Monday, April 4, 2011

Nats Closer: Sean Burnett

When we covered our 25 in 25 about Drew Storen, we guessed that it'd be extremely unlikely that Storen would be the Nats closer to start the season. Coming into this past off-season, we figured that Burnett was ripe for another great season. He hasn't disappointed in his appearances so far, but we expected that. That's why we predicted that Burnett would lead the Nats in saves in 2011 way back on March 7th.

There are a whole lot of factors that contribute to Sean Burnett's success, so let's take a minute to look into the main 3:
  1. Intimidation: No matter who you are and what side of the plate you hit from, Sean Burnett is an intimidating character. You never see him smirk on the baseball field; he has the right, hard nosed attitude; his off-to-the-side hat look just puts the persona together.
  2. Left-handed: Burnett is a lefty that can get his fastball into the mid-90s. He throws from the left side of the rubber this season, making the ball all but disappear to left-handed batters that he's faced. On top of all that, he continues to succeed against righties.
  3. Stuff: When he's pitching in short bursts, Sean Burnett's stuff is just nasty. It dances all over the place, and he has a power fastball to boot. He's a nightmare to face when you enter the late innings because of that.
We fully acknowledge that Drew Storen is slated to be "the guy" to close games as the Nats make their first playoff run sometime in the future. But for now, Sean Burnett is the one getting the job done. I strongly believe in building young talent, but let's not forget that Burnett is just 28 years old and is proving to the a major success story of the Nats bullpen.

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