For those who have watched the Missouri State Bears play at Hammons Field over the past three years, it was common to see people holding signs that say “THE BEST BURGER IN TOWN.”
Fans who held those signs weren’t talking about the hamburgers they could buy at the concession stand, or even any of the restaurants in downtown Springfield, Missouri. They are referring to Missouri State third baseman, Jake Burger.
The 6-foot-2-inch, 210-pound third baseman has been a fan favorite during the three years he’s played at Missouri State.
From the time Burger was a freshman in 2015, he has shown that he has both power and an ability to consistently make contact, amassing a .344 batting average over his three seasons at the Division 1 level. In his three seasons, he’s hit 99 extra-base hits, with 47 of those being home runs, and has driven in 177 runs.
Along with his bat, Burger has impressed with his glove. In 2016, he finished the season with a .986 fielding percentage, and was named defensive player of the year by the Missouri Valley Conference that season. Over three season’s he has committed just 19 errors.
Burger’s only downfall is his size. He has a large frame, which causes him to run a bit slow. He isn’t quick on the base paths. His bat and glove both make up for that, but the lack of speed could be of concern to some teams.
Burger has picked up a plethora of other awards to go along with defensive player of the year. In 2015, he was named the MVC freshman of the year. He was named an All-American the two previous seasons by several organizations, to include Collegiate Baseball, Baseball America, Louisville Slugger and many others.
The Padres are thin at third base in the farm system, and Burger has the makings to be a third baseman of the future for the Padres, or any team that drafts him for that matter.
As of now, Burger is projected to go in the first round, likely in the second half. The Padres have the No. 3 pick, but don’t expect them to use that pick on Burger. However, if Burger happens to slip to the second round, it would be a smart choice by the Padres to use their second round pick.
The “best Burger in town” appears to be the “best Burger in the draft.” If given the chance, the Padres need to make him the “best Burger in San Diego.”