Mike Burrows Confident He Can Face Anybody After 2021 Season

BRADENTON, Fla. – Mike Burrows showed a lot of promise in his injury-shortened 2021 season in High-A Greensboro.

The Pirates right-handed starting pitcher got his fastball up to the 94-97 range, pairing it with a curveball that has a very high spin rate and a changeup to keep hitters off the fastball.

The results in Greensboro were a 2.20 ERA and a 12.1 K/9 in 49 innings of work. The Pirates sent Burrows to the Arizona Fall League in the offseason for additional work, where he had a 3.52 ERA in 15.1 innings, with 16 strikeouts.

“It was a lot of fun,” said Burrows of the AFL. “That’s one thing that I think is going to help me a lot. I’m not going to see lineups like that in Double-A. Just knowing that mindset, I faced some of the top talent in the country last year in Arizona. Just that confidence builder, that I can walk out there and face anybody.”

Burrows is looking to find the areas where he can be consistent and the areas where he can be inconsistent to mess with the opposing hitter.

“I think the one thing I learned that I didn’t really make the adjustment on is eliminating how many times I went for a chase, rather than just being in the zone more consistently and putting it away there,” said Burrows.

The Pirates have been pushing their pitching prospects to trust their stuff in the zone, but that doesn’t mean every pitch will be in the zone.

“It’s knowing when to go for a chase, and knowing when not to,” said Burrows. “There’s a lot of good hitters out there that are going to spit on that stuff. Putting your best pitch in the zone is going to be a lot more effective in getting me through games a lot longer.”

Expect Burrows to go to Double-A Altoona in 2022, moving up with an impressively talented group of starters that were in Greensboro last year. Burrows missed time with an oblique injury last year, limiting him to under 65 innings, including his AFL results. His upcoming season will be a big one to get him closer to the experience of a full season’s workload for a starter.


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Tim is the owner, producer, editor, and lead writer of PiratesProspects.com. He has been running Pirates Prospects since 2009, becoming the first new media reporter and outlet covering the Pirates at the MLB level in 2011 and 2012. His work can also be found in Baseball America, where he has been a contributor since 2014 and the Pirates' correspondent since 2019.

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