KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (July 7, 2017) - The Kannapolis Intimidators, Class A Affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, have received the 11th overall selection from the June 2017 First-Year Player Draft as third baseman Jake Burger becomes the first top pick to join the Intimidators since 2013. The Intimidators also receive second round pick first baseman Gavin Sheets as both of the White Sox top two selections from this summer's draft have been promoted to Kannapolis from the Rookie Arizona League White Sox. Two players - first baseman Brandon Dulin and catcher Daniel Gonzalez - have been promoted to the Class A-Advanced Winston-Salem Dash while catcher Nate Nolan joins Kannapolis from Advanced Rookie Great Falls in corresponding moves.
The Kannapolis roster now features the White Sox top three picks from the June 2017 First-Year Player Draft as Burger and Sheets join third round selection Luis Gonzalez, who joined the Intimidators from Great Falls at the end of June as the first member of his draft class to reach Class A. This is the first year that the Intimidators have had all three top White Sox draft picks in their draft year since 2013 when Tim Anderson (first round), Tyler Danish (second round), and Jacob May (third round) played for Kannapolis.
Burger signed a minor league contract the White Sox with a $3.7-million signing bonus on June 21. The 21-year-old third baseman is coming off a strong junior season at Missouri State where he hit .328 (81-247) with 22 home runs, 65 RBI, 69 runs scored, 43 walks, a .442 on-base percentage, and .648 slugging percentage in 63 games for the Bears in 2017. He ranked among the Division I leaders in both runs scored (T-6th) and home runs (7th). Burger was named First Team All-America according to Baseball America and the Joe Carter Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year while also being named a semifinalist for the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award.
Burger, who stands 6'2", 220-pounds, is the first White Sox first round selection to join the Kannapolis roster since Tim Anderson (17th overall) in 2013. In four games with the AZL White Sox, Burger has hit .154 (2-13) with a double, a home run, two RBI, and four runs scored.
Sheets, 21, joins Kannapolis from the AZL White Sox where he is batting .500 (6-12) with two doubles, a home run, three RBI, and three runs scored in four games. The White Sox second round selection (49th overall) from this June's draft hit .317 with 21 home runs and 84 RBI in 63 games as a junior at Wake Forest. Sheets is the son of former Major Leaguer Larry Sheets, who spent 10 seasons in the big leagues with the Orioles, Tigers, and Mariners.
Dulin, 24, earns his first promotion to Class A-Advanced after opening this season with Kannapolis. He is batting .245 (63-257) with 12 home runs, eight doubles, 42 RBI, and 39 runs scored in 71 games for the Intimidators. The first baseman powered Kannapolis the first Northern Division First Half Championship during the final week of the First Half with a stretch of five home runs in five games, and he currently ranks tied for fourth in the South Atlantic League in home runs. The White Sox acquired Dulin in March from the Kansas City Royals organization.
Gonzalez, 21, appeared in eight games with Kannapolis this season, batting .310 (9-29) with two doubles, three RBI, and two runs scored after joining the Intimidators on June 22 from the Dash. He returns to the Carolina League where he hit .172 (15-87) with two doubles, a home run, six RBI, and six runs scored in 25 games with Winston-Salem.
Nolan, 22, returns to Kannapolis after appearing in 11 games with Advanced Rookie Great Falls. The White Sox eighth round pick from the June 2016 First-Year Player Draft has appeared in 24 games this season, batting .133 (10-75) with three doubles and four RBI between Kannapolis and Great Falls.
The Intimidators open a 4-game home stand against the Hagerstown Suns on Friday at 7:05 p.m. Tickets are available by calling the F&M Bank Box Office at 704-932-3267 or by visiting IntimidatorsBaseball.com.