Chicago Cubs: Started at the bottom
Looking back to 2013, the Cubs were in desperate need of some outfield help. While at the time Burks was still far off from even sniffing the Show, it showed a step in the right direction from Theo Epstein and company. Jason Heyward would not sign his mega-deal with the Cubs until 2015, and Dexter Fowler would leave the next season for St. Louis.
Burks’ first year went as well as everybody hoped for a kid fresh out of high school. In 31 games in the AZL, Burks slashed .269/.344/.296 with seven RBI, six stolen bases, and a near league-average 90 wRC+. The on-base percentage certainly stood out as well as Burks’ glove after not making a single error in 185 2/3 innings.
By 2014, Burks had earned his spot at Class A Short-Season Eugene. After 20 more games in the AZL in which he slashed an improved .308/.343/.446 with a 123 wRC+, Burks moved to the Emeralds. There, the 19-year-old slashed .313/.416/.391 with 20 RBI and an improved 133 wRC+. Things were beginning to unfold to everyone’s advantage.