The White Sox did a little house cleaning this offseason allowing several of its starters from 2022 walk including Elvis Andrus, Jose Abreu, and Josh Harrison.
Admittedly, this might have left the Sox a little thin at some positions, especially since they did not bring in a lot of talent to replace most of these guys.
One player that remains from last year is third baseman Jake Burger. Burger was up in the majors and down in the minors last year but this is likely going to be the season that he sticks in the majors.
He’s going to back up Yoan Moncada, at least for a now, and should Moncada falter or get hurt, Burger could easily slide into the starting spot and might not even relinquish it once he grabs ahold of it.
The Chicago White Sox have high hopes for Jake Burger this season.
Last season, Burger played a total of 51 games, in the Majors, with 183 plate appearances and 168 at-bats. His batting average was .250, his on-base percentage was .302, and his slugging percentage was .458.
Burger had a total of 42 hits and 20 runs. Of those hits, eight of them were home runs and he had 26 RBIs.
His play in 2022 was not terrible even though he had some chances to possibly show more than he did. 2023 could be his opportunity to shine especially if he gets any kind of chance to play on a regular basis.
Burger did suffer a wrist fracture late last season and it’s still too early to tell if it’s going to bother him this season. Let’s hope it doesn’t because we don’t want anything holding Burger back from having an outstanding 2023 season.
I would expect Burger to do some sitting behind Moncada to start the year but be more and more useful as the season goes on.
Moncada is going to need some rest and Burger is just the guy to come in and fill in to help keep Yoan fresh. You might even see Burger fill in as a designated hitter at some point.
But first, he must make the Opening Day roster. Can he do it? That depends on how well he does in training camp, Burger should be a strong consideration to make the opening day roster and remain with the team throughout the season barring any unforeseen setback like an injury or extremely poor performance.
As far as hitting statistics go, I would expect Burger to have a much more robust set of numbers than he did last year because his playing time will increase. I think he gets in on more games and sees more plate appearances, and at-bats but keeps a similar batting average.
I believe that Burger’s home run total will increase and that he will have quite a few more runs batted this season. Everything will increase with more playing time, that’s a given, but Burgers numbers will also increase due to more experience in the majors as well as additional opportunities.
The sky is truly the limit for Burger and it’s going to be up to him and his ever-increasing ability to get on and stay on the roster in 2023. If he has a great spring training and shows the White Sox what he is capable of, he will be a regular on the roster and a productive contributor to the team.