hit .302 during his Kent State career with a .319 average as his collegiate high in 2005.

His defense has yet to catch up to the rest of his skills. He made 17 errors in 65 games in Salem-Keizer. The work ethic that took Burriss from the Washington DC high school player of the year in 2003 to first-round draft pick in 2006 will take care of that. Burriss once shared an apartment with a teammate at Kent State that was outfitted for baseball instruction with a batting cage/living room. They bounced tennis balls off the walls and floor to simulate short hops, crude but effective training methods in a space that accommodated their sport but probably would not be featured on Trading Spaces.

2007 is already a big year for the Giants' minor league system and their new shortstop. Following one of the better drafts they have had in recent years there are plenty of guys to watch for. Burriss' game will evolve with tutelage a higher level; starting the season with high-A San Jose is not out of the question for him. He is not on the fast track simply because the demand for him at the major league level is not there. A lack of pressure will allow Burriss to improve his defense and prove he is a consistent hitter for average. He will get there when he is ready to get there. But once he gets that call he will beat everyone to San Francisco, maybe even running the whole way there.

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Chris has been a Giants fan since her days in utero. She loves baseball and writes about whatever she can get her hands on…even the Athletics. She's a Bay Area gal through and through. This is her 24th season of fandom. Love/hate mail can be sent to, where the love mail gets top priority and the hate mail gets used for kindling.

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