White Sox prospect Jake Burger is becoming an adult one step at a time.
On the field, Burger, the No. 12 prospect in the Sox’ farm system, seemingly has made a smooth transition to pro baseball.
Off the field, the 6-2, 210-pound third baseman is living with six teammates in a three-bedroom apartment and sleeping on an air mattress in their living room.
“The adjustment hasn’t been too terrible, especially on the field. I think the biggest adjustment has been the off-field stuff. You’re setting your own schedule,” Burger said before joking about his new living situation in Kannapolis, North Carolina.
Burger had a whopper of a game Thursday night, getting his first career cycle in the Kannapolis Intimidators’ 6-5 victory against the Greensboro Grasshoppers.
The slugger out of Missouri State, who was selected 11th overall in June, started his cycle with a single in the second inning. From there, Burger hit his third home run in the third inning with one on and two outs. He tripled in the fifth, walked in the seventh and completed the cycle with a double in the ninth.
“I was taken aback and was thinking, ‘Wow, I just did that,’ ” Burger said in a conference call Friday. “Not many people get to do that, especially on this level. It was a good feeling, and coach [Jamie] Dismuke came over and got my batting gloves from me, and he’s like, ‘Dude, congrats. You’re going to cherish this for the rest of [your] life.’ ’’
And Burger wasn’t done there. He laid down a successful bunt in the 11th inning, which put the winning run in scoring position.
In all, Burger finished the night 5-for-5 with a team-high three RBI.
After the game, Burger tweeted, “That was fun,” accompanied by a gif.
Burger’s super-sized night at the plate comes after struggling most of August. Before the big game, Burger, 21, was hitting .192 (15-for-78) in 19 games this month after batting .358 (24-for-67) in the same number of games in July.
Burger said his performance helped restore his confidence, which might have taken a hit during his slump.
“I think it got me back into my approach and my type of swing,” he said.
“Having a night like that is awesome. It makes you feel good about the work you put in, and it’s definitely a reassuring night.”
Follow me on Twitter @madkenney.