Kyler Burke was selected by the San Diego Padres in the supplemental first round of the 2006 First Year Player Draft (35th overall). As a senior at Ooltewah High School in Tennessee he batted .459 with 20 homers and 58 RBIs in 45 games. While in Fort Wayne with the Wizards in 2007, Burke hit .211 with 45 hits and 1 home run in 213 at-bats.
Then he was traded to the Chicago Cubs with Fort Wayne native, Rob Bowen, in return for Michael Barrett. Interestingly, Burke is the only one of the three to still be with the organization he was traded to as a result of that trade.
But the stay has not been easy for Burke.
The 21-year-old Burke endured a disappointing 2008 season that saw his confidence drop and his status with Baseball America ‘s prospect ratings basically fall off.
“Every guy is different. How they learn and how they develop and the pace they learn is very unpredictable,” Chicago Cubs minor-league hitting coordinator Dave Keller said. “The things he went through, being in (the Hawaiian Winter League) and going through that and some of the adversity he went through the last couple of years, he’s learning from all that and applying it in a game” [PJStar.com]
Through his first 50 games with Peoria in 2009, Burke is hitting .282 with 50 hits, 27 runs and a league leaging 22 doubles. He’s hit 4 homers with 25 runs batted in and 5 stolen bases. It’s a perfomance that is good enough to earn him a Midwest League All-Star Selection.
Photo: Kyler Burke during an at-bat at Memorial Stadium – by Chad Gramling