Billy Burns, a former Edenton Steamer, made his major league debut for the Oakland Athletics on July 28. He came on as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning and flew out to right in his only at-bat of the game.
The 25-year-old outfielder was batting .250 with 20 doubles, three triples, one home run, and 23 RBIs playing for the Athletics’ Double-A affiliate the Midland Rockhounds. It is his speed however that is most impressive, with a Texas League leading 51 stolen bases this season and 176 total in his four-year minor league career. For that reason, when the Athletics lost their best utility outfielder and pinch-running option in Craig Gentry due to injury, Burns earned the call. With the Athletics’ fighting for a West Division title the former Mercer standout will likely be looked to as a key contributor off the bench.
During his time in the Coastal Plain League Burns was an All-Star for the 2010 Edenton Steamers, batting .294 with nine doubles, two triples, one home run, 25 RBIs and 16 stolen bases. The speedy outfielder also scored 35 runs, good for fourth most in the league trailing the leader by only four.
Burns became the 72nd CPL alum to make his major league debut, and the eighth already this season. He also marks the eighth former Steamer to debut, joining Justin Freeman and Vidal Nuno who each debuted last season.
About the Coastal Plain League:
The Coastal Plain League is the nation’s hottest summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 18th season in 2014, the CPL features 14 teams playing in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The CPL gives college players the chance to refine their skills with the use of wooden bats. Players are housed with local host families for the summer and past experiences have been very positive for both players and hosts. Further more, the CPL has had over 1,200 alumni drafted and 72 alums – including 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander – make their Major League debut thus far; while another notable alum – Russell Wilson – won Super Bowl XLVIII. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at CoastalPlain.com, and be sure to friend us on Facebook (at www.facebook.com/coastalplainleague) and follow us via Twitter (as CPLBaseball).