“Deep Dive” focuses on the depth of each position in the Chicago White Sox organization.
Welcome to another year of Deep Dive, where we analyze the past, present and future for each position in the White Sox organization. Each position is broken into five parts:
- Depth in the rookie levels (Dominican through Arizona)
- Depth in A-ball (Kannapolis and Winston-Salem)
- Depth in the higher levels (Birmingham and Charlotte)
- Under the Radar-type detail on a White Sox player
- Free agent options
With the White Sox trade of Nick Madrigal to the Cubs, the organization surrendered its second baseman of the future. Who are the up-and-coming farmhands who could eventually take over the reins? Below, we detail the system’s players at the keystone position who finished at Winston-Salem. Due to late-season promotions and its final roster featured players who played other positions more frequently (i.e. Bryan Ramos), nobody is on the list for Kannapolis.
Ages below are as of April 1, 2022
Burks, a native of Vacaville, Calif., remained in the Golden State to play ball for Fresno State. After hitting below the Mendoza Line during his freshman and sophomore years, he strutted his stuff as a junior as he slashed .340/.415/.544 in 54 games while producing 15 doubles, nine homers and 12 stolen bases. The Detroit Tigers signed him in the eighth round of the 2018 MLB Draft for a touch less than $183,000. At the time, he was the highest drafted Diamond Dog since the second round selection of Tommy Medonca by the Texas Rangers in 2002.
In a combined 37 games with the rookie league Tigers West and Connecticut squads shortly after being drafted, Burks slashed a combined .223/.327/.354 with two homers and 14 RBIs. He continued to struggle in 2019 with Low-A West Michigan and the two aforementioned rookie league squads by slashing a combined .207/.320/.305 in 78 games with four homers, seven stolen bases, 40 walks (12.6%) and 105 strikeouts (33.0%). After the Covid shutdown in 2020, Burks was expecting to return to the Tigers organization in 2021, but was released on April 22 — just days before the minor league season was slated to start. About three weeks later, the White Sox signed him to a minor league deal.
After playing his first four games for the ACL squad, Burks spent the remainder of his time with Kannapolis and Winston-Salem. For the Cannon Ballers, he slashed .263/.304/.468 but struggled after a late-season promotion to the Dash by slashing just .224/.280/303 in 20 games. In a combined 36 games for all three squads, Burks slashed .242/.336/.331 with four doubles, a homer, 18 RBIs, one stolen base, 14 walks (9.8%) and 45 strikeouts (31.5%).
Despite being a year older than Winston-Salem’s competition, Burks likely will return to the Dash for 2022 unless he opts for a minor league deal elsewhere.
Other positions played: 3B, SS
Bossard, a Lemont native, is of course the son of Roger “The Sodfather” Bossard and grandson of Gene Bossard — White Sox ballparks have been under the care of those two gentlemen since 1940!
As a four-year letter-winner and two-year captain at Nazareth Academy (where he was also the school’s starting quarterback), Bossard was selected by the White Sox in the 31st round of the 2016 Draft. However, he eschewed a signing bonus in order to play college ball for Heartland Community College (Normal, Ill.), where he was a two-year standout for the Hawks.
In 2018 for Heartland as a sophomore, Bossard slashed .371/.475/.561 with six homers, 10 stolen bases and 29 RBIs in 45 games. After playing a year for the Red Storm of St. John’s as a junior, he transferred to local Robert Morris University for the 2020 season. where he played 13 games before Covid prematurely ended the season. In those games for the Division II Eagles, Bossard slashed .275/.434/.375 with a homer, nine walks and six strikeouts. Perhaps as a nod to his father but also in deference to his ability to recognize pitches, the White Sox signed him as an undrafted free agent.
In his first taste of professional ball, Bossard struggled with the bat but still found ways to contribute due to his incredible willingness to work the count. Combined with both Kannapolis and Winston-Salem, he slashed .185/.369/.250 in 44 games with three doubles, a triple, a stolen base, 30 walks (21.1%) and 52 strikeouts (36.6%). The walk rate is absolutely incredible, so if he can find ways to create more authoritative contact, Bossard could stay longer with the organization than initially anticipated.
Speaking of which, Bossard only committed three errors on defense despite playing most of his time in the middle infield, so his versatility may keep him in the organization for at least another year or two until his bat can catch up. Expect him to return to Winston-Salem, and if Bossard does hit with authority at the outset, he could merit a promotion to Birmingham before the All-Star break.