Toronto Blue Jays Prospects

Toronto Blue Jays Top-30 Prospects #19: Andy Burns

Craig Borden
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Hon. Mentions Part 1    Hon. Mentions Part 2    #30: Freddy Rodriguez
#29: Evan Smith    #28: Deiferson Barreto    #27: Chad Girodo
#26: Roemon Fields    #25:  Rodrigo Orozco    #24:  Reggie Pruitt
#23: Joe Biagini    #22:  Carl Wise    #21: Tom Robson
#20 Matt Dean

Andy Burns has been bouncing all around the Blue Jays organization since he was drafted in the 11th round in the 2011 Amateur draft. Last season with the Buffalo Bisons, he played nearly every position, including starts at all 4 infield positions and both of the corner outfield spots.Burns is very athletic and that has helped him be a very versatile player in the organization. The big question moving forward is he going to continue to be the super utility player or finally land a home position at continue to evolve at the plate.

Name: Andy Burns
Position: 2B, SS, 3B          Age: 25
Height: 6’2”    Age: 205 lbs.
Throws: Right             Bats: Right
Acquired: Round 11, 2011 MLB Draft

Andy Burns had a year to remember this past season in Buffalo as he broke out to a .293 batting average and saw his strike out rate drop to 13.1%. Burns may be on the tipping point of putting his raw power and talent together, too. The power numbers would be the one issue for him in the 2015 season. When the 2014 season ended people would have expected his homerun numbers to climb slightly but they instead regressed drastically. Burns went from having 15 homers in 2014 to 5 in 2015.  This could be because of the league level changing from AA to AAA but it is rather troubling.

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His ability to make good contact should translate to more power as he adjusts to the league and hopefully a full time position. It can be hard for a player to be able to worry about how he is hitting when he doesn’t know which glove he has to work with from game to game. Many people agree that he has shown his best position is at 2nd or 3rd base. This ability to play multiple positions at a higher level will keep him in many managers thoughts as they fill out the lineup card everyday.

The current depth at 3rd base in the AAA level will more then likely place burns Burns at the hot corner.  The one catch is that his plethora of positions might be an appealing piece to some at the Major League level.  Currently the Jays look to carry Darwin Barney as their extra infielder, but does Burns come to spring training ready to compete?

If Burns puts on a show this spring, he could steal the super utility role on the Jays bench.  He clearly can handle multiple positions and has performed well at all of them. Burns’ ability to play the infield and outfield and supply a decent bat could turn him into the Mike McCoy of the 2016 season.  For those new Jays fans Mike McCoy basically lived on a plane flying back and forth from AAA Las Vegas at the time to Toronto to substitute at nearly every position between 2010 and 2012.

Burns has a bunch more potential than McCoy so I will not bury him in that comparison, but this could be his way to break into the Jays depth charts. Burns’ defense appears to be ready for further challenges but in this situation I think he will only fly as high as his bat will allow him.

Next: Is Doug Fister still too large of a gamble?

Andy Burns appears to be ready for a Buffalo Bisons jersey to start off the 2016 campaign but he certainly has the opportunity to move upward. Look for him to continue his slick fielding at a multitude of positions and hopefully rediscover that power stroke that made him so appealing after the 2014 year.  If the raw power he showed resurfaces the Jays could have a very talented player ready to plug into the 25-man roster, but if he continues to be another contact bat he may get lost in the shuffle.

Here is hoping that the power returns with a vengeance this season as he now has adjusted to the AAA level pitching.  He has shown the ability to hit at each level and many would think now that he is settled things may start to POP!

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