Q&A With Oregon State Commit Nathan Burns

By Matt Huck
Area Scout

Recently 2017 RHP Nathan Burns of West Bend West committed to Oregon State. Burns will be joining fellow STiKS Academy teammate Zach Clayton in Corvallis who ----WI 10.24.15 Southern WI Open SLIDE - 10.24.15SouthernWI_slideFINAL.jpgcommitted to the Beavers earlier this fall. Burns is currently ranked No. 3 in the Wisconsin Class of 2017 and No. 176 in the PBR Overall Ranks. He is coming off an impressive summer, culminating at the PBR Future Games in Indiana where he saw his stock skyrocket behind his easy mid-to-upper 80's fastball and three pitch feel.

Here is a report on Burns from the event.

Nathan Burns7/31/15 - No pitcher helped themselves more at the Future Games than Burns. The 6-foot, 155-pound right-handed pitcher has a lanky frame and wiry build that projects well. His young body composition is not even close to reaching its peak. He’s a lean athlete whose delivery repeats well, a high pitchability guy showing command of multiple pitches. Arm action is loose working from a ¾ slot, comes out of his hand with ease and his arm speed projects for more velocity as he matures. Burns showed the best fastball velocity we’ve seen from him, sitting 85-87 mph while touching 88 mph. He calls his breaking ball a curve, from the ¾ slot it shows two-plane break, more slurve type action ranging 72-77 mph while flashing swing and miss abilities. Also showed good feel for his changeup, using it primarily to left-handed hitters at 76-78 mph with fading action.  Burns allowed one hit in his two innings of work facing the minimum. Burns walked away from the Future Games as one of the hotter names going forward and should see his stock rise immensely.

PBR: What were your expectations about the recruiting process? Was it as expected? Easy/Difficult?

Burns: Going into it I was expecting it to be a lot of fun, and I was exactly right.  It was really fun for me for the most part and there was really only stress in the beginning, trying to get used to it, and at the end when I had it narrowed down and having such a hard decision to make. It was a great time of my life and I enjoyed it.

PBR: What were you looking for out of a college program to continue your baseball career at? 

Burns: The biggest thing I was looking for was a program that had a great coaching staff that I would be comfortable with and would help me reach my goals as a person and as a player. I was also looking for a college that had an excellent campus and environment. Corvallis feels like home to me and that was a big factor. Lastly, I wanted to go to a program that has the ability to compete to go to Omaha every year and win a national championship.

PBR: Did location or distance from home play a factor in your decision? 

Burns: Distance from home did not play any role in my decision. Being 31 hours away from home at Oregon State will take time to get used to but I think I will adjust really well because I felt like I was at home in Corvallis.  It is a great college town and I am really excited to get out there.

PBR: When did the recruiting process really start to heat up for you? Was there a particular game or event that you feel turned the corner for you? 

Burns: The PBR Future Games without a doubt was the turning point for me. It is the best event in the country to go to if you are uncommitted, heading into your Junior year. I am extremely grateful to the PBR staff for allowing me to participate in the event and it was an awesome time.  I met some really good guys there and had a blast.

PBR: Where did the college you chose first see you? How did your relationship develop with them?

Burns: Oregon State was not able to attend the Future Games but they had reviewed my PBR videos and profile.  Coach Yeskie wanted to see me throw in person, so he flew in and came to STiKS and watched me throw a bullpen before I went out to visit. I have developed an excellent relationship with him and the rest of the staff and I am excited for the years to come.

PBR: What do you like most about the college you committed to and what were the key factors in making your decision?

Burns: What I learned from the recruiting process was that almost everyone has great facilities, and support so I wanted to look more into other factors like campus environment, quality education, and most importantly my comfort with the coaching staff and how well I think that they will help me develop as a person and as a player. Oregon State was great in all of those aspects and areas.

PBR: What other schools were on your short list before you made your final decision?

Burns: After the Future Games, I quickly narrowed it down to a short list, and made visits to all of them. The other schools on my short list included: Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Missouri, and Michigan.

PBR: Who is the best player you have faced in your state, and why?

Burns: I have only faced him live indoors, but I am going to have to say Anthony Schlass.  Anthony is one of my best friends and has been for my whole life.  He is a great player with great bat speed and has the chance to hit the ball hard every time he steps into the box.  He has a great future ahead of him and I am looking forward to watching him continue to get even better over the next couple years as his teammate.

PBR: At what point in your career did you realize you were a college caliber player and became serious about taking your game to the next level?

Burns: I always had belief that I could become a college player and starting for West Bend West as a freshman and having success gave me an even stronger belief.  I have always been serious in working to better myself as a player and the hard work has paid off in big ways.

PBR: What advice would you give to young baseball players striving to get where you are?

Burns: Dream big and set goals for yourself and work hard towards achieving those goals and dreams. Work as hard as you can. You get one shot at this and you do not want to have any regret about what you could have done to better yourself as a baseball player. Never settle for anything but the best that you can possibly be.

PBR: What is the most memorable moment in your baseball career to this point?

Burns: The most memorable moment for me was committing to Oregon State. The feeling that you have achieved the goal that you have been working your entire life for is unreal.

PBR: Preview your high school season for us. How do you feel your team will be? What are your expectations and goals?

Burns: Playing for a program like West Bend West and Coach Bill Albrecht ,there will always be a chance of making a run at the state title. We have a lot of returning Sophomore and Junior players with lots of varsity experience and I believe that we will once again be a very tough team to beat and we are going to work very hard to make our dream a reality, and that is winnings a state title.

PBR: Where do you play in the summer? And what has been your most memorable experience with them?

Burns: West Bend West plays high school baseball in the summer so I do not travel with anyone during that time.  I do play for STiKS Academy in the fall and spring and train there nearly year round.  I have had lots of great experiences with STiKS and am grateful for every one of them, and I am looking forward to the great moments to come.

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