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Astros top pick fitting in nicely.

Discussion in 'Other Sports' started by countingcrow, Jul 16, 2001.

  1. countingcrow

    countingcrow Contributing Member

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    http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/story.hts/sports/bb/968508


    Astros' first pick a quick study so far at Michigan


    By JOSE DE JESUS ORTIZ
    Copyright 2001 Houston Chronicle



    Although Chris Burke has been a professional for only two weeks, the Astros' first-round pick in this year's draft is adjusting quite well at Class A Michigan. Equally important, he is realizing there's much to learn on the road to Enron Field.

    He is no longer playing in the Southeastern Conference, where he terrorized opposing pitchers as Tennessee's star shortstop over the last three seasons. Furthermore, he has learned teammates find humor at the expense of a guy who received a $2.1 million bonus to sign.

    "To me, the whole level of play is raised from college," said Burke, who was batting .318 (14-for-44) with 14 runs and five extra-base hits. "The outfielders can all run and throw, which is obviously what people look for in outfielders. All the pitchers work both sides of the plate. The fastball is not just a straight, hard pitch. Here, it's an out pitch."

    Burke's professional debut was the complete opposite of his career at Tennessee, which he left after his junior year to sign with the Astros. He was 0-for-3, although he reached base twice by drawing a walk and being hit by a pitch.

    The hit-by-pitch must have made Astros scouts proud because it surely had to remind them of Craig Biggio, who is not afraid to get plunked if it helps the team. Burke, after all, has been compared favorably to Biggio for the last decade.

    After the 0-for-3 debut, Burke finally looked like a future Biggio. He went 3-for-4 with two doubles and a home run against the Lansing Lug Nuts, the Cubs' Class A affiliate in the Midwest League.
    The 3-for-4 outing was extra special because the home run and one of the doubles came against Todd Wellemeyer, who grew up playing against Burke in Louisville, Ky.

    "It was nice, because my first good game was against a kid from my hometown, Louisville," Burke said.

    His new teammates have embraced Burke, bringing him into the family with the type of pranks that bond players together. After sitting out the first day he joined the Battle Cats, he started the second game. A local television crew decided to interview the newest star.

    Looking at his new teammate sitting down for the interview, T. J. Soto walked behind Burke and gave him the old pie-in-the-face treatment. In that moment, Burke felt like a part of the team.

    "Any time you go into a new situation and with new guys, the guys will be leery of you at first," Burke said. "It takes time. But none of them have tried to lead me in the wrong direction. I got that whipped cream in the face when I was doing that interview, but nothing else has happened. They have been really nice here."

    The Battle Cats may be nice, but they are not above teasing the new multimillionaire.

    "They just make little comments here and there," said Burke, who has taken a couple of his teammates out to eat but has yet to treat the entire club. "It comes with the territory, but I just try to change the subject."

    If he continues his steady pace at the plate, Burke can always change the subject toward his play.


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  2. B-ball freak

    B-ball freak Contributing Member

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    LMAO! The Lansing Lug Nuts

    Goooooooo Nuts!

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  3. RocketMan Tex

    RocketMan Tex Contributing Member

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    I can't wait to see this guy at Enron Field in 3-4 years. He is another Biggio waiting to happen.

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  4. Shandon Anversen

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    let's just hope he shows up in the post season.
     
  5. ROXRAN

    ROXRAN Contributing Member

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    stop it.

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  6. WasabiTheNinjaPimp

    WasabiTheNinjaPimp Contributing Member

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    Looks like they've officially declared the Adam Everett/Carl Everett swap a bust.

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  7. RocketMan Tex

    RocketMan Tex Contributing Member

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    How do you figure? Chris Burke is a 2nd baseman. If anything, Everett to Burke to ??? will be the Astros' double-play combination of the future.



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    "Blues is a Healer"
    --John Lee Hooker
     
  8. Smokey

    Smokey Contributing Member

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    Burke played SS this past season. Are the Astros using him as 2nd baseman?

    [This message has been edited by Smokey (edited July 16, 2001).]
     
  9. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    They project him to be a major league second baseman. Someone said they're looking forward to seeing him play here in 3-4 years...I think it will be sooner than that, one way or the other. More like 2 years...at the end of Biggio's contract. Burke played through his senior season in college...he's more on the Berkman track to the majors than some of the younger players who need more seasoning in the minors.

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  10. DrewP

    DrewP Contributing Member

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    ummm Gerry Hunsiker himself shut down all the rumors about him playing 2nd base. He said flat out that he was playing SS and that he was the SS of the future.

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  11. SamCassell

    SamCassell Contributing Member

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    Yup. You can only have 1 shortstop prospect in the system.


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  12. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    wow..i didn't read gerry's comments. interesting..thanks for filling me in on that!

    everett has been playing better as of late...from the offensive side of the plate, of course. defensively, he'd be just about as good as there is in the entire league.

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  13. WasabiTheNinjaPimp

    WasabiTheNinjaPimp Contributing Member

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    Well, that's not what i meant, however, a shortstop prospect picked with first round pick is somewhat of a different situation, since you don't use your first pick on someone who you think will be a good backup to your current AAA guy.

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  14. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Go Stros!
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    They need to move him up here to round Rock.

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