Jake Burger

Jake Burger suffers another tear of his Achilles tendon, forcing him to start over in his recovery

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AP

Jake Burger suffers another tear of his Achilles tendon, forcing him to start over in his recovery

Jake Burger’s development has been dealt another blow.

The White Sox first-round pick in last year’s draft re-tore his Achilles tendon while walking in his backyard, general manager Rick Hahn announced Wednesday. This coming months after Burger initially suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon while running to first base during a Cactus League game in spring training.

The initial news a few months back was bad enough for a young player who was climbing the prospect rankings and looking like a bigger and bigger part of the White Sox rebuilding effort. Burger’s development was already going to be impacted greatly, as he was ruled out for the remainder of the 2018 season. But now, as Hahn said, Burger’s recovery is back to square one, knocking him out 12 months from Tuesday, when he had his surgery.

“Unfortunately for Jake, we are now back to square one,” Hahn said. “The prognosis remains positive once this is fully healed. We expect him to have no restrictions in the future with regards to his baseball career. But as was the case after the first repair, the clock is now at 12 months, once again, until we expect to see him back in competitive games and playing regularly.

“Nothing the kid did wrong, no issue with anything along the path of his rehabilitation. Unfortunately this apparently happens in a relatively small percentage of Achilles repairs. Despite his hard work, Jake suffered this re-injury.”

Burger is ranked as White Sox No. 8 prospect and as one of the top 10 third base prospects in the game by MLB Pipeline. That preseason vault into the organization’s top 10 had fans as excited about Burger as they are about guys like Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert, Blake Rutherford and Zack Collins and got Burger’s name penciled into a few more of those future lineup projections.

But while Hahn reported that Burger is expected to make a full recovery, there is plenty of mystery surrounding his timeline to reach the major leagues now.

Burger earned his first-round status with a .328/.443/.648 slash line and 22 homers in his final collegiate season at Missouri State. He then slashed .271/.335/.409 with four homers in 200 plate appearances with Class A Kannapolis last season.

But will this year-plus delay in getting to his first full professional season mean he’ll arrive on the South Side well after the rebuild reaches its apex? If guys like Yoan Moncada, Tim Anderson, Jimenez, Robert, Micker Adolfo and Collins are ready to form a contending lineup at the major league level, will the White Sox act and fill a hole at third base before Burger is ready? And would a major free-agent signing that fans desire — be it Manny Machado, Josh Donaldson, Nolan Arenado or someone else — mean Burger’s path to the bigs is blocked? What does this mean for Burger’s future at third base after suffering a pair of injuries that could cut down on his ability to move around at the hot corner that the White Sox front office has talked about so glowingly? Will he be forced to play a different position?

Much like most of the other aspects of the rebuild, time will give us answers to those questions. Right now, this is just a bout of real bad news for a young player with a bright future.

“The expectation is there’s to be no long-term effect on his baseball career,” Hahn said. “It’s just a matter of having lost the last 10 weeks of his rehabilitation and having to start over.”

Here's where your favorite White Sox prospects are starting the 2018 season

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AP

Here's where your favorite White Sox prospects are starting the 2018 season

The Major League Baseball season is a week old. But Opening Day in the minors comes Thursday.

In the White Sox loaded farm system, there are highly touted prospects scattered across the organization. With their campaigns getting underway Thursday, here's where each of your favorite White Sox prospects are starting the 2018 campaign.

Winston-Salem Dash (Class A)

Dylan Cease: The "other guy" acquired in that midseason trade with the Cubs last summer, Cease had a great spring, pitching 6.1 shutout innings in three Cactus League appearances.

Dane Dunning: Things didn't go so well this spring, with Dunning posting a 7.00 ERA (seven runs in nine innings) during Cactus League play, but he was good at Winston-Salem last year, with a 3.51 ERA in 118 innings.

Gavin Sheets: Last year's second-round draft pick (after the White Sox took Burger in the first round), Sheets slashed .266/.346/.365 in 52 games with Kannapolis last season.

Micker Adolfo: Adolfo's health status will be of great interest this season after he hurt his elbow during the spring, but he's playing through it as the White Sox hope he can avoid surgery.

Luis Alexander Basabe: A pretty good spring flew under the radar, with Basabe slashing .273/.333/.545 in 22 at-bats in Cactus League play.

​Luis Robert: He'll be out for a significant stretch as he recovers from a torn ligament in his thumb, suffered while sliding into second during a Cactus League game — the same game he later homered in.

Blake Rutherford: Acquired in that seven-player trade with the New York Yankees, Rutherford went hitless in seven Cactus League at-bats after slashing a disappointing .213/.289/.254 in 30 games at Kannapolis in 2017.

Birmingham Barons (Double-A)

Spencer Adams: Adams will be back at Birmingham after posting a 4.42 ERA in 152.2 innings there last season.

Ian Clarkin: Three outings and 5.2 innings are all Clarkin got during the spring, though he didn't allow a single run. He'll move up to Double-A after making just three starts with Winston-Salem last season.

Alec Hansen: He made just one appearance during Cactus League play, giving up three runs in 1.2 innings, but that won't dampen the excitement after he struck out 191 hitters between three minor league levels last year. He'll be here eventually after getting completely healthy in Arizona.

Zack Collins: There wasn't much success to be had in just 11 spring at-bats for Collins, and he'll get a more lengthy crack at Double-A after playing just 12 games there in 2017.

Seby Zavala: What a catching tandem it'll be in Birmingham when Collins gets paired with Zavala, who slashed .282/.353/.499 between two levels of Class A last season.

​Eloy Jimenez: Though he seemed ready to pick up where he left off in the spring — two homers and a triple in seven at-bats — a strained pec will keep Jimenez out of action as the season begins.

Charlotte Knights (Triple-A)

Zack Burdi: He'll stay sidelined as he battles back from surgery last season.

Michael Kopech: The star of the show down at Charlotte, the White Sox top-ranked pitching prospect will have plenty to work on after a mixed bag of a spring that featured an 11.57 ERA in seven innings.

Thyago Vieira: A flamethrower picked up in a trade with the Seattle Mariners, Vieira was a trendy pick to make the big league bullpen, but he'll start at Charlotte after giving up four runs and getting just three outs during spring training.

Casey Gillaspie: He had a rough spring, hitting just .189 in 37 at-bats.

Ryan Cordell: Another popular pick to make the Opening Day roster, Cordell had a great spring, slashing .317/.417/.512 with eight RBIs and eight runs scored in 41 at-bats.

Charlie Tilson: Injured ever since joining the White Sox organization in 2016, a finally healthy Tilson picked up just three hits in 18 spring at-bats.

MLB Pipeline ranks White Sox farm system third in baseball: Here are their top 30 Sox prospects

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USA TODAY

MLB Pipeline ranks White Sox farm system third in baseball: Here are their top 30 Sox prospects

MLB Pipeline is often the go-to when it comes to each team's top prospect lists.

Well, after ranking the White Sox farm system as the third best in the game, the site revealed its preseason picks for the organization's top 30 prospects.

The top seven appeared on MLB Pipeline's list of the top 100 prospects in baseball in January: outfielder Eloy Jimenez (4), pitcher Michael Kopech (10), outfielder Luis Robert (28), pitcher Alec Hansen (54), pitcher Dylan Cease (61), pitcher Dane Dunning (92) and outfielder Blake Rutherford (99).

Every one of those guys, by the way, were acquired in the last 14 months. Same goes for the No. 8 prospect, third baseman Jake Burger, the team's first-round draft pick in 2017.

But considering the incredible amount of talent the White Sox have injected into their system in the last year-plus, the entire top 30 should be of great interest to fans. Here's the full list. Click on the players' names to Meet the Prospects.

1. Eloy Jimenez, OF
2. Michael Kopech, P
3. Luis Robert, OF
4. Alec Hansen, P
5. Dylan Cease, P
6. Dane Dunning, P
7. Blake Rutherford, OF
8. Jake Burger, 3B
9. Zack Collins, C
10. Carson Fulmer, P
11. Micker Adolfo, OF
12. Gavin Sheets, 1B
13. Zack Burdi, P
14. Luis Alexander Basabe, OF
15. Spencer Adams, P
16. Charlie Tilson, OF
17. Ian Clarkin, P
18. Ryan Cordell, OF
19. Luis Gonzalez, OF
20. Aaron Bummer, P
21. Ian Hamilton, P
22. Jordan Stephens, P
23. Seby Zavala, C
24. Evan Skoug, C
25. Luis Curbelo, SS
26. A.J. Puckett, P
27. Tyler Johnson, P
28. Lincoln Henzman, P
29. Thyago Vieira, P
30. Justin Yurchak, 1B/3B

And remember, that doesn't include guys who graduated from prospect status just last year and have yet to play their first full season in the majors, guys like Yoan Moncada, Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez, who were all at or near the top of this list last year.

Get excited, White Sox fans.