Mariners Add Busted Prospect To Pile Of Busted And Busting Prospects

This one's name is Chris Burke. Burke used to be a bit of a hotshot youngster with the Astros, but his bat never came around the way they thought it would, so they set him free. From that point on it's been a bit of a whirlwind, and the Mariners are his third organization since September. Needless to say, now 29 years old, Burke's never going to reach the lofty ceiling a lot of people put up for him back in the day.

The upside of Chris Burke is that he can play a lot of positions reasonably well, particularly second base. The downside is that he's a career .241/.318/.363 hitter despite spending half his time in Houston and Arizona. In terms of park-adjusted batting runs, Burke has been -13 per 600 PAs. Willie Ballgame has also been -13 per 600 PAs. So while the paths are different (Burke has more power but makes less contact), Burke comes out looking like an ~equally productive Willie Ballgame, only with less footspeed. And you might remember that we didn't consider Willie to be much of a loss.

I think Dave's got it right, here - Burke looks an awful lot like insurance in case Betancourt gets moved. Ronny Cedeno's currently the backup middle infielder (forget Corona), but in the event that Yuni gets moved (or someone gets injured), the team'll need someone to step in and man the bench, which is where Burke comes in handy. And that's about it. He's a moderately interesting player, but unless something changes dramatically, you're not going to want to drop what you're doing so you can watch Chris Burke. He's no Kenny Lofton.

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