Sunday, June 19, 2005

Where are they now - Brian Burks

The former Jacket pitcher gets mention here:

Brian Burks allowed one earned run in seven innings Thursday night, and his ERA actually went up, which speaks to the dominance of the Wild Things starting pitcher this season.

That increase was to 0.95, up slightly from the measly 0.75 he had brought into last night's game with Florence, a game won 4-1 by the Wild Things before 3,159 at Falconi Field.

Burks has three starts and three wins. Throw in the low ERA, and he's been nearly perfect.

"Ah, you're jinxing me," Burks said, before allowing, "So far."

The 24-year-old right-hander from Alpharetta, Ga., a product of Georgia Tech, often works ahead of batters, throws five different pitches and gets a lot of ground balls. He gave up four hits, struck out four and walked one last night.

"They're not all dominating pitches," Burks said of his fastball, sinker, cutter, curve and change-up. But, again, they're close enough for practical purposes.

"He's got nasty stuff," Wild Things manager John Massarelli said.

Burks, a former 25th round draft pick of the San Diego Padres, had been closing last year in the minors. At Georgia Tech, he had worked out of the bullpen his first three seasons with spot starts, and he became a primary starter his final season.

"When he gets back in affiliated ball, I see him as being a big league middle man," Massarelli said.