Alumni Report: Blake Burke, Zion Rose, Cooper Pratt stand out

As Future Stars Series steamrolls further into 2024, those that have blazed the path in the rearview are starring at the next three levels. In efforts to continue celebrating those players, we spotlight several every week.


Blake Burke, 1B — Tennessee

Not only did Burke go 7-for-15 in the series at Auburn, but his home run in Saturday’s win set a new Tennessee career home run record at 41.

Burke is up to .408/.474/.833 with 11 homers, and is firmly in the Top three rounds of the 2024 MLB Draft class.

Zion Rose, CF — Louisville

Rose continues to rake, going 6-for-11 with a triple and four RBI versus North Carolina State. He also stole a base and scored twice.

Rose, a freshman, is batting .350/.429/.588 with 10 extra-base hits and an even ratio of walks to strikeouts (10.8%).

Tre Phelps, OF — Georgia

Phelps started off the week 3-for-5 versus Georgia State with two doubles and a home run, then followed with a 5-for-10 series at Mississippi State, including two more doubles.

After a somewhat slow start, the freshman is up to .340/.456/.642 with 10 extra-base hits in just 66 plate appearances.

Kevin Bazzell, C/DH — Texas Tech

Bazzell has had a big year and had another big week. IN for games versus Stanford and Houston, Bazzell collected 10 hits in 15 at-bats, led off by a two-homer game Monday versus the Cardinal.

For the season, Bazzell is batting .393/.500/.631 with four homers, and a 14-11 BB/K ratio in 22 starts. He’s a draft-eligible sophomore who ranks at No. 99 on Joe Doyle’s latest Draft Board.

Kyle DeBarge, SS — Louisiana

The shortstop went 7-for-15 with three homers, a double, and six RBI this week. He also swiped two bags and played flawless defense.

DeBarge, after an uneven start to the season, is up to .323/.397/.661 with 11 homers.

Ian Petrutz, OF — Alabama

Despite an 0-for-4 outing Sunday, Petrutz went 6-for-15 for the week with three doubles and a home run. The left-handed hitter now has 14 extra-base hits on the season to go with a .344 average and .450 on-base mark.

Petrutz ranks one spot ahead of Bazzell on the Top 300 at No. 98 overall.

Tyson Neighbors, RHP — Kansas State

Neighbors, the Wildcats closer, went 3.2 shutout frames this past week, allowing one hit and a walk while fanning seven.

He may be the best pure reliever in the draft class, hitting the mid-90s with life and two swing-and-miss secondaries in a slider and splitter.

Neighbors, who started the year injured, has appeared in eight games, yielding 12 baserunners and punnching out 19 batters in 12 frames.


Cooper Pratt, 3B — Milwaukee Brewers (A)

Pratt, a sixth-round pick by the Brewers last July — one of the best bargains of the draft — started his 2024 off with a bang, going 4-for-11 with two extra-base hits, three RBI, and four walks over the weekend.

Pratt ranks No. 13 on Joe Doyle’s Brewers Top 30, but there;s tons of room for the infielder to mash his way to the top.

Drew Gilbert, CF — New York Mets (AAA)

Gilbert went 5-for-13 this week after a 1-for-12 start. He also walked twice.

The centerfielder hit .289/.381/.487 with 18 homers split between two organizations last season and is a phone call away from Citi Field.

Tink Hence, RHP — St. Louis Cardinals (AA)

Hence, 21, went five hitless frames for Double-A Springfield, striking out three and walking just one.

The right-hander sat 93-98 mph and allowed just one batted ball hit over 90 mph — a ground ball that never left the infield. He threw 67 pitches, 43 for strikes.

Cam Collier, 3B — Cincinnati Reds (A+)

Collier gathered one or more hits in all three games over the weekend, including a three-hit effort Sunday and his first home run of the year Saturday.

It was a 5-for-13 opening series for Collier, the Reds’ first-round pick in 2022 and a Future Stars Series Main Event Alum.

Petey Halpin, CF — Cleveland Guardians (AA)

Halpin, the Guardians third-round selection in 2020, went 7-for-13 over opening weekend in Akron, including a double and his first home run of the year.

Halpin starred in multiple Future Stars Series events, displaying plus hitting traits, including bat speed, an advanced approach and above-average power potential, which he may be tapping into this season.

Jonathon Long, 3B — Chicago Cubs (A+)

Long, the Cubs’ ninth-round pick last summer, impressed in 26 games post-draft and picked up where he left off with a 4-for-12 opening weekend.

The 2024 start includeds two doubles.


Jared Jones, RHP — Pittsburgh Pirates
Grayson Rodriguez, RHP — Baltimore Orioles

The pair of flamethrowing Future Stars Series alum faced each other Friday and both pitched well.

Rodriguez, 24, went 6.1 innings, surrendering two earned runs. He walked two and struck out seven. Two of the six hits he allowed were long balls (Oneil Cruz, Jared Triolo), but his Orioles got the win 5-2.

The 22-year-old Jones went six, also allowing two runs on six hits, also yielding two homers (Ryan O’Hearn, Gunnar Henderson), and also striking out seven.

Both hurlers have been very good early, each sitting 95-98 mph. Jones is among the initia Rookie of the Year frontrunners in the National League.

Jason A. Churchill
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