More and more each year, it seems, having a stockpile of arms with explosive fastballs is becoming the norm around Major League organizations. This 2017 draft class holds several young pitchers that will keep that trend alive and well. With names like Hunter Greene and Alex Faedo being tossed around, other young arms can get lost in the fold. Tanner Burns is not one of those.
Tanner Burns 2017 MLB Draft Profile
Burns is a 6′, 205-pound right-hander from Decatur High School in Decatur, Alabama. The 2017 Rawlings-Perfect Game First-Team All-American is currently committed to Auburn after flipping from Alabama in June of 2016.
He has an incredibly strong lower half, coupled with a low-effort delivery, according to a 2016 scouting report from Perfect Game.
The strength for Burns’ case in the draft comes from his polished mechanics. He’s already learned how to develop his lower half to supply the power in his delivery, so he’s somewhat ahead of the curve. His arsenal includes a fastball that tops out at 96, a breaking ball (PG describes it as a curveball with the action of a slider), and a change that’s in the works.
Truth is, the depth of his repertoire means nothing without his advanced mechanics. Lighting up the radar gun with a delivery that puts all the stress on the elbow is just a ticking time bomb. Don’t get it twisted, the stuff is there, but the mechanics are the draw here.
Very rarely do pitchers with three offerings find their way to the top of the rotation. That said, he’s young and he has time to develop a fourth pitch down the road. He also likes to elevate his fastball, which can be deadly if done right, and dangerous otherwise. Don’t be surprised if he goes through some growing pains early on while giving up a few longballs.
Despite the difference in size, Burns’ stuff screams Matt Harvey. A solid drop-and-drive delivery, coupled with one of the better fastballs in this draft class are just a few reasons his name will be called sooner, rather than later.