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MLB Draft 2017: White Sox select Jake Burger with 11th overall pick

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Missouri State third baseman has big power, big body

With the 11th overall pick, the White Sox selected third baseman Jake Burger out of Missouri State University.

Burger has the safest power profile of the college hitters in the draft. The catch is that he’s a third baseman who isn’t a lock to remain at the position due to concerns about a frame that is called 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds. Baseball America put it one way:

Burger is the bad-bodied but big hitting third baseman whose track record of excellent offensive production will be hard for teams to ignore if they are looking for the safety of picking a college hitter.

MLB.com put it another:

While Burger isn't the most graceful player, one scout compared him to Hunter Pence for his ability to get the job done in less than pretty fashion.

Both BA and Mark DeRosa on MLB Network’s draft show compared him to Todd Frazier because his swing includes an “arm bar,” but it has natural loft that makes his power play up. He’s hitting .328/.443/.648 with 22 homers over 247 at-bats with the Bears this year.

Nick Hostetler commented on his top draft pick to beat writers ...

... and during the broadcast.

“Big, big, big right handed power. That was the one main thing that attracted us to him. We were very excited to add a third baseman that we feel is going to stay at third base, swing the bat. Low-strikeout guy, high-walk, high OBP, and, like I said, big raw power.”

Hostetler said that Burger told him he’s a big White Sox fan during his interview, calling Jim Thome and Paul Konerko his favorite players. Hostetler reiterated his belief that Burger can stay at third base:

His feet work really well. At times he moves so quick that it looks like he’s not moving in sync, but he is. He understands his body, and he does a really good job with balls coming in. That’s one of the things I’ve seen him look really good with, and he’s got a plus arm.

Where did he rank?

What’s he look like?

Top 10 picks

The Minnesota Twins threw off the prognosticators with their first pick, but the top five prospects came off the board over the first five picks despite the jumbled order. Click on the team names for the corresponding SB Nation blog post.

  1. Minnesota Twins: Royce Lewis, SS, JSerra Catholic HS (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.)
  2. Cincinnati Reds: Hunter Greene, RHP, Notre Dame HS (Sherman Oaks, Calif.)
  3. San Diego Padres: MacKenzie Gore, LHP, Whiteville (N.C.) HS
  4. Tampa Bay Rays: Brendan McKay, LHP/1B, Louisville
  5. Atlanta Braves: Kyle Wright, RHP, Vanderbilt
  6. Oakland Athletics: Austin Beck, OF, North Davidson HS (Lexington, N.C.)
  7. Arizona Diamondbacks: Pavin Smith, 1B, Virginia
  8. Philadelphia Phillies: Adam Haseley, OF, Virginia
  9. Milwaukee Brewers: Keston Hiura, 2B, UC Irvine
  10. Los Angeles Angels: Jordon Adell, Ballard HS (Louisville, Ky.)