Tigers Prospect Profile #40: Alex Burgos

As a recent draftee, Alex Burgos pitched well in the few appearances he got in 2010. But despite being a fifth round draft pick, there are some questions about Burgos and his projection as a big leaguer.

Alex Burgos
Position: Left-handed Pitcher
Height: 5-11
Weight: 170
Born: 12/1/1990
Bats: Left
Throws: Left

The Tigers fifth round pick last summer, Burgos dominated at State College of Florida in the spring, leading his squad to their first JUCO World Series. Burgos finished the college season with a spectacular 13-1 record and 1.42 ERA, while whiffing 109 hitters in just 95-plus innings.

Burgos signed in time to make eight relief appearances in the Gulf Coast League. In 11 2/3 innings total, Burgos allowed two earned runs (five runs total) on ten hits and three walks, while striking out 15. He didn't record a decision in his brief professional debut, but he did finish the summer with a 1.54 ERA.

Scouting Report
Burgos is a difficult prospect to peg. He tends to elicit wide-ranging reactions from scouts with little in between. He is either loved or hated by those that evaluate him and those variations also exist within the Tigers organization.

A little on the small side, Burgos lacks projection in his frame and some scouts even consider his body a little soft at this point in time. He doesn't have the thick trunk, wide shoulders, or lanky frame that one might associate with a pitcher that could still gain in stuff.

His fastball regularly sits 85-87 and can get higher at times, scraping 90 mph pretty regularly. He varies the speed of his fastball well, and knows when to take some off and add some in certain situations. Burgos is a strike thrower that works both sides of the plate equally well and generally stays down in the zone. When he does elevate, his ball is flat and lacks movement and he can be prone to giving up some bombs.

His best secondary pitch is a tight curveball that he can throw harder and develop into a solid 12-6 breaker, or he can take some off and make it a more loopy breaking ball that really changes the timing of the hitter. Though some in the organization have called his curveball a true plus pitch, most scouts outside the organization view it as more of a solid-average to above-average pitch.

Burgos will also throw a change-up though he needs to get better at throwing it away to righties to keep them off balance.

Possibly his best attribute, Burgos has exceptional mound presence. He is composed at all times on the mound, rarely showing emotion. He is a fringy athlete, but he still repeats his simple delivery well and gets off the mound quickly. He is an intelligent pitcher that will get by on his instincts and pitchability as much as his raw stuff.

Unless he suddenly finds more velocity or another notch on his secondary pitches, Burgos profiles as a swingman or lefty reliever. He could move very quickly because of his polish and makeup, but his ultimate ceiling is limited.














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Health Record
Burgos doesn't have a history of injury as an amateur, and his brief professional career shows a clean bill of health as well. His arm action is good and his mechanics are simple, giving no indication that he has any elevated injury risk over the typical pitcher.

The Future
Burgos will enter spring training with a strong likelihood of landing in the West Michigan rotation to make his full-season debut in 2011. Though he will play next season at just 20-years old and with little pro experience, Burgos' polish and poise could enable him to succeed against the Midwest League's relatively inexperienced hitters.

If he shows well early in the season with the Whitecaps, Burgos could be in line for a second half call-up to Lakeland if a spot opens. The Tigers will not be shy in promoting Burgos because of his makeup, and he could move quickly through the system if his command and ability to mix pitches helps him to keep missing bats and getting outs.

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