Missouri State junior third baseman Jake Burger didn’t have to wait long to hear his name called by commissioner Rob Manfred in the Major League Baseball draft on Monday night.
With the No. 11 overall pick in the draft, the Chicago White Sox tabbed Burger as their future third baseman.
“Today was incredibly stressful, and last night was really emotional (MSU was eliminated in the NCAA Super Regional by TCU, ending Burger’s career as a Bear),” Burger said. “Hearing my name called by the commissioner lifted so much weight off my shoulders.”
Burger, who went to high school at Christian Brothers College in St. Louis, led Missouri State to two Missouri Valley Conference titles as well as two NCAA Super Regional appearances during his three-year tenure.
“I can’t even begin to thank Missouri State for all they have done for me,” Burger said. “That is the best developmental program in the country. … They consistently produce MLB players.”
As a senior in high school, Burger hit just four home runs. But as a sophomore at MSU, he developed into one of the most dangerous power hitters in college baseball. Over the past two years, Burger crushed 43 home runs.
“Hitting home runs is definitely an art because it’s not something you just wake up knowing how to do,” Burger said. “It’s something you have to teach yourself, and the coaches at MSU have really helped me over the past two years in that category.”
Just over a week ago, Burger received first-team All-America honors from Baseball America after finishing seventh in the nation in home runs (22) and sixth in runs scored (69).
The 2017 Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year ranks second among all active Division I players with 47 career home runs. And in just three years, he racked up 241 hits, which is the 11th most in MSU’s history.
Burger has been a lifelong fan of the White Sox and considers it a dream to be drafted by his favorite organization.
“I have loved the White Sox ever since I was a little kid, so this is an absolute dream come true,” Burger said. “I couldn’t be happier even if I wanted to.”