SPRINGFIELD, Mo–Missouri State’s Jake Burger has been crushing the competition for the better part of three years now.
“People respect him and what he’s accomplished. He’s played like a veteran the since the first game he has been here. He has baseball in his blood with his dad. He’s a guy that people look to, and they know he is going to produce for them,” said coach Keith Guttin.
The Chesterfield native has 44 homers, 167 RBI and an average of .344 all time here at Missouri State. His secret.. his moves in the box. Cause after all, what’s a burger without a good shake.
“One of the scariest batters in the entire Missouri Valley conference but he has a little bit of a different approach when he steps into the box. Jake tell me what you got going?”
“You get in the box and you give a little Ichiro right here. Then you start wiggling, keep it loose. I wish I was a good dancer but it keeps me loose in the box,” said Jake Burger.
“And a step closer to better dance moves right?”
“Yup,” said Burger.
A little shimmy his teammates make sure the junior slugger is aware of.
“They imitate me in the locker all the time. It’s always like, ‘who am I?’ and they will do that. And just have fun with it,” said Burger.
But when you lead the team with 19 homers and are on the fast track to the bigs, you do what works.
“He does a little rock, I think it’s just getting his rhythm going. No one is going to say anything to him,” said Jeremy Eierman.
“Every hitter has their individual idiosyncrasies and the way they get ready. I hadn’t really noticed that but it’s working,” said coach Guttin.
“I think I have done that all my life. My dad kind of taught me to have rhythm in the box. It goes with my walk up song Chelsea Dagger the Blackhawks goal song. If I am standing there like a rock, you are not going to be comfortable so it keeps it loose and my mind on something other than, oh I have to get a hit here,” said Burger.
It’s clear the success is in the shake. Now all that’s left is for Burger and the boys wiggle their way to a perfect conference season.
In Springfield, Megan Rice, KOLR 10 Sports.