I seriously doubt the real Hall of Fame ever inducts Pat Burrell, but for now he is being honored by his alma mater. The University of Miami will officially induct "The Bat" into their Hall of Fame on February 13th. As many of you know, Pat was the 1st overall pick in the '98 draft by the Phils, and for good reason- he was rated the nation's top amateur player winning the Golden Spikes Award. While at Miami Burrell dominated collegiate pitchers to the tune of a .442 batting average with 61 homeruns and 187 rbi in 3 seasons. With all that success in college, many expected him to go on to do great things in the pros, but it has been a bumpy road. He's had lows- .209 average in '03, and he's had highs- 37 homeruns in '02 and 117 rbi in '05, but usually he's sliding right into the middle of cheers and jeers, getting his share of both.
In the past I've defended Burrell's worth. I stood by him until mid-season last year when his average was about to dip below .200 and he was killing the offense...I should have waited another week. Pat had a remarkable resurgence in the 2nd half and carried the offense at times, and in the end he came back to career norms. So, when people ask what I expect from Burrell, I tell them the same thing he does almost every season- .260 average, 30 bombs, and about 100 rbi. Which if you think about it, are some decent stats. Why do people get so pissed at him then? He's wildly inconsistent from month to month and that regularity of fluctuation irks fans. Burrell is set to hit free agency after this year and has went on record as to saying he wants to remain in Philly because he loves it here. Well, I love you here too Burrell and hope you stay on a couple more seasons. Many people wish he were already gone, and think he's vastly overpaid. Those are the same people who boo him mercilessly at home games, but cheer the crap out of him when he kills the Mets (Screw you Billy!). I'm not saying he's a complete player, far from it, but in today's world of Major League Baseball, players with Burrell's stats make Burrell money ($14 million in '08). Don't be surprised in Pat lands a 3 year 40 million dollar deal this offseason. Bottom line, we need his right-handed bat in our lineup, and hopefully every Phils Phan is rooting him on from now on.