We have blogged a lot about Aussie first baseman and Phillies prospect Rixon Wingate currently top home run hitter in the ABL, Rixon Wingrove. He has been compared to Jim Thome by Shayne Bennett, a former MLB pitcher and now a TV analyst on Adelaide Giants home games.
We have found another young Phillies Aussie prospect to watch with power, catcher/left fielder, Chris Burke. He is playing for the Melbourne Aces. He reminds me of a teenage Bryce Harper .
Burke was signed back in 2019 by the Phillies as a 17 year-old but the the pandemic has delayed his debut in the Phillies system. That should change when minor league prospects report to Clearwater this spring.
In Burke’s last ten games in the ABL for the Aces, he has gone 11 for 33 (.333) with seven RBIs including three homers in a six game span.
With the re-signing of J.T. Realmuto, the 19 year-old Burke is now playing more left field than catching. Remember, Bryce Harper was a high school catcher and debuted in the MLB with the Nationls at 19 years-old as an outfielder.
In a year or two the Phillies will be looking for a left fielder to go with Harper in right and Realmuto behind the plate. That guy could be named Chris Burke.
Burke has similarities to Harper. Both started out as left-handed hitting teenage catchers. It appears Burke’s days behind the plate could be in the past as well. Like Bryce, Burke can hit the ball out of all parts of the park. Both are wearing uniforms with a No. 3 on their backs. Bryce is No. 3 in right-field for the Phillies while Chris is No. 13 in left field for the Aces.
Below are videos of the three home runs in January hit by Burke: