Position: Starting Pitcher
DOB: July 26, 1987
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 second season in the Twins organization, Burnett could be on the cusp of becoming a top pitching prospect within the farm system.
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.
Repertoire.Fastball, 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. 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, which gives him a nice three-pitch arsenal. He uses all three of his pitches in any situation, and has great confidence in each of his 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 racked up plenty of innings in 2006, and has the makeup of a good starting pitcher. He loves taking the ball every fifth day, and I do not foresee a move to the bullpen any time soon. He'll continue to be used as a starter in 2007, but this time he'll be getting his first taste of full-season baseball.
ETA. 2010. Burnett could jump a level in 2007, if he gets off to a hot start in Beloit. 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, he should put up good numbers in 2007, as he continues to impress.