For Andy Burns, 2014 season has been the quite the roller-coaster, one that has seen him really cold and one that has seen him show flashes of promise. Burns is a player that every championship team needs to compete. He plays the game hard, he will do whatever it takes for his team to come out on top, and he is versatile.
The Blue Jays drafted Burns in the 11th round of the 2011 Amateur Draft . Andy started his pro career with Bluefield and was assigned to Vancouver after 5 games. Things didn’t go so great for Burns with the C’s as he got his first taste of being a struggling pro in his 23 games at Rookie Ball.
Despite his struggles in 2011, Andy found himself starting 2012 in Lansing, where he played mostly short (55) that season. Andy demonstrated his great athleticism by also seeing time at 2nd and 3rd. In 10 games at 3rd, Andy committed 3 errors with a .792 fielding percentage. Not sure why but the baseball minds put their heads together and said, “Hey that Andy Burns kid really struggled at 3rd last year so let’s make him the starting third baseman in Dunedin next year.” Turns out that was a great idea because 2013 was Burns coming out party. He would go on to hit .288/.346/.470 with 15 HR and 85RBI across two levels.
A lot was expected of Andy Burns in 2014. In the off-season many Jays fans were discussed the possibility of Burns being a consideration for the vacant second base spot in Toronto…..okay maybe it was just me, but I swear there were others. Anyone that follows minor league ball knows that the jump from High A-ball to Double-A is one of the hardest for a prospect to make. This can explain the first tale of Andy Burns 2014 season.
Andy Burns struggled mightily in April and May batting .200/.261/.294 and .223/.317/.359. You don’t have to be a sabermetrics genius to see that Burns was starting to figure things out in May. Look at his on-base percent….a jump of almost 60 points. This tells me that he started to feel more comfortable at the plate and starting walking more. In April Burns managed to strike out 23 times and walked 6, but in May he was able to cut down his strike out to 18 and more than double his walks while playing in 8 more games. With May drawing to a close so did Andy’s struggles.
Andy Burns really put things together in June by hitting a very solid .272/.349/.424 in 26 games. Andy has played 17 games in July and is hitting an outstanding .333/.373/.683. Burns has pretty consistent power all year generating an ISO of .168 and averaging about 3HR per month; however, Burns already has 3 July home runs so it is save to say that he will hit more than 3 this month. If this torrid pace continues Burns should easily set career highs in all offensive categories, which is quite the feat considering how much of a struggle he experienced in April and May.
This season, Burns has played 74 games at 3rd, 9 games at SS, 3 at 1st, and 7 as a DH. As the everyday third baseman this Jays Journal 14th ranked prospect has a below average fielding percentage of .939 with 13 errors in 164 attempts…..so not a gold glover; however, I don’t put too much stock into minor errors. They can be caused by lesser quality field conditions and exuberance. Looking at his RF/G (Range Factor per games played) tells a different story. Burns possess a 2.70 RF/G at 3rd, which tells me that he is a slightly better than
above average defender.
With Toronto Blue Jays sporting such a huge hole at 3rd due to the injury to Brett Lawrie, why not give Andy Burns a shot or at the very least move him up to Buffalo…..it isn’t like Jared Geodert is going to ever play for the Jays. Sure you would have to add him to the 40-man roster, but Alex has been DFA’ing players left right and centre this year. Add Burns and DFA Steve Delabar. As if I needed more stats to support my stance on moving Burns up the ladder….Burns is hitting .286 against LHP……boom…..mind blown.