Marlins organization feels like home for Wright State’s Burdick

Wright State’s Peyton Burdick, who was named Horizon League Player of the Year on Tuesday, leads the Raiders into the league tournament this week. Joseph Craven/CONTRIBUTED

Outfielder is 14th-ranked prospect in Miami farm system

The Miami Marlins organization feels like home for outfielder Peyton Burdick. In a lot of ways, it feels like his previous home: Wright State.

Burdick, a third-round pick in the 2019 draft, said the Marlins do a good job building relationships. He's gotten to meet Derek Jeter, the New York Yankees legend who's the chief executive officer and part owner of the franchise, several times in the last year. In January, Burdick was one of 13 players invited to the Marlins' Captains Camp, a two-week orientation program for the top prospects in the organization.

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“With the culture they’re building and what they’re trying to do in Miami, just to be a part of something like that is going to be so great,” Burdick said Thursday.

Burdick’s pro career got off to a great start last summer. The Batavia, Ohio, native and Glen Este High School graduate played six games in the New York Penn League with the Class-A Short Season Batavia (N.Y.) Muckdogs, hitting .318 with a home run in five RBIs. After being promoted to the Class-A Clinton (Iowa) Lumberkings, Burdick hit .307 with 10 home runs and 59 RBIs. He started 59 games in left field with Clinton and two in right.

In March, MLB.com ranked Burdick the 14th-best prospect in the Marlins organization.

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“I, for sure, feel I helped myself out,” Burdick said. “There were a lot of question marks about me because I came from a mid-major and not from the SEC or ACC, but I believe in what I can do. I wanted to show the Marlins they didn’t waste a pick by picking me in the third round.”

Of course, Burdick’s pro career has been on hold since the coronavirus pandemic resulted in spring training being shut down March 12. He has no idea what the rest of the summer will look like for him. He spent the spring at home with his family and has worked out with other players at a facility just down the road from King’s Island in Mason: Elite Strength and Conditioning.

Even with access to a batting cage and some outdoor time in recent weeks, Burdick knows it will be challenging to flip the switch and get back to baseball whenever happens.

“The hardest thing will be getting acclimated to live pitching,” he said. “Then you’ve got to get the timing down.”

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The extra family time has been a silver lining in a year without baseball. His parents Tyler and Lori have had three of their four kids at home: Peyton and his younger sisters Kaylin and Karley. The oldest son, Tyler, is overseas with the Marines.

While living at home, Burdick waits for news from the Marlins, who will restart training camp July 1. Teams have until Sunday to name the 60 players they will invite to camp.

“I have no idea,” Burdick said. “I’m hoping I get a call. I don’t know what to think. This is the first time this has ever happened. I don’t think really anyone knows. Getting the opportunity to be on the practice squad would be sweet. I’m playing it by ear. I’m ready.”

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