Throughout the 2018/2019 offseason, Marlin Maniac will devote one article each for every player who appeared in the Miami Marlins system for the 2018 season. Every. Single. Player. This is Part 150 of 286. For the first 100, click here.
Sean Richard Burnett is a 5’11”, 185 lb. left-handed sinkerball pitcher from Dunedin, Florida. He’s one-of-five natives of Dunedin to eventually reach the majors, most notably, catcher Bobby Wilson. Born on September 17th, 1982, Burnett was selected in the first round of the 2000 MLB Amateur Entry Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates out of Wellington HS.
Chosen 19th overall, players picked at that spot reach the majors 72 percent of the time. The group is led by Roger Clemens (1983, Boston Red Sox, 139.6 career WAR), Bobby Grich (1967, Baltimore Orioles, 71.1 WAR), and Alex Rios (1999, Toronto Blue Jays, 27.4 WAR).
Burnett worked his way up through the Pirates system for the next four seasons, making his major league debut as a rotation starter in 2004. He went 5-5 that year, with a 5.02 ERA and only 30 whiffs in 71 2/3 innings. After the season, he underwent Tommy John Surgery.
Burnett didn’t get back to baseball’s top level until 2008 as a reliever, and never again started a game at any level. Over the next few seasons, he also played for the Washington Nationals and the Los Angeles Angels. In addition, he spent 2016 in the minor league systems of the Minnesota Twins, the Atlanta Braves, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Nationals.
Electing free agency after the 2016 season, Burnett soon afterward signed a minor league deal with the Philadelphia Phillies, but was released before Opening Day. He spent 2017 as a free agent.
On March 26th, 2018, Burnett signed on with the Miami Marlins, again to a minor league contract.
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Initially assigned to the high-A Jupiter Hammerheads in the Florida State League, Burnett pitched one scoreless inning on April 13th in a 9-3 loss to the Daytona Tortugas. Five days later, the Miami Marlins promoted him to the triple-A New Orleans Baby Cakes, in the Pacific Coast League.
While pitching in The Big Easy, Burnett appeared 17 times out of the bullpen, and allowed 30 hits in 19 2/3 innings. He pitched to a 1-2 record, a 5.49 ERA, and a 1.78 WHIP, although he did strike out 23 batters for a 10.53 K/9 rate. In his best appearance, in a 3-2 loss to the Colorado Springs Sky Sox on April 20th, he struck out two over 1 1/3 perfect innings.
Burnett was released by the Miami Marlins on June 18th, and has not signed with a team since then. Now 36-years-old, it’s unlikely Burnett gets another deal.
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