The senior outfielder and captain had a stellar junior campaign for the Phoenix, batting .322 with a .476 on-base percentage, 21 runs scored and 26 RBI’s. An exceptional defensive outfielder, he received All-Friends’ Schools League honors as well as second team All-Main Line baseball honors. Friends’ Central baseball coach Jon Rubin said, “Leo is a great player with a very bright future, and cares passionately about his teammates and the [FCS] program. What I like the most about Leo is that he is incredibly resilient and has a huge heart.”
Q: What do you think has been the most important thing you’ve learned recently regarding hitting?
A: The most important thing I have learned about hitting recently is that it’s all about having a plan – understanding the count, pitch sequence, and situation you are in. I always assess the situation that I am stepping into and the pitches I have seen before and also what my teammates have seen. This allows me to be ready for anything and everything so when the time comes, I can react and let loose. This helps not just with batting average but also drawing walks and helping your on-base percentage.
Q: What are your thoughts about the cancellation of the spring baseball season because of the COVID-19 situation? How did you see your leadership role as a senior captain the past few weeks?
A: The delay and eventual cancellation of the spring baseball season has been really hard to deal with. This was my last chance to bring a FSL title to the program, which was my ultimate goal this year for the program. The delay of the season did not stop me from developing my game during my days at home. I have a batting cage in my backyard that I use nearly every day to get my swings in. My leadership role did not stop during the delay – I tried to be as positive and encouraging during the delay, telling my teammates to stay grinding, stay ready, and keep up with school work.
Q: What were you hoping to achieve this spring?
A: I wanted to be the best example on the field for the young guys. Stay level headed, positive, and always hustling on and off the field. I wanted to be the best leader I could possibly be for the people beside me, with that said I wanted to win the most games against our out of league competition than I ever had in my prior years (more specifically the Inter-Ac schools). I wanted to also win the FSL championship and lead my team to do something that we haven’t been able accomplish in my past three years. Personally I wanted to hit four or more homeruns, bat .350 or better, and lead the team in RBI’s.
Q: What aspect of your game did you work on the most in the off-season?
A: One aspect I worked on most in the off-season was my mental game, staying mentally tough and leaving the failures in the past, resulting in having a complete next-pitch mentality, and being able to control my breath in times of serious pressure. If there is one thing I haven’t been able to master until this year is being able to block out the noise and just control what I can control. This off-season I was able to take serious strides with the help of my coaches. Coach Becker, Bob Wright, and Coach [Jon] Rubin helped me every step of the way with breathing, dealing with failure, and positive self-talk throughout my four years at Friends’ Central, but this year I personally took it into my own power to try and master these skills.
Q: Tell us a little about your start in baseball. Who have been your biggest baseball mentors, and what was the most important thing each of them taught you about baseball?
A: My baseball career started at Media Little League, I had very big mentors in the early years of my career, such as Marty Burman (my dad), and coaches Tom Furman, Tom Bradley and Bill Virbitsky. These people helped me build my fundamentals of the game, especially my father when it came to hitting. These coaches helped me build a competitive edge to want to win, how to properly run the bases, and how to become a reliable defensive right fielder from a young age. When I became older and learned more throughout playing the game my club team coaches also helped me with furthering my baseball IQ. When I got to high school I learned a whole new side of the game, the mental piece. Coach Becker, Bob Wright, and Coach [Jon] Rubin helped me become a much more complete and all-around player.
Q: What has been your most memorable experience as a Friends’ Central baseball player?
A: My most memorable experience has to be either when I hit my grand slam last year in Myrtle Beach, S.C. and meeting my teammates at home plate, or when I robbed a player on Shipley from a home run and holding the ball up to hear the crowd explode with cheer and amazement. Both were very memorable experiences!
Q: Who is your favorite baseball player? What is your favorite baseball park?
A: My favorite player is Bryce Harper and the ballpark has to be Citizen Bank Park.
Q: What do you think you might like to major in at York College? Is there a career field that particularly interests you at the present time?
A: I am majoring in Business Administration next year at York College, I don’t have an exact career field that I am particularly focused on but I am in The Graham Innovation Scholars Program that focuses on innovating and developing business ideas to then put into action in the real world.
Fun facts – Leo Burman
Favorite book: Catcher In The Rye.
Favorite author: F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Favorite TV show: Entourage.
Favorite movie: Dirty Dancing.
Favorite athlete: Lebron James.
Favorite pre-game pump-up song: Blood on the leaves by Kanye West.
Favorite team: Sixers.
Favorite place to visit: Universal Studios (Orlando, Fla.)
Favorite pre-game meal: peanut butter and jelly.
Person I most admire, and why: “My brother Alex Burman because he works hard and always has goals set out for himself.”
Family members: parents Marty and Annmarie, brothers Ben, Alex and Sammy.
(To be selected as Main Line Boys Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by his coach.)