The scene was Wright State in Dayton, Ohio, where the team was taking batting practice.
“It was February (2018) and it was 32 degrees,” said Adcock, a former big league righthander who at the time was in his first year as a Marlins scout and is now with the Royals. “I was freezing cold. The whole team was bundled up, wearing hoodies. And Burdick was wearing a sleeveless shirt.
“This kid is an animal. When you watch him play, he goes 100 percent all the time.”
Thanks in part to Adcock’s recommendation, the Marlins drafted Burdick in the third round this year, and there have been no regrets.
Burdick, a 6-foot, 210-pound corner outfielder, outperformed some bigger names in the organization this year. The 22-year-old righthanded hitter jumped quickly to low Class A Clinton in his pro debut and hit .307/.408/.542 in 63 games.
A late bloomer, Burdick was just 5-foot-10, 140 pounds as a high school freshman. He hit only one home run as a prep senior. Wright State was the only school to offer him scholarship money.
Fast forward to this year, when Burdick banged 20 doubles, four triples, 11 homers and 64 RBIs in 69 games in his pro debut.
“I was an underdeveloped guy in high school,” Burdick said, “but the coaches at Wright State saw something in me.”
One of those coaches was Jeff Mercer, now the head coach at Indiana. During recruitment, Mercer impressed Burdick’s father, Ty, with a thick binder he had put together on nutrition, sleep, workouts and an overall approach to baseball.
There’s little question that those Wright State coaches, including Alex Sogard, helped Burdick get to this point. He now hopes to become the first member of his family to reach the big time in sports.
Ty was a 6-foot-5, 250-pound tight end at Toledo who didn’t quite make it on to the Seattle Seahawks roster. Ty’s brother Shaun was a University of Cincinnati punter who didn’t make the NFL despite “about 14” pro tryouts.
Meanwhile, Peyton’s brother Tyler is a star in his own right, serving the U.S. overseas as a special ops Marine.
Peyton and Tyler are close, and Adcock said Peyton has the high character you would expect from the brother of a Marine.
“From the first time I talked to Peyton, what I most remember was his intensity and his attention to detail,” Adcock said. “He has a go-getter mentality.”