The White Sox first-round pick in the 2017 draft won't play during the 2018 season.
The team announced Tuesday morning that Jake Burger will miss the entirety of the upcoming campaign after suffering a ruptured left Achilles tendon in Monday's spring training game.
Burger went down while running to first base and needed to be carted off the field. Shortly thereafter, the team announced he had an Achilles injury. Tuesday's update confirmed what many feared and suspected after watching the non-contact injury.
Jake Burger has been diagnosed with a ruptured left Achilles’ tendon. He will have the tendon surgically repaired in Chicago later this week, but is expected to miss the 2018 season.— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) February 27, 2018
After the White Sox spent the No. 11 overall pick in last summer's draft on Burger, there were high hopes for the slugging third baseman. He hit 43 home runs over his final two seasons at Missouri State, and he played 47 games at Class A Kannapolis, slashing .271/.335/.409 with four homers and 27 RBIs in 181 at-bats.
While Burger's big bat and big frame had fans speculating that he would one day shift over to first base, the White Sox envision him as a major league third baseman. If that's the case, it would fill a hole on that dreamed-of team of the future, as no other of the White Sox highly rated prospects play that position.
But this injury generates some more questions: Will it force Burger into a position switch? How much will missing the upcoming season affect his prospects of joining the White Sox when they hope to be a perennial contender? Will a delay in their third baseman of the future's development make the White Sox more likely to spend on a big free agent like Manny Machado or Nolan Arenado in the coming offseasons?
Those are all wait-and-see questions. For now, it's just tough news for a young player.