(CBS) The White Sox have signed first-round draft pick Jake Burger to a $3.7-million deal, MLB.com’s Jim Callis reported Tuesday.
On Wednesday, the team confirmed the signing as official.
That $3.7 million figure is less than the slot value of just under $4.2 million for the No. 11 overall pick. A third baseman out of Missouri State, the 21-year-0ld Burger hit .328 with 22 homers, 65 RBIs and a .648 slugging percentage in 63 games as a junior this past season. Burger was a .339 hitter with 47 homers across three college seasons.
“Playing professional baseball for the team I grew up rooting for is truly a dream come true,” Burger said in a statement. “I want to thank my family, friends, coaches and teammates for their constant and strong support and guidance throughout my life, and helping me reach this point of my career. I am extremely fortunate to wear the White Sox uniform and excited to begin the next phase of my baseball career.”
The White Sox considered him the best right-handed power bat available in the draft.
“We are pleased to add Jake’s right-handed power bat to the organization,” general manager Rick Hahn said in a statement. “He has a great mix of power and discipline at the plate, and he is a high-character guy who will fit nicely into the organization going forward.”
The early end of the time frame for Burger to reach the big leagues would be late 2018, White Sox amateur scouting director Nick Hostetler has said.
“He’s a true blue-collar hard-working kid that I think a lot of people can relate to,” Hostetler said. “It played into our decision as far as the makeup and all that, but when you couple it with the impact that he brings with his bat, the ability to get on base, to draw walks and also knock the ball out of the ballpark, when you couple all those things together and put all the pieces of the puzzle together, he’s a perfect fit for the South Side of Chicago.”
The White Sox have also signed their third-round pick in New Mexico outfielder Luis Gonzalez and their fifth-round pick in South Carolina right-hander Tyler Johnson, Callis reported. Gonzalez was signed for more than $100,000 below slot value, while Johnson was signed for about $50,000 above slot value, Callis reported.