Wilson Defensive Player of the Day
Justin Burba, Campus (Haysville, Kan.), 2012, Chicago White Sox
At 5-foot-8, 169-pounds, Burba may be one of the shortest and most diminutive players at the year's Area Code Games.
But with the nickname "team wolf," an ability to run down everything hit anywhere near his vicinity, and one scout calling him a "field general in center field," the choice of Burba as the first day's defensive star was fairly easy.
Comments from a few scouts included the following:
"Gets a great jump, takes a direct path to the ball, smooth on approach, sure-handed, heady, has a nose for the ball."
In successive innings, he raced to right field to run down a ball that seemed like a sure gapper, and then he made the same move to left field, this time going even further to get the ball.
On one play he could have thrown home to try and stop a run from scoring, but seeing his chances were slim, Burba went right to the cut-off man just like he was supposed to do.
On the play he made in left-center, he was breaking before the swing of bat because he was watching where the ball was pitched.
To top it off, Burba was also the leading hitter for the White Sox in the opening game 9-5 loss to the Texas Rangers, going 2-for-2 with two RBIs and one run scored.