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Friday, December 5, 2014

Kevin Burrell turned pro, relaxed, saw 11 seasons, made AAA

Kevin Burrell 1990 Omaha Royals card
Kevin Burrell got the message before he walked to the plate in this May 1982 game, according to The Lakeland Ledger: Relax.

"That's what I did," Burrell told The Ledger. "I just told myself to relax and get ready, to wait for a fast ball in my wheelhouse and drive it."

The result was an extra-inning, game-winning single. He hit it in his second season as a pro, having been taken by the Red Sox 25th overall the previous year's draft.

He went on to play in 11 professional seasons. He never made the majors. Burrell, however, has since stayed in the game as a scout trying to find future major leaguers.

Burrell's career began in 1981. He was taken by the Red Sox out of Poway High School in California using a compensation pick at the end of the first round.

Burrell played his first year at short-season Elmira. He hit .208 in 28 games. He played 1982 between Elmira and Winter Haven, hitting .216 between them.

Burrell ended up staying in single-A through 1985, playing his 1985 season at Lynchburg with the Mets.

The catcher first made AA in 1986 at Shreveport with the Giants. He then hit AAA Phoenix in 1987. He got into 44 games there, hitting .235.

He signed with the Royals for 1988, playing the year at AA Memphis. He then made AAA Omaha in 1989, the first of three seasons he played there. He hit a home run in a 1990 playoff game there. His 1991 season at Omaha turned out to be his final season as a pro, an elbow injury ending his career.

His playing career over, Burrell soon became a scout. He started with the White Sox, then moved to the Red Sox and Astros. In 2014, he was back with the White Sox as an area scouting supervisor.

He also runs From The Sandlot - 2 - The Sweet Spot, helping coaches and scouts build leadership skills, according to his site

In his time as a scout, Burrell has gotten such players as Mark Johnson and Gordon Beckham. Burrell explained his job to in December 2014 in a first-person entry.

"You pour time and emotional investment into these players to hopefully get one or two in the draft that you want and like," Burrell wrote on ChicagoNow. "It's not about quantity, but quality. Scouting is a passion not just a job."
1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured:1,832
Made the Majors: 854 - 46.6%
Never Made Majors: 978-53.4%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 365
10+ Seasons in the Minors:216-X

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