- Full name Morgan Burkhart
- Born 01/29/1972 in St. Louis, MO
- Profile Ht.: 6'1" / Wt.: 209 / Bats: S / Throws: L
- School Central Missouri
- Debut 06/27/2000
Organization Prospect Rankings
A lesser man would have given up far earlier, but Morgan Burkhart saw his perseverance pay off in 2000. After helping Central Missouri State win the 1994 Division II World Series, he was undrafted and spent the next spring coaching at his alma mater before signing with the independent Frontier League. Burkhart had to tear up the league for four straight seasons, winning MVP awards from 1996-98 and the triple crown in 1998, before a major league club could be bothered to sign him. Burkhart repaid the Red Sox by slamming 35 homers combined in high Class A and Double-A in 1999, his first year in Organized Ball, then was named MVP in the Mexican Pacific League during the winter. He continued to show he was no fluke last year, punishing Triple-A pitchers for 24 homers in 105 games and making his big league debut. Described by one scout as a poor man's John Kruk or Matt Stairs, Burkhart isn't athletic or pretty. What he is is an aggressive hitter from both sides of the plate, and he knows how to work counts to get a pitch he can drive. He doesn't run well--though he runs better than Stairs--and isn't much of an outfielder, but he's a passable first baseman. The Red Sox have a glut of first basemen/DHs, so Burkhart may find it difficult to even get a shot at a starting job. But he's a very useful offensive player who at the worst could bolster their bench.