by Kevin Goldstein, Baseball Prospectus
Michael Burgess, OF, Short-Season Vermont (Nationals)
Burgess entered the spring as one of, if not the best high school bats around, but he struggled during the season, and scouts were worried about his ability to hit the breaking ball, as well as some makeup question that revolve more around the legacy of his high school, which has produced talented troublemakers like Elijah Dukes, Carl Everett, and Dwight Gooden. As a result, the Nationals were able to nab him with the 49th overall pick, and it’s looking like a steal so far. After hitting .336/.442/.617 in the Gulf Coast League, Burgess had little trouble adjusting to the much more advanced New York-Penn League, batting .286/.383/.457 in 19 games. Always a walking machine in high school, teams wondered if it was just opponents pitching around him, but he’s shown a keen eye as a pro, drawing 35 walks in 198 at-bats to go along with some of the best pure power in the draft. The Nationals’ minor league system has taken a huge step forward in the last nine months, and Burgess is another reason for it.