Burleson collects another preseason honor as Pirates get set for opening day


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GREENVILLE, N.C. – East Carolina junior Alec Burleson is one of 55 players named to the preseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List for the 2020 season USA Baseball announced Thursday. The list is the beginning process in identifying the top amateur baseball player (high school or college) in the country.

Burleson becomes the fourth Pirate in program history to be named to the initial list following Kyle Roller (2010), Jeff Hoffman (2014) and Bryant Packard (2019). Five players have been named to the midseason watch list at ECU (Corey Kemp/2008; Hoffman/2013; Evan Kruczynski/2016, Chris Holba/2018 and Jake Agnos/2019), while Kemp is the only Pirate to be named a semifinalist.

The Denver, N.C. native, who was named to five All-America squads in 2019, is regarded as one of the top two-way players in the country after being named a finalist for the 2019 John Olerud National Player-of-the-Year Award. Burleson led the Pirates outright in eight offensive categories including batting average (.370), doubles (23), hits (91), RBI (61) and multi-hit games (23), while sharing the team lead in multi-RBI contests (16) and fielding percentage (1.000). He slugged at a .573 clip to stand second on the club and belted nine homers to rank third.

On the mound, he appeared in 24 games making nine starts where he owned a 6-2 ledger with five saves and a 3.28 ERA. Burleson earned his 11th career win against Campbell in an elimination game on June 3 in the 2019 Greenville Regional after working five innings. He fanned 68 batters while walking 26 and struck out a career-high 10 batters against Monmouth on Feb. 23. The lefty allowed 22 runs (all earned) on 56 hits in 60.1 innings and held opposing hitters to a composite .246 average. In the classroom, he is a six-time ECU Director of Athletic Honor member, a 2018 AAC All-Academic selection and was a 2019 Third-Team Google Cloud Academic All-American who boasts a 3.959 cumulative GPA as a business management major.

During the summer, Burleson played for the USA Collegiate National Team helping the Red, White and Blue to an 8-6 overall record which included series wins over Chinese Taipei and Cuba. He appeared in eight games making four starts in the field where he batted .267 (4-for-15) with a home run and three RBI. His lone home run, a solo walk-off blast in the bottom of the ninth, lifted USA to a 3-2 victory over Japan. On the mound, he sported a 2.53 ERA in three outings striking out eight in 10.2 innings.

USA Baseball will announce the finalists on May 28 and fan voting will open at GoldenSpikesAward.com concurrently and will remain open through June 7. The 43rd Golden Spikes Award will be presented on Thursday, June 11 in Omaha, Neb., for the second consecutive year.

Burleson’s 2020 Preseason Honors

  • Golden Spikes Award Watch List (USA Baseball)
  • First-Team All-America (Collegiate Baseball)
  • First-Team All-America (D1Baseball)
  • First-Team All-America (NCBWA)
  • First-Team All-America (Perfect Game)
  • Stopper-of-the-Year Watch List (NCBWA)
  • Preseason American Athletic Conference Player-of-the-Year
  • Preseason First-Team All-AAC (LHP/OF)
  • Preseason American Athletic Conference Player-of-the-Year (Baseball America)
  • Preseason American Athletic Conference Player-of-the-Year (D1Baseball)
  • Bobby Bragan Collegiate Slugger Award nominee

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