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Jake Burger Cherishes Initial Pro Experience



In one sense, moving from college at Missouri State to pro baseball at low Class A Kannapolis has been a downer for third baseman Jake Burger.

"I'm living in a three-bedroom apartment with six dudes," said Burger, a first-round pick (No. 11 overall) in June. "In college, you have a little more space to yourself and can relax a little bit more when you're at home. But here I'm living on an air mattress in the living room with (second-round pick) Gavin Sheets. That's been an adjustment, but it's something that I'll cherish for the rest of my life, for sure."

As for playing in the South Atlantic League, Burger said it's not much different than playing in the Missouri Valley Conference. "The adjustment hasn't been too terrible," the 21-year-old said. "It's been similar to college ball in terms of pitching and the speed of the game."

Nearing the end of his first pro season, Burger had hit .296/.358/.432 with three home runs through 42 games.

In an Aug. 24 game against Greensboro, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound Burger hit for the cycle for the first time at any level.

Burger doubled in the ninth inning to complete the cycle, and he wound up going 5-for-5 and walking in a game that ran 11 innings.

"I was kind of taken aback, to be honest," Burger said. "I was like, 'Wow, I actually just did that.' That's unbelievable. Not many people get to do that at the professional level. It was pretty cool, a really cool experience, and it's something that I'll remember for the rest of my life."

Burger has been brimming with confidence since he was drafted by Chicago. Hitting for the cycle gives him even more belief in his skills.

"I think it kind of got me back into my approach and my type of swing," Burger said. "Having a night like that is awesome. It makes you feel good and makes you feel good about the work you've put in. It was definitely a reassuring night for me."

CHI-LITES

• The White Sox promoted righthander Alec Hansen to Double-A Birmingham after he went a combined 11-8, 2.68 a low Class A Kannapolis and high Class A Winston-Salem while leading the minors with 174 strikeouts (in 131 innings).

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Jake Burger Refuses To Give Up

The 2017 first-rounder remains undeterred even after losing two seasons to leg injuries and then contending with the pandemic in 2020.

• After missing nearly three weeks with a sprained right ankle, outfielder Luis Robert returned to the lineup in the Dominican Summer League.

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