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Tim Burcham

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Timothy Lee Burcham

BR minors page

[edit] Biographical Information

Tim Burcham pitched in AAA for seven seasons yet never made the major leagues.

In 1985, Burcham was among NCAA Division I's leaders in strikeouts (146, 5th behind Greg Swindell, Mark Gardner, Mike Cook and Ken Crew), ERA (1.77, 7th, right behind Jeff Plympton) and K/9 (11.2, tied for 8th with Cris Carpenter and one other). The California Angels took him in the 6th round of the 1985 amateur draft, one round after Bobby Rose.

Tim made his pro debut that summer with the Salem Angels and did very well (8-4, 2.96, 91 K, 72 H in 94 1/3 IP) - the big negative was his control, as he walked 52. He tied Wally Whitehurst for the Northwest League lead in strikeouts, he tied Ed West, Steve McGuire and Jeff Shaver for the NWL lead in wins and he was 8th in ERA. He was named to the NWL All-Star team, joining Darrell Rodgers, Clay Parker and Joe Lynch as the hurlers selected.

The right-hander moved up to the Quad City Angels in 1986 and had a 10-12, 4.11 record, with 86 walks and 152 strikeouts in 171 innings. He led his club in both walks and whiffs. In 1987, he improved to 17-6, 3.11 for the Palm Springs Angels, though he again walked 86. He tied Mike Pitz for the California League lead in victories (even though his team was under .500) and tied Pitz for 9th in ERA. Burcham was again named to his league's All-Star team, this time joining Mike Mills, Pitz and Kat Kamei. Baseball America rated him as the Cal League's #9 prospect, between Pitz and Juan Guzman.

With the Midland Angels in 1988, the Virginia alumnus fell to 8-9, 5.49 with 74 walks in 142 2/3 IP. He was three walks shy of Texas League leaders John Wetteland and Jim Hunter. Tim spent most of 1989 back with Midland, now primarily in relief (6-4, 6 Sv, 3.77) though he did get one AAA appearance with the Edmonton Trappers (2 R in 1 1/3 IP). The next year, he spent a full year as a starter for Edmonton, going 9-10 with a 4.57 ERA. In his second straight season with the Trappers, Burcham had a 7-7, 4.98 record in 1991.

Out of the Angels chain, Burcham went south, signing with the Yucatan Lions of the Mexican League, where he went 8-4 with a 3.94 ERA. Returning to the Angels organization in 1993, he split time between Palm Springs (6-5, 3.43) and the Vancouver Canadians (0-2, 29 H, 19 R in 14 1/3 IP). He was back in Mexico in 1994, going 9-6 with a 2.80 ERA for the Jalisco Charros. He completed seven of 15 starts.

Tim opened 1995 as a replacement player for the San Francisco Giants and was named their Opening Day starter. When the 1995 strike ended, though, Burcham was sent down to the Phoenix Firebirds, where he was not impressive (18 H, 7 R in 10 2/3 IP, 1-0) and was released. He would never get that chance in the majors that he lost when the strike ended.

Burcham split his final summer, 1996, between the Palm Springs Suns (5-7, 2.56, 21 BB, 95 K in 102 IP) and Jalisco (1-2, 3.18). He was second in the Western Baseball League in ERA, behind Jose Salcedo, but got left off the league All-Star team.

Overall, Burcham had a 95-78 record in his 11 seasons in the minor leagues.

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