By Contributing Writer: Nick Stevens
Scott Burke’s career at UCLA ended in a way that he may be longing to forget. The Bruins had just finished a 30-25 regular season, earning themselves a three seed in, what many considered to be, the toughest regional bracket of the NCAA tournament. Facing San Diego State in an elimination game, Burke took the bump in the top of the 13th inning of a tied baseball game with bases loaded. He would hit the Aztec shortstop, Danny Sheehan, to force in the winning run, ending the Bruins’ season.
Photo: Baby Birdland
Overall, Burke experienced a solid career out of the UCLA bullpen. He finished his senior season with 35 appearances, eighth most in all of Division I baseball. Burke allowed just 18 walks in 43 innings while striking out 47, a career high. What I’m most impressed with, is Burke’s ability to generate more strikeouts while lowering his home run rate from 1.22 HR/9 his junior season to just 0.42 HR/9 this season.
In 87 career appearances, Burke finished with a 2-6 record, 3.87 ERA, and 5 saves. He worked a total of 107 innings while allowing 92 base-hits. More than one-third of those hits ended up being a double (23) or a home run (10). Not exactly the type of numbers you would like to see out of a reliever, but he did limit opposing hitters to just a .231 batting average over the course of his career.
Standing at 6’3”, Burke was the 608th overall pick (20th round) of the Baltimore Orioles, who desperately need experienced bullpen arms. I do not anticipate very many outings for Burke, since he was just used as a workhorse for UCLA, however, the 23- year-old should see a few innings with the Aberdeen Ironbirds after signing his contract just a few days ago.
Keep following @BabyBirland, @CoachNick_14, and @CABoemmelJR on Twitter to keep up to date with Scott Burke and the rest of the 2017 draft class as they begin their professional careers.