Luis Robert: White Sox 2019 Minor League Player Of The Year
On a rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte in late July before coming off the injured list with a sprained ankle, White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson had the opportunity to play five games with top prospect Luis Robert.
“Off the charts,” Anderson said of the 22-year-old center fielder. “Unbelievable player. He can hit, he can do everything. He's real good."
That might be an understatement.
After signing for $26 million out of Cuba in May 2017, Robert has performed extremely well at three different levels this season. His first stop was with high Class A Winston-Salem, where he hit a staggering .453/.512/.902 in 19 games before being promoted to Double-A Birmingham. There, Robert slashed .314/.362/.518 and began rocketing up top prospect charts.
Robert was promoted once again on July 9, this time to Triple-A Charlotte, where he hit .305/.353/.649 through his first 34 games. Overall, Robert has shown off his all-around ability by hitting for both average (.334) and power (28 home runs) while also stealing 36 bases in 109 minor league games.
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound center fielder has also made an impact defensively, showcasing great range and a powerful throwing arm.
The White Sox's current roster is loaded with young talent like Anderson, Yoan Moncada, Eloy Jimenez, Lucas Giolito and Dylan Cease, but it wouldn't be a major surprise if Robert winds up being the best of the bunch.
Considering he was limited to just 50 games with the AZL White Sox, low Class A Kannapolis and high Class A Winston-Salem last season due to a nagging sprained ligament in his left thumb, the initial plan was to have Robert spend the large majority of this season with Birmingham.
But, as the numbers indicate, Robert was simply too good for the Southern League.
“Once he was out there playing, the tools and the talent level were going to rise to the top, and it would be evident to everybody what this kid is capable of doing,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. “That’s been the most positive thing from my standpoint this year. He’s out there playing regularly, and it’s obvious to all who see him that talent level and what he’s capable of doing.”
— Originally expected to miss the rest of the season after having arthroscopic elbow surgery in May, outfielder Micker Adolfo felt good enough to return in early August. He's currently playing in the Rookie-level Arizona League on a rehab assignment.
— Third baseman Jake Burger, Chicago's first-round pick in 2017, missed all of last season with two ruptured Achilles tendon injuries. A bruised heel has sidelined the Missouri State product all of this season, and he has not played in an official minor league game since Sept. 4, 2017.