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South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 85: Jerry Burke

This starter will need to combine his talent with some durability in 2022.

The White Sox will be looking for a full season in the rotation from Jerry Burke.
Tiffany Wintz/South Side Sox

Jerry Burke

Right-Handed Starting Pitcher
195 pounds
Age: 23
SSS rank among all right-handed starting pitchers in the system: 16

As a freshman at Georgetown, Jerry Burke struggled mightily out of the bullpen with a 10.12 ERA and 2.53 WHIP. However, he elevated his game as a swingman during his sophomore campaign and enjoyed a solid junior season for the Hoyas in 2019, with a 4.66 ERA and 1.27 WHIP as he relinquished 83 hits and 25 walks while fanning 86 during his 85 innings. This earned him the notice of the White Sox, who selected him in the 17th round of the 2019 MLB draft.

Burke’s pro debut numbers were decent overall in 2019, but unexceptional. In his 12 games for the AZL Sox (eight starts), he posted a 4.33 ERA and 1.50 WHIP by ceding 63 hits and 18 walks while striking out 42. The numbers can be taken with a grain of salt, however, as Burke’s 139 combined collegiate and professional innings nearly tripled the combined totals of his freshman and sophomore years. With that said, Burke’s best monthly numbers came in August, when he posted a 2.25 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 18 strikeouts during his 20 innings.

After the pandemic shutdown terminated his 2020 season before it started, Burke began 2021 with a two-week stint in Kannapolis before earning a promotion to Winston-Salem. He was placed on the injured list twice, with the latter stint coming on August 28 and ultimately ending his year. In 13 combined outings (nine starts) totaling 44 2⁄3 innings, he posted a solid 3.43 ERA and 1.19 WHIP by surrendering 40 hits (.237 OBA) and 13 walks (2.6 BB/9) while striking out 43 (8.7 K/9).

If healthy, Burke should be a good bet to pitch for Birmingham in 2020. However, he may be eased into the rotation, as he has pitched less than a combined 45 innings over the past two seasons.

2022 South Side Sox Top 100 White Sox Prospects

85. Jerry Burke, RHSP
86. Emerson Talavera, RHRP
87. Isaiah Carranza, RHSP
88. Davis Martin, RHSP
89. Tyler Osik, 1B
90. Samil Polanco, 3B
91. Manuel Veloz, RHRP
92. Pauly Milto, RHRP
93. Fraser Ellard, LHRP
94. Colby Smelley, C
95. Manuel Guariman, C
96. Everhett Hazelwood, RHRP
97. Garrett Schoenle, LHRP
98. Kyle Kubat, LHRP
99. Anderson Comas, RF
100. Jake Elliott, RHRP