As the first half comes to a close, the Milwaukee Brewers are in first place in the NL Central due to incredible performances from players like Travis Shaw, Corey Knebel, Jimmy Nelson, and Eric Thames. But perhaps the best performing player in the organization isn’t in the Major Leagues. He’s down in Biloxi with the Brewers’ Double-A affliliate.
How Did The Brewers Get Burnes?
Corbin Burnes was the 39th rated prospect by MLB.com going into the 2016 draft. The Milwaukee Brewers were able to snag him in the fourth round with the 111th overall selection. That pick is looking like an absolute steal.
Burnes was drafted out of St. Mary’s College (CA), and signed for $536,400. Since then, Burnes has been lights out at every level. In 2016, Burnes finished with a 3-0 record to go with a 2.02 ERA and 41 strikeouts over 35 2/3 innings. That was split between the Arizona Brewers in the Rookie League and Class-A Wisconsin.
He started 2017 as the Brewers 20th rated prospect in a loaded farm system. He began with the High-A Carolina Mudcats. Pitching with Carolina was almost too easy for him. Over 10 starts, Burnes racked up a 5-0 record with a 1.05 ERA in 60 innings of work. He struck out 56 hitters and walked only 16. Opponents only hit .188 against Burnes and he posted a 0.88 WHIP.
That was enough to earn him a mid-season promotion to Double-A Biloxi. And he’s still pitching lights out. Burnes has a 2-1 record with a 1.27 ERA through 6 starts. He’s got 37 K’s opposite only five walks. Opposing hitters still can’t figure him out as he’s only allowed a .175 batting average against.
Overall, Burnes has a 1.13 ERA in 16 starts with 93 strikeouts, 21 walks, and a 0.84 WHIP over 95 1/3 innings. Burnes was just named the Milwaukee Brewers Minor League Pitcher of the Month for June.
When Will Burnes Arrive In Milwaukee?
So what can Brewers fans expect from Corbin Burnes in the future? He’s looking like a quick-riser through the farm system and could be in Milwaukee before we know it. Burnes has a 92-95 MPH fastball with a really good slider and an average changeup and curveball. Originally there were questions as to whether he could remain in the rotation, but after his performance this season, Burnes looks to have answered those questions.
MLB.com listed his ceiling as a mid-rotation starter, but if he keeps pitching like this, he could end up as a front-line starter down the road. An ERA that hovers around 1.00 is pretty remarkable, regardless of the level. He’ll be able to stay in the rotation and could be a major part of the Milwaukee Brewers starting staff for years to come.
While Burnes is listed as the 20th best prospect in the Brewers system, that figures to change after the mid-season update of the prospect lists. Burnes is opening eyes in the Milwaukee Brewers organization and around the league with his performance. He won’t be in Double-A for long.