More college pitching for the 2016 MLB Draft! Although he hasn't received as much press attention as some of the bigger names, right-hander Corbin Burnes out of St. Mary's College of California has made a name for himself with teams this spring, pushing into early-round consideration.
From Bakersfield, California, Burnes was not drafted out of high school. He was just 6-0, 170 at the time and wasn't a huge name on the showcase circuit. As a freshman pitcher for St. Mary's in 2014 he did not distinguish himself, posting a 6.18 ERA in 44 innings with a tepid 38/21 K/BB. He took a step forward as a sophomore, however, earning a full-time rotation spot and going 7-5 in 13 starts with a 3.74 ERA in 89 innings with a 93/33 K/BB, greatly improved in all respects.
Burnes showed a good arm in the Cape Cod League last summer, drawing further notice from scouts with a 3.79 ERA innings. His 28/18 K/BB wasn't excellent but the arm strength was evident. He took that arm strength and took yet another step forward this spring, posting a 2.48 ERA in 102 innings with a 120/33 K/BB, allowing a mere 76 hits.
Born October 22nd 1994, Burnes has matured into a classic 6-3, 200 pound pitcher's build with a good measure of overall athleticism. His stuff has steadily improved every year. His key pitch is a fastball in the 91-95 range. His slider sharpened up this spring (reflected in the much higher strikeout rates) and he's made progress with his change-up as well, though how much progress depends on when he's seen; grades on the change-up range from 45 to 55 depending on the source.
Burnes is projected as a compensation or second-round pick by most sources, but there's the possibility he could sneak into the first round for a team that projects him as a mid-rotation starter. He has come a long way in three years.