The Tenth Inning
 The Tenth Inning Blog
Periodically, I will post new entries about current baseball topics.  The posts will typically be a mixture of commentary, history, facts, and stats.  Hopefully, they will provoke some  of your thoughts or emotions. Clicking on the word "Comments" associated with each post below will open a new dialog box to enter or retrieve any feedback.
Former De La Salle and Tulane star Collin Burns preparing for minor league season

After an encouraging start to his professional baseball career last year, 21-year-old Collin Burns is looking to make more headway in the minors this year. The former De La Salle High School and Tulane shortstop has already reported to the Baltimore Orioles’ minor-league spring training camp and is putting in the hard work to get ready for the April 15 start of the season.

Burns had an impressive junior season last year with Tulane University, recording a slash line of .353/.410/.571 with eight homers, 50 RBIs, and 20 stolen bases. He was fourth in the American Athletic Conference in batting average and runs scored, fifth in slugging percentage, and third in stolen bases. He was selected as an All-American Conference first team member. The shortstop was named to the All-America second team by the NCBWA and third team by Collegiate Baseball.

He was selected in the sixth round by the Orioles in the MLB Draft last June. He got off to a good start by batting .429 in five games in the rookie Florida Complex League, followed by 19 games for Delmarva in the Low-A East League, where he batted .279 with 10 RBIs.

I caught up with Burns earlier this week. He is training in Sarasota, Florida, where he was among half of the Orioles’ minor-leaguers selected to begin spring training early. The remainder will report on March 7. He says he’s impressed with the extensive minor-league staff that assists with hitting and fielding drills, strength and conditioning, and nutrition. He says there are “a lot of good baseball minds” available at the training site whose experience he can draw on. The instructors have emphasized that “it is okay to fail in practice since that’s the time to learn from mistakes.”

Burns is working on several facets of his game, including getting bigger and stronger, seeing good pitches, and improving his “damageability,” a term he says the Orioles’ staff uses to emphasize hitting line drives and hitting the ball in the air. While he hasn’t hit against live pitching yet, he says the machine work is challenging, especially hitting high-velocity pitches.

Burns credits Tulane head coach Travis Jewett and his staff for preparing him for the transition to pro ball. He said the practices employed by Tulane were very similar to what he’s participating in now in Sarasota.

He played both shortstop and second base during his minor-league stint last year. He says versatility is valued, and he won’t mind playing wherever the organization wants. He said, “With the types of shifts being used today, the fielding positions have become blurred anyway.”

Burns hasn’t been told yet where he will start the 2022 season—whether he’ll return to Delmarva or go to High-A Aberdeen. The Orioles’ draft picks for the last three years have included shortstops who were selected in the first or second rounds, so he will have stiff competition.

Burns was an All-Metro performer for De La Salle High School in 2018. He helped the Cavaliers reach the quarterfinals in the state prep playoffs.

Stay tuned to follow Burns and other New Orleans area and Southeast Louisiana major-league and minor-league players this season. Their progress will be reported later this season in a monthly “Hometown Heroes” update by Crescent City Sports.


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