The Chicago White Sox had some bright spots on their gloomy 81-81 season that would make any fan smile. One of them is the success that Jake Burger had with the team in the early going of the season. We know he is a talented hitter and that was on display this past year.
He made it back in 2021 from some very serious injuries that made it seem like he might never play again. For that reason, he was one of the best stories in the league. Unfortunately, he hasn't been able to stay up with the White Sox for an entire season yet because of depth at certain positions.
Burger plays third base which is started by Yoan Moncada (right or wrong) whenever he is healthy. There are also other utility players on the team that can play third if needed for whatever reason.
As far as being a designated hitter, Burger would battle with Eloy Jimenez, Gavin Sheets, Andrew Vaughn, and a few others for the job with a very limited chance against them.
In 2022, he was good with his bat when given a chance (51 games) though. He had a slash line of .250/.302/.458 for an OPS of .761. He hit 8 home runs and had 26 RBIs and 20 runs scored in those 51 games as well.
He isn't the best defensive third baseman in the world though which is why his WAR came out to -0.1 in those 51 games. His offense is good but it wasn't good enough to take over third base for Yoan Moncada who is elite defensively.
Final Grade: C
Jake Burger was very solid offensively. He was good enough to earn a B on his offensive stats alone. Again, there is room for improvement but he is very good and talented.
The defensive woes have hurt him a little bit as he could have easily taken the job from Moncada in 2022 if he was at a minimum adequate at the hot corner.
It will be interesting to see if he is able to make big improvements all over his game before spring training comes around.
There is no doubt that we will see Burger in Major League Baseball again but it is a matter of when. The Charlotte Knights have done great for him in the meantime. He has been easy to cheer on so we can only hope that he continues to grow into a full-time MLB player.