While most of the focus surrounding the Chicago White Sox has been on the Major League club this year (and rightfully so), there's still plenty of excitement down on the farm. And that excitement is coming in the form of a pair of big bats.
Jake Burger and Gavin Sheets have been taking Triple-A baseball by storm so far in 2021. Many White Sox fans have wondered when these two heavy hitters will get the call to the show, and for good reason. Their campaigns to date will show you exactly why the South Side faithful are sitting on the edge of their seats awaiting potential call-ups.
Burger, a former NCAA Division I home run runner-up, translated his skills to the next level when the universe finally allowed him to. Shortly after receiving an invite to White Sox Spring Training in 2018, Burger suffered an Achilles tear. And then he tore that same Achilles again in the infancy stages of his rehab. Following an injury-riddled journey, COVID-19 ruled out any chance for a bounce-back in 2020. When 2021 finally rolled around, Burger sported a physical frame that was 40 pounds lighter in addition to an even more driven attitude.
So far this season, Burger has not missed a beat as he prepares to take his biggest leap yet -- one to the big leagues. Through 15 games in 2021, Burger is slashing .274/.318/.661 with six home runs and 15 RBIs. Even with a hot bat, injury concerns may follow Burger to the next level, potentially limiting him to a designated hitter/first base role with the White Sox. Regardless, Burger will be a name to keep an eye on should injuries, trades, or further roster-shifting circumstances arise on the South Side. If Burger gets the call in 2021, he could be a prime candidate for late-season at-bats in crunch time when the White Sox need a spark.
As for Gavin Sheets, his name has been flooding White Sox Twitter timelines lately. Sheets touts an impressive 2021 resume and offers more versatility as a left-hander who can play the outfield. With three home runs and 15 RBIs over 18 games, the run production potential is there. Sheets' slash line sits at an impressive .297/.342/.473, which looks to be MLB-ready if he can maintain similar numbers over a larger sample size.
Even if White Sox fans do not see Jake Burger or Gavin Sheets playing at 35th/Shields in 2021, it’s a reassuring feeling to know a youthful team has even more artillery waiting in their minor-league cache. Keep an eye on the big bats in Charlotte, as they may be difference-makers for the White Sox in the near future.