- Full name Emmanuel Allen Burriss
- Born 01/17/1985 in Washington, DC
- Profile Ht.: 6'0" / Wt.: 190 / Bats: S / Throws: R
- School Kent State
- Debut 04/20/2008
Drafted in the C-A round (33rd overall) by the San Francisco Giants in 2006 (signed for $1,000,000).
View Draft ReportBurriss stands out for two reasons: his speed (6.3 seconds in the 60-yard dash) and his ability as a middle infielder in a draft short on up-the-middle talent. He opened eyes last summer in the Cape Cod League, where he was the fastest player in the league and shared playoff MVP honors. He led the Cape with 37 steals--19 more than his closest competitor--and 52 hits. Burriss knows his game is built around speed, and he has adapted his hitting approach accordingly. He focuses on working counts and making contact so he can get on base and wreak havoc. His style results in little power, and he had just four extra-base hits in 44 games using wood bats on the Cape. His arm is a little light for shortstop, but some scouts think he has the quickness, hands and instincts to compensate and remain at the position in pro ball. Others believe he's destined for second base with the upside of becoming Luis Castillo. A team that believes in Burriss as a shortstop could pop him in the late first round.
Organization Prospect Rankings
After hitting .307 in his pro debut, Burriss struggled so badly in high Class A that the Giants demoted him after 36 games. He said he wasn't mentally prepared when the 2007 season began. He regained his focus and confidence against younger competition in the South Atlantic League, finishing third in steals (51) and fifth in batting (.321). It's no surprise that Burriss led a system full of burners with 68 stolen bases. In addition to his pure speed, he has fine basestealing skills and was encouraged to use them by aggressive Augusta manager Roberto Kelly. Burriss is a contact hitter who works counts better than his walk totals would indicate. He has good range and instincts at shortstop. Burriss has no power and will have to prove he can handle quality fastballs at higher levels. After making 30 errors in 123 games in 2007, he needs to be more consistent on defense. Caught stealing 18 times last season, he can become more efficient on the bases. Burriss, who hit .365 in 17 Arizona Fall League games, says he learned his lesson and will be ready to start 2008. He'll take another crack at San Jose, likely playing some second base next to Brian Bocock. The Giants hope one can be their shortstop by 2010.
Burriss established himself as a top prospect for the 2006 draft by stealing a Cape Cod League-high 37 bases in 44 games the previous summer. He led the Mid-American Conference with 42 steals last spring, then paced the short-season Northwest League with 35 after signing for $1 million as a supplemental first-round pick. A leadoff hitter in the mold of Luis Castillo, Burriss plays the game with poise and polish. He makes excellent contact and is a threat to reach base on anything in play. One club official wasn't shy about comparing his playmaking abilities to Willie Mays, while another called him Jose Reyes with less power. He has top-of-the-line speed, outstanding range, soft hands and very good instincts. Burriss' arm grades a tick below average, leading to some doubts that he'll stick at shortstop, but his footwork is so good that he seldom fails to make plays. He has very little pop, and pitchers at higher levels may be able to overpower him. A switch-hitter, he's working on a more consistent approach from the left side. Omar Vizquel will be 40 in 2007, and the Giants will need a new shortstop in the near future. That figures to be Burriss, who may skip a level and begin at high Class A in 2007. That would allow fellow 2006 draftee Brian Bocock to play every day at shortstop in low Class A.
Minor League Top Prospects
Burriss earned second-team All-America honors for Kent State this spring, when he walked more than he struck out and led the Mid-American Conference with 42 stolen bases. After the Giants drafted him in the supplemental first round, Burriss did more of the same, drawing more walks than strikeouts and topping the NWL with 35 steals for league champion Salem-Keizer. That's his game in a nutshell: make contact, get on base and wreak havoc with his plus-plus speed. "When you first see him he looks like a slap hitter, but he has enough pop to drive it by you at first or third and you have to play him honestly," Yakima manager Jay Gainer said. "He is obviously going to be a leadoff guy, and he has a good idea how to get on base. If you play back he'll bunt, and if you play in he'll slap it by you or pull it." Burriss never will be a power hitter, and he doesn't try to be. The major question is whether he'll be able to hit line drives into the outfield and occasionally knock balls into the gaps, because his thin frame lacks strength. There are questions about whether he'll have enough arm for shortstop, but it looked fine in his pro debut and his range and instincts are good.
Best Tools List
- Rated Fastest Baserunner in the San Francisco Giants in 2008
- Rated Best Defensive Infielder in the San Francisco Giants in 2007