Fantasy Baseball StockWatch: A’s OF Billy Burns
Oakland A’s speedster Billy Burns has been blazing hot all spring, leading all of baseball with 20 runs while batting .397 with a .444 OBP and four steals.
The question was how the A’s might be able to get Burns on their roster or if the 25-year-old would be better off playing every day in the minors.
Now he may have his opportunity in Oakland, as we found out Thursday that Coco Crisp is to undergo surgery to remove a bone spur and chips from his right elbow, shelving the 35-year-old for six-to-eight weeks.
Craig Gentry is being listed as the A’s starting left fielder and leadoff hitter on rosterresource.com with Sam Fuld batting second and playing center field. Considering that Gentry and Fuld are really just fourth outfielders to begin with, don’t be surprised if A’s GM Billy Beane decides to give the youngster a chance to show what he can do.
There seems to be almost a bit too much helium on Burns, as he is just 4-for-8 on stolen bases attempts this spring and has absolutely no power (2 homers in 395 career minor league games). He hit just .250 in Double-A last year, .193 in Triple-A and .167 in Oakland.
Then again he did combine to hit .315 with a .425 OBP between Single- and Double-A in 2013.
Because of his mix of plate discipline and speed, he could be an asset in a variety of leagues, namely deep-mixed and AL-only as well as OBP formats. He has a career 12.2 BB% and just a 13.7 K% – a very nice profile for a table-setter when you add in 179-of-202 stolen base attempts in 385 minor league games.
Our projection on Burns is up to .241 with 33 runs, 0 homers, 21 RBIs and 27 steals in 312 plate appearances. If he were to hit the ground running and take over a starting spot all season in Oakland, his absolute ceiling is like .280-85-0-40-50. While that would be very useful, balance that out with a floor of .150-5-0-5-5 and you can see why he’s best left as a deep-league flyer.