Drafted in the 4th round of the 2014 First Year Player Draft, DJ Burt has made steady progress through the lower minors ever since he was signed out of high school in North Carolina. As a senior located in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, Burt was a skinny (5-9, 160) middle infielder/outfielder with plus speed (6.67) and a commitment to South Carolina. The Royals drafted Burt with the 123rd pick overall and he inked the deal for a $200k signing bonus. He was immediately moved to the infield, specifically as a second baseman which seems like a strong fit for this rangy, quick-twitch athlete. The move hasn’t been without its bumps along the road, but he has seen his fielding percentage increase each of the last 3 seasons.
Burt utilizes a skill set that is highly valued in Kansas City. His speed translates well on the base paths (95 SB over 3 year). He’s also capable of making some truly eye-popping plays on defense. This plus speed/defense profile is something Royals fans seem to appreciate.
With that being said, Burt will need improve at the plate if he hopes to be a part of the Royals long term plans. Burt’s best season came back in 2015 when he hit .290 with a 110 wRC+ through 65 games in rookie ball. He’s seen his strike out rate increase the past two seasons and he’s hitting more balls on the ground than ever before (49.4%). Power hasn’t ever been part of Burt’s game but he is going to have to get the bat going to see advancement. Now is a great time to make a move with the lack of a 2nd baseman in the upper minors blocking his path. With the looming rebuild, DJ will be one to keep an eye on.
Photo Credits: Jen Nevius