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MLB Draft Profile: Sean Burke

Sean Burke Scouting Report
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The 2021 MLB Draft will begin on July 11, 2021. We take a look at Sean Burke, the 75th overall ranked prospect in this draft class.

Make sure to check out all of our other MLB Draft Profiles.

Sean Burke, RHP, Maryland

Height: 6’6″
Weight: 230 lbs
Age: 21
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
2020: 4 GS, 2-0, 1.99 ERA, 35/11 SO/BB, 22.2 IP
2021: 14 G, 13 GS, 3.27 ERA, 107/42 SO/BB, 74.1 IP

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Scouting Grades

Fastball: 60
Slider: 55
Curveball: 55
Changeup: 45
Control: 45

During high school at Saint John’s, Burke was a key part of a state championship run in 2017. He went 5-0 with a 0.44 ERA. His time at Maryland was shorter than expected, however; during his freshman year Burke had to have Tommy John surgery. That robbed him of his first year with the Terrapins, making Burke a redshirt freshman for the 2020 season. He was a 2020 freshman All-American and was named to the 2021 Perfect Game Preseason All-Big Ten team. He was also named the 2021 Perfect Game Preseason Big Ten Pitcher of the Year.

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Strengths

The biggest strength in Burke’s arsenal by far is his fastball, and it’s one of the best of this class. It has a top speed anywhere from 92 to 95 mph with Burke being able to push for more using his big frame. It has great velocity and movement (especially for a fastball), and helps make the case that it is potentially one of the best pitches in this draft.

His other strong pitches are his curveball and slider. The slider is a newer pitch that he was throwing quite a bit during the 2021 season. Both pitches show flashes of brilliance with nice movement and look like they have a good chance at being quite effective as Burke develops.

Weaknesses

While the aforementioned breaking balls can flash, more often than not they won’t make a huge impact. There are scouts that have said they wish he would focus more on one of those pitches instead of both. His changeup is a pitch that looks like it has the potential to be special, but the main problem is that Burke simply doesn’t throw it enough to give it that chance.

The biggest weakness in his game is his control. Burke had a big problem with walks during his career at Maryland with 56 total walks across his two years. The control issues will be something to work on in order to make his way up through the minor leagues to join the majors.

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Pro Comparison: Josh Hader

While Hader is a reliever, there are a couple of things that stand out when comparing the two pitchers. First, their fastballs are very similar. Hader has one of the best fastballs in baseball currently, usually being clocked between 95-97 mph, but he can push it for more with his 6’3″ frame. Hader also has had walk issues in the past due to his reliance on that fastball, with his career-high coming in 2018 with 30 walks in 81 innings pitched.

Draft Projection: Mid-Second Round Pick

Burke will more than likely be passed on in the first round, but it won’t be much longer before he is off the board. His breaking balls and control will be a concern to some teams, but the potential with his fastball is too good to pass up. His stock has been rising over the course of the year, so there’s a chance he could go as an early second-round pick. For now, the likelihood is that Burke will be picked in the middle of the second at the 2021 MLB Draft.


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Main Image Credit: via WVNews

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