Pittsburgh Pirates Top 30 Prospects 2019 Rewind: Michael Burrows


With the 2019 off-season upon us, it is time to take a look back at how the Pittsburgh Pirates top 30 prospects performed this past season

The 2019 season is just about in the books for the Pittsburgh Pirates. With the Bucs having just four games remaining in the regular season it is time to start to look back on the season that was both at the MLB level, as well as in the minor leagues.

As we begin to look back on the season here at Rum Bunter we will be doing a season rewind for each of the team’s top 30 prospects (according to MLB Pipeline). These rewinds kick off today with the team’s #30 prospect right-handed pitcher Michael Burrows.

Burrows was drafted in the 11th round of the 2018 MLB Draft by the Pirates out of Waerford High School in Connecticut. The Granite State product throws a fastball that sits in the low 90s. He also mixes in a change up, curveball, and slider.

Entering the 2019 season Burrows was carrying a 14 innings scoreless streak to begin his professional career. He started 2019 by picking up where he left off at in the Gulf Coast League in 2018 by pitching 5 scoreless innings in his first start.

Overall this season Burrows pitched 43 2/3 innings in 11 starts. In these 43 2/3 innings of work he owned a 4.33 ERA and a 3.54 FIP. He allowed just two home runs, hit two batters, threw four wild pitches, walked 10.4% of batters faced, and struck out 22.3% of batters faced.

The one real knock on Burrows in 2019 was his control. A 10.4% walk rate is too high and a number you would like to see dip below 8%. That said, it is not uncommon for a young starting pitcher to struggle with control. Striking out 22.3% of batters faced in his first full professional season was a great sign, however. It was also a near 5% increase over his 17.7% strikeout rate from the GCL in 2018.

Burrows ERA was not truly indicative of how well he pitched. In a start on June 28th he was tagged for 6 runs in just 1 2/3 innings of work. Outside of this start, he posted a strong 3.21 ERA in his other 10 starts.

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Burrows is likely to begin the 2019 season with the Low-A Greensboro Grasshoppers. With a strong season, he could reach High-A Bradenton at some point.