Rookie of the (Half) Year – Billy Burns
Jul 4, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics outfielder Billy Burns (1) steals third base against the Seattle Mariners in the seventh inning at O.co Coliseum. The Athletics defeated the Mariners 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
It was predicted that this speedy base runner was going to join the team in September of this year. However, due to Coco Crisp’s neck injury, Billy Burns’ found himself on the A’s roster sooner than expected. During his time with Oakland, he has not only contributed, but he has exceeded expectations and has been a blessing in disguise for the Athletics.
When the A’s lost Crisp to injury, they also lost their catalyst at the top of the lineup. However, Burns has really stepped up and taken on the role as the lead off spark. Most of his success has to do with approach at the plate. He is currently hitting .475 when swinging at the first pitch and is batting .353 when leading off the inning.
His speed has also helped immensely with the absence of Crisp. Burns has 17 stolen bases this season and has only been caught three times. With his fast feet, Burns has helped his team by getting in scoring position during key situations.
Lastly, Burns makes those diving, Sports Center worthy top plays on a regular basis in center field. His speed helps him cover the vast outfield at the O.Co Coliseum and he rarely makes a mistake. Burns currently has a 1.00 fielding percentage over 63 games played at that position and has completed 136 putouts out of 137 chances. Burns has already made his mark on the Athletics since coming up to the majors in early May and is definitely the A’s Rookie Of The Year for the season thus far.
Next: Cy Young - Sonny Gray