2018 SSS Top Prospect ranking: 8
SSS rank among all third basemen in the system: 1
Burger enjoyed a terrific collegiate career with Missouri State, having nearly identical sophomore and junior seasons with the Bears. In those final two seasons, he combined to hit .338/.433/.668, with 26 doubles, 43 homers, 66 walks and 73 strikeouts over 482 at-bats. With those results, and with the need for power-hitting third basemen in the organization, the White Sox selected him in the first round (11th overall) in 2017. In his first professional season in 2017, he combined with the AZL White Sox and Kannapolis to hit .263/.336/.412, with five homers, 29 RBIs, 14 walks (6.5%) and 30 strikeouts (13.8%) in 194 at-bats. While not great numbers, they weren’t horrible when considering Burger may have been deeply fatigued after an extremely long season. One thing Burger had difficulty with while in the White Sox organization in 2017 was his launch angle: He hit three ground balls for every two he hit in the air.
Saying Burger had a difficult 2018 is putting it mildly. He tore his left Achilles tendon in a late February game in Arizona trying to run out an infield grounder, and proceeded to tear it again about 10 weeks later, during his rehab. Obviously, this meant that Burger’s potential advance through the White Sox system took a big hit. It’s easy to root for the guy, as he grew up a White Sox fan — and has a build most guys can relate to.
However, with his rehab, Burger must improve his diet and workout regimen. Scouts were split prior to his injuries as to whether Burger can remain at third base long-term. It’ll be interesting to see how fluid Burger’s lateral movement will be upon his return.
Burger had a delayed beginning to his 2019, working out in extended spring training in Arizona. Per our Dan Victor, we should learn of Burger’s affiliate assignment — to Kannapolis or Winston-Salem — on June 1.
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