Mike Burke is entering his third year in the Orioles farm system and he's having a fantastic season but the O's can't seem to settle on a spot for the right-handed pitcher.
Drafted in 30th round of the 2014 major league draft Burke was quickly sent to the Gulf Coast Orioles, Baltimore's rookie club. He pitched in 11 games, going 1-0 with a save and a 2.45 ERA. When the rookie season was over Burke was promoted to Aberdeen, a short season A club.
He was only with the Ironbirds a couple of weeks but got to pitch three times, once again going 1-0 with a save but this time, he never surrendered a run.
In 2015 Burke was sent to Aberdeen, a full A level club. he spent the whole year with the Shorebirds, pitching 28 times. Burke was 2-2 with a save and a 3.36 ERA. Not as good as his 2014 numbers but it was enough to have him held for extended spring training in 2016.
Up to here, everything is pretty normal. I've seen similar tracks with other UB prospects as I have followed their careers.
But before Aberdeen's season started Burke was sent to the Frederick Keys, an "advanced A" level club.
Burke was absolutely fantastic with the Keys. Three appearances in a little over a week. Burke registers a 1-0 record, a save, struck out 10 batters and only gave up 2 hits. His ERA over this period was 1.13.
After 10 days in Frederick, Burke was sent back to Aberdeen, presumably to a club with a less crowded bullpen.
And again, Burke thrived. The righty pitched two games in three days and picked up a save. He struck out 4, gave up just three hits, and kept his opponents off the boards in both appearances.
Now have pitched five games, striking out 14 batters, allowing only five hits, and working with an ERA of 0.73 Burke is moving again, back to Aberdeen.
The good news, for Burke, is that Aberdeen, Frederick, Delmarva, and even AA Bowie are all in Maryland, a very short drive. Maybe, because Baltimore has put together a ver nice regional farm system, this is normal for them.
Speaking of Bowie. If would be nice to see Burke get a shot at AA ball this summer considering he has pitched great through the month of June.