During his first full minor league season, Sean Burnett of the
Single-A Hickory Crawdads, made great strides towards a much higher level
in the Pirates' system. Burnett, the Pirates' minor league pitcher
of the year,
was named to the South Atlantic League All-Star team and
finished the year with a record 11-8 and a 2.62 ERA over 26 starts.
With a bright future, Burnett is described by the Pirates as poised,
a competitive lefthander that has a good feel for pitching.
Scouts describe Burnett as polished at a young age with potential to get
better, very competitive, with a good mind set on the mound and shows the
that people saw in him as an amateur.
The following is an interview with Burnett, giving his fans and minor
league baseball followers alike, some insight to what this 19-year-old
pitcher is all about.
TPA: What are your earliest childhood memories
of baseball and who was your favorite player?
BURNETT: My earliest childhood memories of
baseball were playing in my backyard when I was 2-year-old with my
parents. My favorite player growing up was Darryl Strawberry.he had
so much natural ability.
TPA: What is your best baseball memory from
your high school days?
BURNETT: My best memory of high school
baseball was the match up of the year between Wellington and
Atlantic. We were number one in the state they were two and I threw
a perfect game in front of 60 or so scouts.
TPA: What emotions did you experience before,
during and after the June 2000 draft?
BURNETT: Before the draft in June of 2000, I
was very anxious and excited. Finally when the day came we had a
huge party at the house with friends and family. We sat around
waiting for my name to be called. It only took a few minutes but it
seemed like hours. After the draft I felt
relieved and was ready
to take a shot at pro ball.
TPA: After choosing Bobby Bradley in the first
round of the 1999 draft, how did you feel when the Pirates came back to
Wellington High in 2000 and select you in the first round?
BURNETT: I was shocked. Bobby and I
always joked about it but never really imagined it would be reality one
TPA: What have you found to be the biggest
difference in your game since turning pro?
BURNETT: Since turning pro my mental side of
the game, I feel, has been the biggest difference.
TPA: What was the most important thing you
learned during your first professional baseball experience at Bradenton
BURNETT: I learned that you have to believe in
yourself. I was by far the youngest player out there and had to show
I belonged. I also learned you must control the inside part of the
TPA: In one sentence, how would you describe
your 2001 season in Hickory (A)?
BURNETT: A great success and started my career
in the right step.
TPA: What is your off-season routine like and
what role does your family play in your baseball career?
BURNETT: Well my off-season routine usually
starts around 11:00 a.m. when I wake up. Then I eat breakfast and
head to the golf course. After golf I grab a bite to eat and head to
the gym to go work out. After my workout I
usually head to the
high school to do my throwing and running. The rest of my day is
spent relaxing and hanging with friends. My parents play a huge role
in my career and if it weren't for them I would not be the person I am
TPA: Where do you see yourself at heading into
spring training 2002 and what is your attitude towards autograph request
in person or via mail?
BURNETT: I feel strength wise, I'm stronger
then ever and just want to have a good spring and fight for a Double-A
spot or at least be there by the all-star break. I have no problem
toward autograph requests.
TPA: Outside baseball, what one thing about
yourself would you like your fans to know about you?
BURNETT: I'm just a 19-year-old kid who likes
to have fun. Oh yeah, by the way, I'm