Pittsburgh Pirates 2017 Draft: 3rd Baseman Jake Burger

Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

The MLB draft is nine days away.  So far we have covered multiple prospects that could be drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Here is a look at another potential upside bat that will likely be available.

So far we have broken down multiple players the Pittsburgh Pirates could draft at number 12 overall.  We have primarily been focusing on college players.  The Pittsburgh Pirates recent draft trend suggests this is the direction they will go.  We’ve looked at UCLA pitcher Griffin Canning, UVA outfielder Adam Haseley, UNC shortstop Logan Warmoth, Florida pitcher Alex Faedo, and UNC pitcher J.B. Bukauskas.  Canning, Bukauskas, and Faedo would add an upside right-handed arm to the system, Haseley a new top outfield prospect, and Warmoth an upside athlete at a premium position.

Another option could third baseman Jake Burger from Missouri State.  Burger plays his ball at the same college that produced former Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard.  The third baseman fits the mold of a prototypical third baseman, a big time power threat.  He was second in the NCAA for 2016 when he launched 21 big flies.  For the 2017 season, he has put up 22, ranking him fourth.

He also has shown strides as far as his discipline at the plate.  In the 2016 season, his K/BB was 1.52, this year he lowered it to 0.79.  He also has gotten on base at an impressive clip of .458.  Having at least average discipline with his power potential could produce a big time, upside third baseman.  However, it is not a guarantee that he continues that in his pro-career.  Many power first prospects falter when they start seeing better competition.  Here is more on Burger from MLB Pipeline:

"Missouri Valley Conference player of the year honors this spring, when he led the league in all three triple crown categories (.341-22-63) entering NCAA tournament play.Though he went homerless with the U.S. college national team during the summer, scouts still recognize Burger as one of the top power sources available in a Draft class short on college hitters. He generates his pop more with strength than bat speed, and there are some worries about an arm bar in his right-handed swing. He controls the strike zone well and makes reliable contact for a slugger, so he should hit for some average as well.Despite his large frame, he has average speed out of the batter’s box and decent range at third base. With his solid arm, reliable hands and admirable work ethic, he should be able to stay at the hot corner."

Next: Draft Profile JB Bukauskas

The Pittsburgh Pirates currently have one top third base prospect in Ke’Bryan Hayes.  However, after Hayes, there is not much to get excited about.  Will Craig was drafted as a third baseman last year, but he has already been transitioned to first.  Eric Wood has snuck into the Pittsburgh Pirates top 30 prospect lists on most major sites, but is currently hitting .220. He likely projects more as a bench player.  The only other potential third baseman of the future after Hayes could lie in Cole Tucker if he has to move from shortstop.  Essentially, a third baseman could make sense in the first round.  Burger, is ranked as MLB Pipelines’ 16th best prospect. Therefore, it is very likely that he could be available at the 12th overall pick.