Cory Burns is just a so-so prospect. Yeah, he put up some gaudy numbers last year combined in Lake County and Kinston (42 saves and 84 Ks to just 14 walks in 55 innings) but those can be seasoned-college-pitcher-pitching-against-younger-competition numbers.
It also screams quality changeup/other off-speed pitch, which IS his bread and butter
But wait, he was just 22 so he wasn't really overage, especially for the Carolina League where he did his most damage.
And it gets better!
So far this year he has the following stat line:
4 G 4 Saves 4 IP 4 H 1 R 0 ER 0 BB 11 K.
That's right, in AA, which is where you start separating prospects from suspects from organizational guys, Burns has recorded 12 outs and 11 of those are from strikeouts with the 12th out being a groundout from Pittsburgh's #2 prospect, Tony Sanchez. Of his 11 Ks 6 are called and 5 are swinging, including all three today when he got his 4th save, so it's not like he is just getting them to swing at junk. I mean, he hasn't walked a guy. People are taking, people are swinging, they are all grabbing some pine.
Little league-like numbers in AA. Hmmm, we may have a real human interest story here...and a serviceable major league reliever.