FT. WAYNE, IN - Selected in the 18th round of the 2012 MLB First Year Player Draft, Iona College baseball alumnus Chris Burke has found a home this summer in Fort Wayne, IN, a Single-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres. In his short professional career, Burke has seen action at every level in the Padres organization but has thrived thus far with the TinCaps of the Midwest League.
In 36 games in Fort Wayne, Burke has posted 45 hits in 138 at bats for a .326 batting average. He has posted six doubles, four home runs and 20 RBI surpassing his totals from 2012 with nearly two months remaining in the season.
Following spring training in March, Burke was held back in Tucson, AZ for an extended stint at the Padres training facility. Before that, however, he made an appearance in a major league spring training game. Burke came in as a pinch runner in the late innings vs. the Cleveland Indians, scored a run and served as a defensive replacement in the infield.
Burke has proven his versatility this season which makes him a valuable utility prospect for the Padres. He has played multiple positions as the 23-year old gains experience in the minor leagues. Shortly after extended spring training, Burke began a journey that would finally land with his current team in Fort Wayne. His first stop was across the complex to the Padres' Triple-A affiliate in Tucson. He appeared in four games in his two week stint before moving to Advanced-A Lake Elisnore, a suburb of Los Angeles in the California League. After two appearances, Double-A San Antonio of the Texas League was the next stop for Burke before settling in in Fort Wayne.
On July 12, Burke broke a 1-1 tie in the top of the fourth inning with his fourth home run of the season in an eventual 8-6 win for the TinCaps over the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. Check out the blast in the video embedded below.