B/T - L/L
The 2020 draft saw the Cardinals nab Masyn Winn and Alec Burleson in the second round. With Wynn skyrocketing up prospect rankings, Burleson is slowly starting to gain recognition as well as he recently made his top 100 debut on MLBPipeline.com. The 23-year-old has been tearing the cover off of the ball this season for the Memphis Redbirds who are the Cardinals AAA affiliate. As of August 17th, in 383 at bats, the lefty has a triple slash line of .326/.369/.538 to go along with 20 home runs, 19 doubles and only 63 strikeouts.
Strengths- Burleson excels at putting the bat on the ball with regularity. He displays a consistent ability to work counts against both lefties and righties. He has a very patient approach which almost borders on an overly patient approach at the plate. Burleson is the type of hitter who is going to make the pitcher pitch to him rather than getting himself out.
Weaknesses- Burleson is not an athletic player. He is rather slow and not a great fielder which might force him to first base down the road or even the DH spot.
Hit/power- Burleson has an extremely consistent approach at the plate. He is going to work the count with regularity as he can take close pitches and will in turn wait for his pitch early in the count. When Burleson gets to two strikes, he shortens his swing and fights off strikes until he gets one, he can do damage with. The former second rounder rarely expands the zone against righties, although he is more susceptible to leaving the zone for low and away pitches from lefties. Burleson has a quick bat but due to his hand positioning his swing can get long and occasionally lag through the zone. His hand path is very clean as it is straight back then forward with no additional movement. He doesn’t try to force the ball to the pull side, which allows him to utilize his strength to flick away pitches into left field for easy singles. Burleson does have a tendency to come forward in his swing with his head moving too much towards the pitcher. As a result, his perceived velocity of fastballs may be higher. An adjustment to this could be for him to bring his hands down to shorten his swing which may make it easier to hit high velocity pitches. He does have a tendency to start loading on his back side before the pitcher starts his delivery, which might cause him to get anxious in the box and whiff on pitches or pull off of them. Although, despite those concerns there is no reason he can’t be a .275+ hitter at his peak because of his bat to ball skills as well as his ability to use the entire field. Burleson will always be a contact over power hitter due to his propensity to work the other way for singles. However, he does possess enough power to hit opposite field home runs. He will hit a high number of doubles due to his willingness to work the gaps. Burleson does not produce extreme exit velocity numbers but with his ability to get everything into each swing he will hit around 20 home runs a year at his peak, potentially more if he starts pulling the ball with more frequency.
Field/arm- There is not a whole lot to say about Burleson as a fielder as his big-league career relies solely on his bat. He has an average arm, with average accuracy. His arm is not weak enough to keep him out of right field if needed but his range may prevent him from being an outfielder at the Major League level. Burleson is a below average fielder, he’s slow to most balls due to his speed despite having average jumps. His routes to fly balls are inconsistent as there are times, he can get lost when tracking a ball or he can get too close to the fence. He projects more as a first baseman/DH than a corner outfielder in the Majors.
Hit - 60 - Power - 50 - Speed - 35 - Fielding - 45 - Arm - 50