Have you been checking Double-A Somerset Patriots box scores for updates on The Martian, Jasson Dominguez? You might've gotten distracted by someone else's contributions: little-known infielder Max Burt.
While Burt's breakout won't do anything to fix the Yankees' infield logjam, it's still worth pointing out an explosion when you see one, and his early work certainly qualifies.
The 26-year-old Burt, a third baseman by trade and a 28th-round pick out of Northeastern in 2018, got some more extended run this year with the Yankees in spring training than he had in years past. Last season, he socked two home runs in just six at-bats, taking advantage of his limited reps. In 2023, that earned him 15 ABs; he responded with two doubles.
Perhaps inspired by his extra time with the big-leaguers, or by Anthony Volpe's fast rise, Burt has begun 2023 on an absolute tear in Somerset, leading the Eastern League across the board and displaying surprising power.
Sadly, an 0-fer on Wednesday dropped Burt to .440, and he now sits at .444 through play on Friday. Get your pitchforks out!
Yankees Double-A infielder Max Burt is on fire to start 2023
It seemed, at first, that 2021 fifth-rounder Tyler Hardman would be the slugging infielder everyone would be focused on at Double-A to begin this season.
Hardman has three home runs of his own, and has gotten on base at a solid clip, but Burt's breakout -- leading to the nickname "Maxy Barrels" -- has clearly merited more consideration.
On a night when supposed Yankees starting third baseman Josh Donaldson was rehabbing with the team, it's notable that Burt went yard yet again. Donaldson, on the other hand, didn't run the ball out in any of his three at-bats, and is supposedly still being bothered by hamstring soreness.
Burt may be peaking in the early going, and he may never crack New York's complex infield tapestry.
That said, the bat has made him a known commodity, and a hot April and May could ensure he becomes a fourth piece in a deadline blockbuster (or, you know, a helpful bat in the Bronx).