Drew Burress posted monster numbers during his junior season at Houston County (Ga.) High School last season. The outfielder batted .486 with 11 doubles, two triples, 17 home runs and 73 RBIs in 140 plate appearances.
His performance last year during the high school spring season and on the showcase circuit last summer has made him a must-watch player this spring. Scouts are eager to watch Burress play this spring in preparation for July’s MLB draft. Burress is a potentially early-round pick in the draft.
Burress appreciates the draft attention. It’s something he has dreamed of since he was a youngster. His father, Andy, runs 5 Star National, a travel baseball program that has produced many players for the college and professional ranks.
“It’s really cool, especially with my dad and what he does,” Burress said. “I have been friends with a lot of guys who have been drafted. It’s always crazy to see those guys go off and play professional baseball at 18, 19 years old. Now that it could be me, it’s a surreal feeling.”
Burress is a 5-foot-9, 180-pound right-handed hitting center fielder known for his offensive toolset. He makes hard contact and hits for plenty of power to his pull side.
Burress is an aggressive hitter who squares up fastballs and has an advanced feel for hitting. He understands the strike zone and has continue to improve on his pitch recognition and hitting ability against secondary pitches.
“The hit tool is my biggest strength,” Burress said. “I have always been that way for as long as I can remember. I have always been a guy who hits the ball in the gaps and out of the park. For me, I have always had more extra-base hits than I have had singles. That is something I pride myself on. When I hit the ball, I hit it hard.”
Defensively, Burress has the skill set to remain in center field long-term. He has above-average strength and speed, along with quality instincts that allow him to cover plenty of ground and make all the necessary plays in center field.
In the offseason, Burress worked on his speed and athleticism. He has made strides in those areas and believes he can continue to get even better.
“One thing I really worked on is getting faster,” Burress said. “It is a tool that has really come along over the last year. A lot of guys doubted my speed. But coming into the summer, I feel like I proved them wrong. I’m not as fast as I can be yet, and I still think there is room for improvement there. That is something I’m going to continue to work on.”
Besides his draft prospect status, Burress is also a well-regarded college commit. He didn’t rush the recruiting process and committed to Georgia Tech leading up to the start of his junior season in December 2021.
He committed to Georgia Tech after considering North Carolina, Florida State, Florida and Louisiana State. Georgia Tech’s coaching staff and player development system stood out to him during the recruiting process.
“I have seen all the guys who commit early, and it never works out well,” Burress said. “I waited, went on my five official visits and got to know and talk to the coaches and see the campuses. It came down to (associate head) coach (James) Ramsey and head coach Danny Hall. They are really great guys. Georgia Tech is always a good hitting school and good at developing hitters.”
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Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for eight years. He has interviewed 433 of the top draft prospects in that period, including four No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today, MLB.com, The Arizona Republic and The Dallas Morning News, have quoted his work, while he has appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.