- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 6", Weight 195 lb.
Mihai Burlea is the ace of the Romanian national team. His fastball has been timed as fast as 92 mph.
Burlea was 4-7 with a 4.07 ERA for Eastern Arizona College in 2005-2006, with 62 strikeouts and 14 walks in 67 innings. After transferring to Northwestern, he became their top pitcher, going 12-1 with a save and a 3.06 ERA in 2006-2007. He fanned 113 and allowed 73 hits in 97 innings. Baseball America named him a NAIA All-American honorable mention. He had a fine summer with the Brainerd Blue Thunder of the Northwoods League, appearing in the All-Star game. Burlea was again the Northwestern ace in 2007-2008, going 9-4 with a 3.06 ERA and a save and fanning 74 in 79 1/3 innings. During his US time, he was the only Romanian baseball player at the US college level; none had ever played in the minors.
Burlea signed with the RCH MediaMonks in the Dutch Hoofdklasse, showing up after the US college season ended. He started off 3-3 with a 1.99 ERA and 53 strikeouts in 45 1/3 IP. It was especially impressive given that the MediaMonks were a very weak team and had gone 2-21 for their other pitchers. Overall, he went 4-5 with a 2.23 ERA. He tied Kenny Berkenbosch for 3rd in the league in complete games (3), tied for third in strikeouts (68, behind only Rob Cordemans and Leon Boyd), was 5th in walks (40), 8th in ERA and 2nd in lowest average allowed (.199, behind only Cordemans).
Burlea was with the Romanian national team for the 2008 European Championship Qualifiers. He picked up a crucial win, beating Oleksandr Trofimenko and the Ukrainian national team 1-0 in 10 innings, throwing 130 pitches in the complete game duel. He allowed only 2 hits and one walk while striking out 13 batters. He lost his rematch with the Ukraine as Romania was denied a first-ever European Championship visit. Overall, Burlea was 1-1 with a 1.42 ERA, 22 K and 7 H in 19 IP. He led that qualifier in strikeouts.
For 2009, Burlea signed with Parma, becoming the first Romanian to sign in the Italian league. Unfortunately, he had also signed a contract with RCH for the 2009 season, creating a legal dilemma. The conflict had been resolved by May 22, when Burlea tossed 2 1/3 shutout relief innings for Parma against De Angelis Godo.