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Jake Burger Eyes A Full Recovery

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Two full seasons have transpired since the White Sox used their 2017 first-round pick to draft Jake Burger.

The power-hitting third baseman out of Missouri State was so highly regarded that Chicago used the No. 11 overall selection to land him.

The White Sox are still waiting to see what they have.

"It hasn’t been easy for him,” farm director Chris Getz said. "This certainly isn’t how he scripted it to start out his professional career.”

After batting .328 and finishing seventh in Division I with 22 home runs as a college junior, Burger signed with Chicago and batted .271/.335/.409 with nine doubles and four homers in 47 games for low Class A Kannapolis.

Invited to big eague camp the following spring, Burger ruptured his left Achilles tendon running to first base during a Cactus League game.

The injury shelved Burger for the entire 2018 season, but the news got even worse when he ruptured the same Achilles in May, wiping out almost three months of recovery time.

Burger was making good progress in spring training 2019 and hoping to join a White Sox affiliate, but that never happened.

A bruised left heel wound up sidelining him for a second straight season, and Burger wasn't able to participate in instructional league as hoped.

Needless to say, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound Burger is going to have some serious rust to shake off in 2020.

When he traveled to Chicago shortly after being drafted and met with the media, Burger was affable and quick with a laugh. He has been through a nightmarish two years, but his positive outlook should help get the 23-year-old's career back on track.

"Without a doubt,” general manager Rick Hahn said. "He’s a confident kid. He’s the kind of guy you want to root for. You mix in all the hardships he's had to endure, it makes you want to root for him even harder.”

Given the development of Yoan Moncada at third base, Burger faces a probable move to first base or DH when he gets back on the field.

CHI-LITES

— After spending one season with Triple-A Charlotte, Frank Menechino is taking over for the departed Todd Steverson as the big league hitting coach.

— Outfielder Charlie Tilson was outrighted to Charlotte. He played in 95 games with Chicago over the past two seasons.

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The No. 4 overall pick entered pro ball nursing an injury from the College World Series, but he showed no ill effects in a strong pro debut.

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