Chicago Cubs: Starting pitchers aplenty in the 2020 MLB Draft
Chicago Cubs: SP Tanner Burns – Auburn, Junior
The second guy on this list is another hard-throwing right-hander from the University of Auburn. Tanner Burns was born in Decatur, Alabama, about three hours Auburn. Through his first two seasons as a Tiger, Burns has produced a 2.89 ERA in 32 starts.
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As a freshman, Burns posted a 3.01 ERA in 17 starts, pitching to an 8.00 K/9 with a 3.84 BB/9. He struck out a respectable 77 batters in 86 2/3 innings. Last season, Burns improved in a significant way. The ERA dropped to 2.73 across 79 innings, as Burns saw his strikeout rate increased to 11.39 K/9, and the walk rate drop down to 2.39 BB/9.
Burns is a muscular guy. His stockiness plays to his strength as he uses his plant foot to deliver most of his power. The motion is fluid and consistent lending way to the success he has found in his first two years pitching in the SEC. His curveball may low-key be his best pitch. When it works, it displays a sharp outwardly bite, forcing a lot of swings and misses. His fastball is strong, too, sitting in the mid-’90s.
The Cubs need another hard-throwing righty with a nasty breaking ball. Burns could fit that mold for Chicago as the 21-year-old is projected to go in the mid-to-late first round. If Burns is somehow still on the board when the Cubs pick at number 16 overall, they better be sure they do not pass up on an impressive young talent such as Burns.