Luis Robert

Luis Robert won't see game action for 10 weeks after injuring thumb

Luis Robert won't see game action for 10 weeks after injuring thumb

Luis Robert's first minor league baseball game in the United States will come significantly later than expected.

The White Sox announced Saturday morning that Robert, one of the organization's most prized prospects, will be sidelined for 10 weeks as he recovers from a sprained ligament in his thumb.

According to the team, Robert injured his thumb sliding into second base during Wednesday's spring training game, the same game in which Robert hit an eighth-inning grand slam after suffering the injury.

But the joy of that big home run will dissipate after this latest news. Per the White Sox, Robert's left hand will be immobilized for approximately six weeks, and he's not expected to return to game action for approximately 10 weeks.

Robert is ranked as the organization's No. 3 prospect by MLB Pipeline, the No. 28 prospect in all of baseball. The Cuban import has been getting White Sox fans excited throughout spring training, be it with his buzz-worthy batting-practice sessions with fellow highly touted outfield prospects Eloy Jimenez and Micker Adolfo or with that grand slam in his first Cactus League start.

Robert is just the latest White Sox prospect to suffer a significant injury this spring. Jake Burger suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon and will miss the entirety of the 2018 campaign. Adolfo has an elbow injury that could end up requiring surgery, though he continues to play in spring games as the White Sox hope to avoid surgery. Jimenez has been sidelined for much of Cactus League play, with just one at-bat to this point, though the team hopes he can return to action this weekend.

Obviously none of these injuries impact the team's fortunes at the big league level in 2018. But the much-discussed rebuild is finally facing some challenges after more than a year of Rick Hahn stacking the farm system with top talent. If there's a silver lining, it's that these injuries are coming now rather than a year or two from now when the White Sox hope to be a contending team. Still, these injuries could have an effect on the team's contention window, with prospects potentially taking longer to reach the big leagues than they would have without these setbacks.

Robert made just the one start in spring training and finished his first big league camp with three hits, including the grand slam, in 10 at-bats. His next game will be his first minor league game in the U.S. He played in a handful of Dominican League games after joining the White Sox organization last summer.

Here are four words White Sox fans can get used to: Luis Robert grand slam

Here are four words White Sox fans can get used to: Luis Robert grand slam

The White Sox offense had itself a day Wednesday in Arizona, winning a Cactus League game with the Cincinnati Reds by a 14-12 score.

The South Siders hit four homers, but none was more dramatic — or exciting for rebuild-loving White Sox fans — than Luis Robert's go-ahead grand slam in the eighth inning at Camelback Ranch.

Not bad for Robert's first start in a spring training game.

Robert's seen a good deal of action so far, but mostly in the field, coming into Wednesday with a pair of singles in just six at-bats. That spring stat line got a bit of a boost Wednesday, with Robert going 1-for-4 with a walk and the slam.

Robert was drawing a crowd and making eyes pop early in spring training whenever he and fellow highly ranked outfield prospect Eloy Jimenez took batting practice. He was already generating a ton of buzz, and now he's got a grand slam to go along with it.

Robert, it should be noted, has yet to play a minor league baseball game in the United States, his lone action since joining the White Sox organization coming in 28 games in the Dominican Summer League.

Ranked the No. 28 prospect in baseball and the No. 3 prospect in the White Sox stacked farm system, Robert is still a ways away from the big leagues. But he'll have fans paying close attention to everything he does in the minors this year.

MLB Pipeline ranks White Sox farm system third in baseball: Here are their top 30 Sox prospects


MLB Pipeline ranks White Sox farm system third in baseball: Here are their top 30 Sox prospects

MLB Pipeline is often the go-to when it comes to each team's top prospect lists.

Well, after ranking the White Sox farm system as the third best in the game, the site revealed its preseason picks for the organization's top 30 prospects.

The top seven appeared on MLB Pipeline's list of the top 100 prospects in baseball in January: outfielder Eloy Jimenez (4), pitcher Michael Kopech (10), outfielder Luis Robert (28), pitcher Alec Hansen (54), pitcher Dylan Cease (61), pitcher Dane Dunning (92) and outfielder Blake Rutherford (99).

Every one of those guys, by the way, were acquired in the last 14 months. Same goes for the No. 8 prospect, third baseman Jake Burger, the team's first-round draft pick in 2017.

But considering the incredible amount of talent the White Sox have injected into their system in the last year-plus, the entire top 30 should be of great interest to fans. Here's the full list. Click on the players' names to Meet the Prospects.

1. Eloy Jimenez, OF
2. Michael Kopech, P
3. Luis Robert, OF
4. Alec Hansen, P
5. Dylan Cease, P
6. Dane Dunning, P
7. Blake Rutherford, OF
8. Jake Burger, 3B
9. Zack Collins, C
10. Carson Fulmer, P
11. Micker Adolfo, OF
12. Gavin Sheets, 1B
13. Zack Burdi, P
14. Luis Alexander Basabe, OF
15. Spencer Adams, P
16. Charlie Tilson, OF
17. Ian Clarkin, P
18. Ryan Cordell, OF
19. Luis Gonzalez, OF
20. Aaron Bummer, P
21. Ian Hamilton, P
22. Jordan Stephens, P
23. Seby Zavala, C
24. Evan Skoug, C
25. Luis Curbelo, SS
26. A.J. Puckett, P
27. Tyler Johnson, P
28. Lincoln Henzman, P
29. Thyago Vieira, P
30. Justin Yurchak, 1B/3B

And remember, that doesn't include guys who graduated from prospect status just last year and have yet to play their first full season in the majors, guys like Yoan Moncada, Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez, who were all at or near the top of this list last year.

Get excited, White Sox fans.