Hiram Burgos is not a hard guy to root for.
Drafted in the sixth round in 2009, the native of Puerto Rico has been on fire all year. After a slow start to his professional career, Burgos has quickly risen though the Brewers’ farm system. He earned an early season promotion from Brevard County to Huntsville, where Burgos went 6-1 with a 1.94 ERA and was awarded with another promotion to Triple-A Nashville. His success in the lower affiliates followed him to Nashville, where he has gone 2-2 with a 3.35 ERA.
While his 90-91mph fastball does not overpower hitters, Burgos features five pitches that he can throw for strikes. He attacks the strike zone and rarely walks batters. Fresh off his latest start where he tossed six innings of four-hit ball, I spoke with Burgos last night:
WW: Hiram can you give me a little bit of information on your background? How did you end up here?
HB: I’m from Puerto Rico. I grew up there and was raised there. I went to baseball academy there in high school. After I graduated, I got offered a scholarship to go to college and play division one baseball at Bethume-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, FL. So I went there for four years, and then my senior year I got picked by the Brewers in the sixth round and this is my fourth year in the system. This year, I started in High-A.
WW: Yeah, you have had quite the year so far.
HB: Yeah, I’ve been having a great year.
WW: If you were to go back in time and think about what your goals were at the beginning of the year, was this part of your plan? Did you think you would reach this level?
HB: I’ve always been a guy who makes a goal, and I can’t put a new one in front of me until I finish the one I already set. Of course, since I was a kid, my goal was to go to the big leagues, you know, make it to the big leagues. I haven’t made it there yet, but I’m working on it, man (laughs). You have to start from the bottom and go up a little bit at a time. This year was a big jump, and it’s not done yet.
WW: Tell me a little about that. I know there is always a transition from High-A to Double-A to Triple-A, and you went through all of them this year. What have the last four months of your life been like?
HB: It’s been awesome. I thank God for everything. I’ve been traveling a lot and playing with a lot of guys from spring training that I knew a little bit but were older than me that I didn’t know as well, but you know, it’s been great. When you jump to so many teams and you are moving up you feel like you are doing something right (laughs). You are doing something good.
WW: I’m assuming your next move is to make it to the big leagues. You only have a week left here, but have you heard any rumblings about possibly getting called up?
HB: You never know. In this game you never know. I just stay positive. I just want to finish my season strong here, and if it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t happen, I will keep working hard and go home and get ready for spring training next year.
WW: What are your plans for offseason? What will you be up to?
HB: Every year, I’ve been playing winter ball back home in Puerto Rico, but this year, I don’t know yet because of the amount of innings I pitched this year. I’ve got 165 innings already this year. I want to be healthy for next year’s spring training. So I will just go home and enjoy my new family, because I’ve got an eleven-month-old daughter; she will be a year old in September…
WW: What’s her name?
HB: Pamela. So she’s been a big motivator for me too. I want to give my family the best I can. I am following my dreams, and I keep working hard.
WW: Hiram, you have done a lot this year. Congratulations on all your success, and congrats on the big win last night. Best of luck to you.
HB: Thank you.