Corbin Burnes Credits Instruction For Breakout

Sometimes, prospects are considered scouting successes. Sometimes, they are considered player development successes.

In terms of how quickly 22-year-old righthander Corbin Burnes has progressed, he can be considered both.

The Brewers certainly deserve credit for selecting Burnes in the fourth round of the 2016 draft out of St. Mary’s, but he said much of the credit for his tremendous 2017 season came from coaching tips he received upon turning pro.

During spring training, minor league pitching coordinator Rick Tomlin and high Class A Carolina pitching coach Dave Chavarria worked with Burnes on squaring up to the plate on his delivery. He had been using what he called “a side-saddle delivery.”

“By doing that, I was able to get to my legs more and take some pressure off my arm, and it really helped my command,” said Burnes, who enjoyed immediate success with the Mudcats, going 5-0, 1.05 in 10 starts, with 16 walks and 56 strikeouts in 60 innings.

After being promoted to Double-A Biloxi, he worked with pitching coach Chris Hook to further refine his mechanics. Again, the results were tremendous. He went 3-3, 2.10 in 16 starts, with 20 walks and 84 strikeouts in 85.2 innings.

“Chris Hook’s probably one of the best pitching coaches I’ve ever had,” Burnes said. “He was able to make little adjustments to get the most out of what I had.

“I’ve put in a lot of work since being drafted, and a lot of credit goes to the Brewers for, first of all, drafting me and putting me in those positions. I got a lot of great instruction . . . and I really built on what I did last year.”

The end result was that Burnes ranked third in the minors with a 1.67 ERA and was named the Brewers’ minor league pitcher of the year. The combination of great stuff and command of all of his pitches accelerated his path to the major leagues.


• Righthander Bubba Derby was with several family members at the outdoor concert in Las Vegas where the October mass shooting occurred but everyone escaped unharmed. Derby was shaken badly by the tragedy and said he thought for sure at some point he was going to die.

· Lefthander Nathan Kirby, who missed the last two seasons while recovering from a pair of major elbow surgeries, was throwing without restriction in instructional league and hopes to open the 2018 season on schedule.

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