Jake Burger has been a very nice story for the Chicago White Sox over the years. In 2017, he started his journey with the franchise after they made him the 11th overall pick in the draft out of Missouri State University.
A midwest boy was given a chance to grow inside a midwest Major League Baseball franchise. That had to be the thrill of a lifetime to hear his name called by them.
Unfortunately, a bit of baseball bad luck hit Jake. He had to deal with a few major injuries that kept him off the field for a few seasons. Some wondered if he was never going to touch the big leagues because of this. It wasn’t fun to watch unfold in real-time.
What it did, however, was create a great story of perseverance and dedication to baseball. In 2021, he was playing so well in his return (AAA) that he earned a call-up to the big club. He appeared in 15 games and hit very well.
The White Sox have themselves a very good hitter in Jake Burger.
Burger hit his first career home run and that would be the only one he hit that season. He slashed .263/.333/.474 for an OPS of .807 which is a very nice slash line.
There are a couple of reasons that can explain why he only appeared in 15 games. For one, he came up with Gavin Sheets who is a lefty. Sheets hit about as well and gave the lineup some wrinkle because of his handedness (the White Sox had and still has very few true lefties).
There were also a lot of players in the organization at that time (it’s also still a problem) that don’t field well but mashed at the plate. Burger just wasn’t sticking over some of them.
When 2022 rolled around, Burger was very good early for the White Sox as he found himself on the big club again. In 51 games played, he hit 8 home runs with a slash of .250/.302/.458 for an OPS of .761. If he could get that on-base percentage back up, he’d be golden.
He didn’t play more than 51 games because of injury. It wasn’t a gruesome injury like before making it to the show but it cost him some time. When he was ready for a return, he wasn’t brought back up to MLB because there wasn’t much room for him.
Now, entering the 2023 season, 26-year-old Jake Burger (he turns 27 on April 10th) will have another fresh start. This is his opportunity to make an impact and give himself a chance at a roster spot. It is an interesting position to be in for a baseball player.
Burger won’t play third much over Yoan Moncada, he won’t DH much over Eloy Jimenez, and he probably isn’t the answer at second base or right field. However, there are always opportunities because of injury or poor play from others. Burger is a guy that can take advantage of that.
Because he is an incredibly nice guy with an amazing family, he is easy to root for. He also has this amazing story that everyone should admire. We can only hope that he dominates in Arizona and impresses enough to make the team or get a chance at some point in 2023.