Lance Burkhart

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Lance Earl Burkhart

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Biographical Information[edit]

Catcher Lance Burkhart is the brother of former big leaguer Morgan Burkhart and former minor leaguer Damon Burkhart. Lance was selected by the Montréal Expos in the 15th Round of the 1997 amateur draft after batting .335/?/.624 as a college senior with 17 homers (second in the Missouri Valley Conference to Jason Hart) and making the All-Conference tream as the top catcher. He hit .168/~.256/.224 in his professional debut with the Vermont Expos. In 1998, Burkhart hit .295/~.456/.432 in 16 games for Vermont and .240/~.424/.400 in 17 outings for the Cape Fear Crocs. The next season, he concluded his unremarkable run in the Expos organization by going 1 for 6 with two walks and 4 Ks for Cape Fear, 1 for 8 with five strikeouts for the Ottawa Lynx and hitting .214/~.285/.389 with the Jupiter Hammerheads.

He had his contract purchased by the Milwaukee Brewers in February of 2000. Lance began the 2000 season in Single-A with the Beloit Snappers before being promoted to the AA Huntsville Stars. Though he struggled after the promotion (.196/.286/.361 in 51 games), he batted .282/.388/.624 with 17 home runs and 64 RBI in only 58 games with the Snappers. Old for mid-class A at age 25, he had a higher slugging percentage than any of the Midwest League's qualifiers, with leader Albert Pujols slugging .565.

He began the following season, once again, in Single-A before being promoted to AA. He was chosen a California League All-Star after batting .313/.434/.678 with 20 home runs in only 65 games for the High Desert Mavericks. He did much better in his second crack at AA, hitting .235/.327/.506 for Huntsville. Overall, he smshed 32 home runs, drove in 93 and scored 91 that year. He led the Brewers minor league chain in home runs and tied Steve Scarborough for the walk lead (65). Lance split the 2002 season in AA and AAA with the Stars (.247/.414/.459 in 28 games) and the Indianapolis Indians (just .145/.263/.217 in 27 games). He battled injuries, appearing in only 55 games, and was released after the season.

Burkhart spent 2003 in the Texas Rangers organization bouncing between A, AA, and AAA, batting only .200 for the season - he was 2 for 9 with the Clinton Lumber Kings, hit .202/.323/.385 with the Frisco RoughRiders and was 1 for 7 with two walks and four strikeouts for the Oklahoma RedHawks. He was signed by the Baltimore Orioles for 2004 and batted .230/.327/.493 in AA with the Bowie BaySox, smacking 11 home runs in 148 AB. In a rehab stint with the Aberdeen IronBirds, he was 4 for 6 with a single, double, triple, home run and walk in two games.

Lance played the 2005 and 2006 with the Lancaster Barnstormers in the independent Atlantic League. He was selected to the league's all-star team in 2005 after a .251/.390/.444 season with 18 HR and 76 walks in 117 games played. He slipped to a .222/.339/.438 line at age 31 with 16 homers in 98 outings.

Post-Playing Career[edit]

Burkhart became a hitting coach with the Lancaster Barnstormers in 2010-2013,[1] then managed the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs in 2014. The next year he followed his brother to the San Diego Padres organization and replaced Morgan as hitting coach of the Fort Wayne TinCaps.[2]. Lance returned to the TinCaps to begin the 2016 season. After Francisco Morales resigned as manager of the Lake Elsinore Storm on May 18th, Burkhart was promoted to replace him on the 23rd. Burkhart returned to coaching hitters in 2017 with the San Antonio Missions. The next year he moved up to the El Paso Chihuahuas as their fielding coach and retained this role in 2019 while Morgan served as the team's hitting coach. This was the first time the brothers had ever played or coached together. Lance was scheduled to return to El Paso in 2020 before the season was cancelled due to COVID-19.

Burkhart moved to the San Francisco Giants' chain as manager of the ACL Giants Black in 2021. He took over as the Giant's minor league catching coordinator for 2022 and remained in that role in 2023.

Year-By-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
2016 Lake Elsinore Storm California League 50=46 6th San Diego Padres replaced Francisco Morales and Tony Tarasco
2021 ACL Giants Black Arizona Complex League 28-31 11th San Francisco Giants