JAKE BURNETTE, RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: June 10, 1992
Drafted: 7th Round, 212th Overall, 2011
How Acquired: Draft
High School: Buford HS, GA
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|The Pirates on day two of the 2011 made several high-profile picks early, but quickly got back to their pattern in recent years of picking projectable high school RHPs. Burnette was one. He’s tall with long arms, and threw 86-88 at the time of the draft according to Baseball America, although other sources had him throwing harder. He throws harder now. He also throws a curve and change. Burnette played basketball as well as baseball in high school. He passed up a scholarship to Georgia Tech to sign at the beginning of August.
He got in one inning at the end of the GCL season.
Burnette opened in the State College rotation and pitched decently through five starts, aside from an extremely low K rate. He went on the DL with a sore elbow, though, and missed the rest of the season. An MRI showed no damage, so there weren’t expected to be any lasting consequences and he was slated to pitch in fall instructionals.
The Pirates held Burnette back in extended spring training initially, then sent him to West Virginia to join the rotation in mid-May. He made four starts and one relief appearance and they obviously went very badly. The Pirates placed him on the disabled list with elbow soreness, but he eventually had shoulder surgery, which cost him the rest of the season.
Burnette worked his way back from the shoulder surgery, eventually making two appearances for West Virginia.
In his first four pro seasons combined, Burnette managed to pitch just over 56 innings. He was healthy in spring training, though, and sitting at 90-92 with his velocity. As a result, he roughly doubled his career innings total. The Pirates sent him to West Virginia and he opened the season in the rotation, but after two starts he moved to the bullpen. The team kept his workload light and he also missed some time in July. He missed a lot of bats, but struggled all year to throw strikes. He held right-handed hitters to a .587 OPS, but left-handed hitters had a lot more success at .895.
The Pirates sent Burnette to West Virginia for a fourth try there. He made five relief appearances in April, which obviously didn’t go well. In the last one, he faced five hitters and allowed a hit and four walks. After that, he went on the disabled list and didn’t return.
Burnette finally saw a reasonable amount of action in 2015, but 2016 was another step backward. He’ll be eligible for minor league free agency after the 2017 season.
|2017: Minor league contract.|
|Signing Bonus: $550,000
MiLB Debut: 2011
MiLB FA Eligible: 2017
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 7, 2011: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 7th round, 212th overall pick; signed on August 3.|