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Grading the White Sox: Jake Burger

A surprisingly key piece to the offensive puzzle — but can he maintain this type of production?

MLB: Texas Rangers at Chicago White Sox
If only the White Sox had won this game. :(
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

At midseason, the SSS staff graded the 46-46 White Sox, from the head of the class Dylan Cease down to Dallas Keuchel. We invented a WARsss metric that could very well be just a cute way to trot out our special site grades — but really for all you know could be the product of years of research in a stats lab.

Our expanded report card will take us through everyone who saw time in uniform for the White Sox, plus some front-office types. Most of our writers will take on a couple of players, with final grades and short writeups, running through the end of November. Enjoy!

Jake Burger
Third Baseman
Midseason: 3.0 WARsss
Final: 2.2 WARsss

While Yoán Moncada was injured at the beginning of the year, we were seeing a lot more of Jake Burger than we were originally expecting. If his defense weren’t so mediocre at third base, he might be ranked a bit higher on this list.

With a team that was deeply struggling offensively, Burger brought a spark to the lineup that the White Sox needed to stay in the division race early in the year. Throughout the first two months of the season, the South Siders experienced several ups and downs: Constantly shuffling people on and off the IL, starters and bullpen taking turns blowing games, some days seeming like nobody could get a hit. Burger, however, was one of the only guys that was consistently (I use that very loosely — the bar was low) getting hits, but also getting extra base hits. He ended the season with a slash line of .250/.302/.458 with a .760 OPS, the fifth-highest on the team. He also had the third-highest slugging percentage on the team (.458), behind only Eloy Jiménez and Elvis Andrus.

He had some defining moments this season, including his walk-off single at home on May 29 against the Cubs to seal the Crosstown Classic series win in 2022. The Cubs put five guys in the infield, but the shift was no match for Jake as he ripped a line drive to left to end a wild, 12-inning game. And come on, we can always enjoy a good old fashioned W against the Cubs.

And let’s not forget his clutch, two-run shot to take the lead late in the game against the Rays just a few days later, on June 4. Sadly, Jake fell victim to the White Sox injury curse and was pretty much toast in July from a broken hand. Since I’m a mathematician on the side, I did some rough calculations, and Burger’s eight homers in his 51 games played was putting him on pace for somewhere around 25. This would have been the most on the team — eight more above Andrew Vaughn’s actual team-leading 17 bombs. Would Burger have been able to sustain this level of play across a whole season? Who knows, and on this team, he probably wouldn’t get a chance to, anyway.

Or maybe we will see Burger get a chance to fulfill his potential yet, when Rick Hahn decides to transition him into a right fielder. We could see more of Jake in 2023, but it’s also possible he gets shipped off to another team. But either way, he was an important part of the 2022 season that helped keep this perpetually-.500 team afloat.

2022 White Sox Grades

Jake Burger, 3B, 2.2
Romy González, IF, 2.0
Aaron Bummer, LHRP, 1.8
AJ Pollock, OF, 1.3
Matt Foster, RHRP, 1.2
Yoán Moncada, 3B, 0.92
Lenyn Sosa, SS, 0.85
José Ruiz, RHRP, 0.83
Mark Payton, OF, 0.6
Carlos Pérez, C, 0.399
Lucas Giolito, RHSP, 0.392
Adam Engel, OF, 0.237
Vince Velasquez, RHP, -0.4
Reese McGuire, C, -1.1
Kyle Crick, RHRP, -1.65
Joe Kelly, RHRP, -1.75
Daryl Boston, 1B Coach, -2.0
Anderson Severino, LHRP, -2.2
Jerry Reinsdorf, OWN, -2.321
Jake Diekman, LHRP, -2.366
Rick Hahn, GM, -2.401
Bennett Sousa, LHRP, -2.425
Frank Menechino, BAT COACH, -2.469
Yasmani Grandal, C/DH, -2.549
Leury García, UTIL, -2.7
Adam Haseley, OF, -3.146
Joe McEwing, 3B Coach, -3.167
Ryan Burr, RHRP, -3.4
Tony La Russa, MGR, -3.5
Dallas Keuchel, LHSP, -3.9


Jake Burger was up and down in 2022. How did we do with his grade?

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    Too harsh, he can mash and is so lovable.
    (6 votes)
  • 15%
    Too easy, he has no position and shaky health.
    (5 votes)
  • 66%
    Just right, I like this grade and I like Burger, too.
    (22 votes)
33 votes total Vote Now