Tuesday, December 22, 2015

SEAN BURROUGHS LANDS IN OBREGON

Sean Burroughs has seen a lot in his 35 years.

The son of 1974 American League MVP Jeff Burroughs, Sean first gained worldwide attention as the star of the Long Beach, California team that won consecutive Little League World Series titles in 1992 and 1993 (throwing consecutive no-hitters one year).  Five years after winning his second LLWS, Burroughs was selected as a third baseman with the ninth pick of the 1998 draft by the Padres and turned down a scholarship at USC to sign with San Diego.  Two years later, representing Class AA Mobile, he was named the MVP of the All-Star Futures Game, an honor won the previous year by Alfonso Soriano and subsequently by Jose Reyes, Grady Sizemore and Billy Butler, and he was Baseball America's fourth-ranked prospect in the game heading into the 2002 season.

Things haven't quite worked out since as many had expected.  While he did start at third for the Padres in 2003 and 2004 (batting .286 and .298, respectively), he never developed into the run producer envisioned and has bounced between the majors and minors ever since, with MLB stops in Tampa Bay, Arizona and Minnesota along the way.

Burroughs quit the game after playing four games for the Mariners' AAA Tacoma affiliate in 2007 and his life off the field eventually spun out of control so that by 2010, he was scuffling for food on the streets of Las Vegas and hopping from motel to motel while dealing with a drug addiction.  Burroughs eventually found help, cleaned up and returned to baseball in 2011 with the Arizona Diamonbacks, hitting .273 in 78 games, but driving in only 8 runs.  His last MLB experience came in 2012, when he batted .118 in 10 games for Minnesota.  He split last summer between Bridgeport and Long Island of the independent Atlantic League, batting a combined .340 with 4 homers and 51 RBI's over 90 games.  And now he's with the Yaquis.  Or not.

After playing ten games for La Guaira in the Venezuelan League prior to joining the Yaquis, Burroughs made his Yaquis debut last Tuesday in Los Mochis and went 1-for-4 with a run scored.  He played all three games in the series against the Caneros, going 2-for-11, before returning to Obregon and bringing his LMP batting average up to .313 by turning in a 3-for-5 night with two doubles, driving in two runs and scoring another in a Yaquis win over Culiacan.

Since then, he hasn't played a game for manager Eddie Diaz' squad, sitting out the final two games against Mochis and Monday's opener against Jalisco in Guadalajara.  Internet searches have turned up no explanation for Burroughs' absence following his three-hit night.  One possible roadblock to playing time is that he plays the same position as Cubs prospect Christian Villanueva, who is having a terrific season for the Yaquis, but with his history, you hold your breath a little.

Hopefully, Sean Burroughs will resurface with the Yaquis or some other team and find the peace and happiness that's eluded him for years.  He's seen enough of everything else.