After an incredible run with the Lakeland Flying Tigers in 2017, the Tigers third ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline, Beau Burrows, will now get his shot at making the Double-A jump. The Tigers announced the promotion on Sunday with Tom Reienweber of the Erie Times-News first to report the news. Burrows will join the Erie SeaWolves, and will get his first start on the road Tuesday against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
The 20-year-old Burrows is leaving a trail of accolades in his wake. He was already named the Florida State League’s Player of the Month in April. The Tigers’ first round selection in the 2015 draft, Burrows was also recently selected to the Florida State League All-Star game, but won’t be participating now that he’s leveled up.
The dominance Burrows has displayed thus far has sent his prospect stock into a major rebound after a somewhat underwhelming campaign in A-ball last season. Burrows was certainly good for the West Michigan Whitecaps, but the lackluster strikeout totals for a pitcher with an already dominant fastball for his level had some wondering if the Tigers had reached too far for the prep standout in the 2015 draft.
So far this season, Burrows has allowed a total of eight earned runs across 11 starts and 58 2⁄3 innings of work. His ERA of 1.23 is extremely impressive. But the numbers that have really opened eyes are Burrows’ strikeout and walk totals. The hard-throwing right-hander has punched out 62 hitters already, to just 11 walks on the season. Burrows has shown improved stamina, holding his mid-90s fastball late into his outings and ramping up to 97 miles per hour at times. The curveball and changeup continue to need sharpening, but both have flashed more potential this season.
Because the prospect pipeline narrows so dramatically at the Double-A level, it is typically described as the crucible for young players with major league aspirations. Without the marginal talents in a much broader, shallower, talent pool at A-ball to exploit, pitches making the jump to Double-A are faced with a much more consistent brand of hitter. Burrows progress there will tell observers an awful lot about his future potential as a major league starting pitcher. Either way, this is a good sign for a first round prep pick some observers thought was a bit risky at the time.