Burnes impressed in his first time through the Majors last year. He posted a 2.61 ERA in 30 games with the Milwaukee Brewers. He struck out 35, walked only 11, and was tagged for four homers in 38 innings of work.
Burnes is slated to start the season in the Brewers rotation, and the team needs him to break out as a starter next year if they want another division title. Burnes tossed 116 innings last year, and he’ll likely be limited to 130-to-140 innings as a starter next year. He should make at least 24 starts, and the team needs him to make the most of each of them.
Burnes has a ‘starter’s arsenal’ with four solid pitches that he can turn to. His fastball averaged over 95 MPH last year in relief, an he relied on his slider 34.3% of the time last year. He probably won’t be able to repeat either of those numbers in a starting role. Adjustments are necessary to ensure his long term health as a starter, but he can still produce results, even if he won’t get a full season of starts.
Burnes has dominated every level he’s been at, and there’s no reason to think he can’t develop into a top starter for the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers have a deep rotation, and can find eight starts to go somewhere else, but Burnes needs to take the next step in his career, and they need him to do it in the rotation.