Final 2004 Scouting Report: 1B, Jim Burt

The New York Mets drafted Jim Burt Jr. in the 19th round of the 2004 draft out of the University of Miami. Burt, the son of New York Giants nose tackle Jim Burt, was a third-team All-American his senior year for the Hurricanes. Here's a scouting report on Jim Burt Jr.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Jim Burt
Position: First Base
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 230
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Jim Burt, who started 118 straight games at first base for Miami, finished his college career in the top ten in nine offensive categories for the Hurricanes including home runs, runs scored, RBI, and doubles. After signing with the Mets in late June of 2004, Burt joined the Brooklyn Cyclones to share time at first base with Tyler Davidson.

Like his father, Burt is a gamer, a hard worker, and a gym rat. He knows only one speed: ALL OUT! And the Brooklyn fans realized that in the early going as Burt, who didn't need to endear himself to New York fans anymore, won over the Cyclones' crowd with his hustle. "No question about it" said Cyclones manager Tony Tijerina when asked if Burt is the hardest worker on the Cyclones. "He is intense, focused, and is here early everyday working with Mitch [hitting coach Donovan Mitchell]. He breathes, lives, and eats baseball. He loves being here at the ballpark, and works harder than anybody, and eventually that will carry into baseball."

Year

Team

AVG.

AB

Hits

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

K

OBP

SLG

2004

Brooklyn

.274

168

46

4

23

20

6

14

28

.363

.435


* Stats as of 10/1/04

Batting and Power. As one would expect, Burt's got a ton of power. He doesn't have the tall physique associated with first baseman these days, but he's really powerful. Burt has a good batting eye and hit .371 his senior year at Miami. He has struck out just one more time than he walked in his college career. Burt will hit 20 home runs annually in his Mets' minor league career if given full-time duties.

Base Running and Speed. For a thick, 230 lb guy full of muscle, Burt has tremendous quickness and speed on the base paths. He's a smart base runner and has the ability to steal around 10 bases each year. He's really quick for a big guy and will surprise many a pitcher when standing at first base.

Defense. Burt is a pretty good defensive first baseman. He has solid range and good footwork around the base. His lack of height could be a problem trying to grab possible errant throws but makes do with surprising athletic ability. He's not a liability at first base.

Projection. Burt is a solid ballplayer and will easily be one of the fan favorites as he progresses through the system. It's tough to bet against him and his work ethic, but the odds of him becoming an everyday first baseman at the Major League level are really stacked against him. Burt will be 24 the first month of next season and he hasn't played low-A ball yet. Right now, Burt projects to be a future bench player at the Major League level.

ETA. 2007/2008. Chances are that if Burt breaks in at the Major Leagues, it will be as a bench player. If that's the case, it could be closer to 2007 after two full years in the minors. Burt could jump a level in 2005 and go directly to St. Lucie based on his age.

First Basemen

2004 Team

Craig Brazell

AAA - Norfolk Tides

Brett Harper

AA - Binghamton Mets

Jay Caligiuri A - St. Lucie Mets
Ian Bladergroen A - Capital City Bombers
Andrew Wilson A - Capital City Bombers
Tyler Davidson A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Jim Burt A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Jabe Bergeron R - Kingsport Mets
Felix Cerda R - Kingsport Mets
Mike Carp R - Gulf Coast Mets


Comments

The Mets have some decent first base prospects, especially at the lower levels. The first base prospect that seems to have the highest ceiling at this point is the Bombers' Ian Bladergroen. But don't count out Brett Harper, the son of a former Major Leaguer, as a legit first base prospect. He has the pedigree and tremendous work ethic to make it all the way to Shea Stadium. And though just early, Mike Carp from the Gulf Coast League Mets has the potential to be a rising star among the Mets' prospects in the coming years. Here's a quick breakdown the Mets' first base prospects:

1) Craig Brazell - Brazell is a good defensive first baseman with excellent power and a good stroke at the plate. His only downfall in his development has been his lack of walks. A contact hitter, Brazell has the potential to be a starting first baseman in the Major Leagues. The question is will the Mets be the team to give him that opportunity.

2) Brett Harper - The son of Major League catcher Brian Harper, Brett is a very good hitter. He hits for power and is a very patient hitter. He hits the ball to all fields and only needs to continue his hitting prowess and work on his defense at first base to become a very good prospect at first base. Brett went to the Arizona Fall League this fall to face better pitcher and work on his defense. He's out to prove that his season in St. Lucie (.350-9-55) was not a fluke.

3) Jay Caligiuri - Caligiuri is more of a project at first base after coming up through the low minors as a third baseman. He can hit for power as his 18 home runs in less than 400 at-bats in the Florida State League (a notorious pitchers' league) this past season indicate. He's a very patient hitter, willing to take a walk. He's going to have to demonstrate more consistent contact at the plate and better defensive skills before garnering more attention as a first base prospect.

4) Ian Bladergroen - The "Blade" was Mr. Everything for the Bombers before a wrist injury prematurely ended his hot hitting for the Bombers this past season. Despite playing in just 72 games for Cap City this season, he still wound up third on the team in RBI with 72. He can hit for power and average. He uses all fields and is the best defensive first baseman for the Mets among the 1B prospects playing in the long-season leagues.

5) Andrew Wilson - Wilson can flat out hit. He has very good gap power and increasing home run power as he matures. The problem is where is he going to play? Wilson was the Bombers' first baseman after Bladegroen was lost for the season with a wrist injury but also played 2B, 3B, OF, and even played one game at catcher. He was tested as a catcher in the Instructional Leagues this past September. He has the look of a really good utility player down the road that can fill in at first base if need be.

6) Tyler Davidson - Davidson is a monster physically, standing 6'4" and a very athletic 240 lbs. He routinely puts on a show at batting practice, crushing balls all over the outfield fence. The problem has been transferring that same success in BP during actual games. He's a very good hitter with awesome power and is an adequate defensive player at first base. At 24 years old, Davidson needs to show he can duplicate his lower level success at the higher levels before he can make that leap into next level of prospects.

7) Jim Burt - The son of former New York Giants nose tackle Jim Burt, Burt is a very strong guy. Not very tall (5'11"), Burt is a workout maniac in the gym. He split time at 1B with Davidson at Brooklyn this season after being selected in the 19th round in the 2004 draft. He's a good defensive first baseman that can hit for power and has excellent speed for a guy his size.

8) Jabe Bergeron - An undrafted rookie free-agent signing, Bergeron is an adequate defensive first baseman with fair range. Like Davidson, Bergeron is a really big kid with very good power. He uses the whole field when he hits and has power to all fields. He demonstrated that power by hitting five home runs in a cup of coffee with the Bombers late in the season.

9) Felix Cerda - Cerda is a good defensive first baseman that looked lost at the plate in Kingsport this past season in his professional debut. Not built like a traditional first baseman (6'0", 170 lbs), Cerda does not possess nearly the same power that the other Mets' 1B prospects have.

10) Mike Carp - Carp was drafted in the 9th round of the 2004 draft out of high school and is already drawing comparisons at a young age to David Wright for his approach to the game and at the plate. He's a powerful left-handed batter that uses all fields and has very good patience at the plate, especially for such a young hitter. He has very good power projection as he fills out.

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