Batter of the Week – Michael Burgess, RF, Potomac

Burgess has always drawn some controversy among Nationals’ observers. Some believe that the outfielder was a good potential pick that could be a power hitter for a big league team one day, while others think the 2007 sandwich pick was wasted on a prep player that will never be anything more than a platoon player that strikes out too much.

He certainly provided some hope to his supporters a few years ago when he won the South Atlantic League’s home run derby and led the league in home runs and RBIs for a period of time.

On the other hand, he has fueled the flames of the detractors as he struggled to hit and struck out at an absurd rate last year with the P-Nats. Rumors have swirled that Burgess has changed up his long looping swing in order to hit for a better average and cut down on the strikeouts.

So far it seems to be working for him. This season, his walk-to-strikeout ratio is 15:17, while last year’s ratio was 54:135.

His current line—.292/.406/.416—is drastically improved from 2009’s line of .235/.325/.410. While he has been hitting for average, the power has not been quite as prevelant as in previous seasons. Incidentally, his first home run of the season came this past week, a blast to the small porch of Pfitzner Field.

In his last four games, Burgess is 7-for-14 with four doubles, six RBIs, three walks, and only two strikeouts!  What may be even more ridiculous is Burgess’s platoon splits. Burgess has mostly struggled against LHP for his career and his line against such pitchers is .238/.320/.368 (vs RHP – .262/.359/.496).

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