Image credit: Drew Burress (Brian Westerholt/Four Seam Images)
Drew Burress exploded onto the national scene in 2022 after he hit .486 with 11 doubles and 17 home runs for Georgia power Houston County High School. Burress would go on to solidify himself as a top–five round draft prospect with impressive showings on the summer and fall circuit. In his senior season for Houston County, Burress hit .430 with 33 extra-base hits and led the Bears to their second state championship in three years.
Although there was serious draft interest within the top four rounds, Burress settled on honoring his commitment to his hometown Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. While small in stature at 5-foot-9, Burress has an impressive toolset packed into his compact frame with three that grade out as at least plus. With the departures of two regulars in the 2023 Yellow Jacket outfield in centerfielder Jake DeLeo (sixth round, Miami Marlins) and leftfielder Angelo DiSpigna (NDFA, Miami Marlins), Burress has the opportunity to earn a starting role by opening day.
Unorthodox And Powerful
Burress’ calling card is his ability with the bat. He has an open stance with the head of his bat pointed nearly straight at the ground behind his back shoulder. Burress leans slightly further back as the pitcher goes into his motion, but as the pitcher breaks his hands, he gets into a good hitter’s position. It sounds unorthodox, but Burress repeats this operation well and is able to create quality contact. He has thunderous bat speed and does a nice job creating leverage in his swing, and shows off plus power, especially to the pull side.
While the most damage is done to the pull side, Burress has demonstrated the ability to drive the ball into either gap. He has solid feel for the barrel and pulverizes heaters, but struggles to pick up spin at times, which leads to some swings and misses. Long term, Burress could be a power-over-hit profile.
He is also a plus runner, which bodes well in the outfield, where he covers plenty of ground to either gap and has a borderline 70-grade arm. Burress has the defensive chops to stick in center professionally, but worst case, would make the move over to right. Burress’ power-speed combination is a tantalizing one, and he has 20-20 upside.
As far as where Burress will fit in this spring, his most likely destination is center field. The physical Stephen Reid (.339/.426/.616) is back for his fifth year and projects to man right field, while Maryland transfer Bobby Zmarzlak (.271/.465/.466) or speedster Parker Brosius will patrol left. After his freshman campaign, Burress has signed to play for the Cape Cod League’s Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox, where he will get the chance to prove himself against even more high-quality competition.
Playing in the hitter-friendly environment that is Russ Chandler Stadium for the next three seasons, Burress is poised to put up gaudy offensive numbers. He is next eligible for the draft in 2026, where he could be one of the most prized college bats in the class and a day one selection.