Pittsburgh Pirates: Interview with Prospect Michael Burrows


The next part of our series of Pittsburgh Pirates prospect interviews, we talk to a 2018 MLB Draft from Connecticut about his first year in the organization.

Last year, the Pittsburgh Pirates drafted a young prep right handed-pitcher in the 11th round by the name of Michael Burrows.  Burrows was ranked as one of top prep pitching prospects in the North East, including the highest rated prep arm from the state of Connecticut. The righty actually comes from the town of Waterford, Connecticut.  Burrows stands at 6’2” and just turned 19 back in November.

Burrows quickly showed why the Pittsburgh Pirates gave him a well over slot signing bonus to forgo his commitment to the University of Connecticut.  The Bucs assigned him to their Gulf Coast League affiliate and he saw nothing but success in his short stint.  He made three starts and four total appearances compiling 14 innings, striking out nine and walking four while giving up no earned runs.

In our interview with Burrows, we caught up with him about his draft experience, thoughts on his first taste of professional ball, and his upcoming season:

1. What was the draft process like for you?  Did you expect the Pittsburgh Pirates to draft you?

"“The draft went by pretty fast, I turned down offers in the late fourth and fifth rounds and after that I figured I was going to college. Then after Day 2 finished up I got a few calls from scouts asking if I would still go in Day 3 and I said yes as long as I got the money I was looking for, I’m stubborn, I know what I’m worth. The Pirates were the first to confirm my number, right as the picks in the 10th round were finishing up and said it was a done deal and they had everything figured out. I trusted them. Then before I knew it they chose me in the 11th the next day.”"

2. You were the top-rated prep pitcher from the state of Connecticut.  What was your initial reaction to going in the 11th round and do you feel like you have a bit of a chip on your shoulder to prove that you should have gone higher?

"“The round isn’t what matters to me, all I was looking for was what I thought was fair compensation and the Pirates provided it and I’m very grateful for that. “"

3. What were your initial thoughts on the Pittsburgh Pirates drafting you?

"“I was extremely excited the Pirates drafted me. After getting time in the system this past year, I got to meet a lot of people and saw what the Pirates morals are and it’s really a great organization to be a part of.”"

4. You had a really good debut season last year throwing 14 innings and not giving up a single earned run.  What led to that success out of the gate?

"“The success this past summer came from being confident in my game. Walking up on the mound and knowing who I am and that I belong here and focusing on competing every pitch.”"

5. What do you consider your best pitch?  What about the pitch you need to work on the most to take yourself to the next level?

"“It’s hard to say what’s my best pitch for me. I’ve gotten the question a lot and there isn’t one I don’t throw more confidently than another. My go-to pitch changes day to day depending on how I’m feeling and who I’m facing. The one pitch I know I need to work on locating is my changeup, that’s going to be really effective once I get that going where I want it to.”"

6. Speaking of work, what are you doing this offseason to prepare for your first full season in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization?

"“I’m going about my work the same way I always have, it’s just about making sure I’m pushing myself every day and staying consistent with it.”"

7. What goals do you have for the 2019 season?

"“I’m going to throw my changeup more, that’s for sure, it’s going to be big for me. The goal is really to compete every day, work hard, be confident with every pitch and keep a positive attitude through it all. This will be my first full season so I’m just going into it ready to learn every day and better myself every chance I get.”"

8. Being you are relatively new to the Pittsburgh Pirates organization what are some things you would like the fanbase to know about Michael Burrows on and off the field?

"“The fans should know that I love playing basketball off the baseball field and my favorite food is a bacon egg and cheese breakfast sandwich on a plain bagel. People call me Gordon because they think I look like Gordon Hayward.”"

Next. Top 100 Draft Prospect List. dark

Thanks again to Michael Burrows for taking the time to do this interview.  He seems like the kind of guy that will fit in with the Pittsburgh Pirates, and in general the city of Pittsburgh’s culture.  Be sure to give him a follow on Twitter @mtburrows.