Micker Adolfo

Left, right, center: Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert and Micker Adolfo are dreaming of being the White Sox championship outfield of the future

Left, right, center: Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert and Micker Adolfo are dreaming of being the White Sox championship outfield of the future

GLENDALE, Ariz. — All that was missing was a dinner bell.

From all over the White Sox spring training complex at Camelback Ranch they came, lined up in front of the third-base dugout and all around the cage to see a trio of future White Sox take batting practice.

This is all it was, batting practice. But everyone wanted to get a glimpse of Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert and Micker Adolfo swinging the bat. And those three outfield prospects delivered, putting on quite a show and displaying exactly what gets people so darn excited about the White Sox rebuild.

How to sum it up if you weren’t there? Just be happy you weren’t parked behind the left-field fence.

Jimenez and Robert are two of the biggest stars of the White Sox rebuilding effort, with Adolfo flying a bit more under the radar, but all three have big dreams of delivering on the mission general manager Rick Hahn and his front office have undertaken over the past year and change: to turn the South Siders into perennial championship contenders. The offensive capabilities of all three guys have fans and the team alike giddy for the time they hit the big leagues.

And those three guys can’t wait for that day, either.

“Actually, just a few minutes ago when we were taking BP, we were talking about it,” Jimenez said Tuesday. “Micker and Luis said, ‘Can you imagine if we had the opportunity one day to play together in the majors: right, left and center field? The three of us together and having the opportunity to bring a championship to this team?’ I think that’s a dream for us, and we’re trying to work hard for that.”

“We were just talking about how cool it would be to one day all three of us be part of the same outfield,” Adolfo told NBC Sports Chicago. “We were talking about hitting behind each other in the order and just envisioning ourselves winning championships and stuff like that. It’s awesome. I really envision myself in the outfield next to Eloy and Luis Robert.”

How those three would eventually line up in the outfield at Guaranteed Rate Field remains to be seen. Adolfo’s highly touted arm would make him an attractive option in right field. Robert’s speed and range makes him the logical fit in center field. Jimenez will play whichever position allows his big bat to stay in the lineup every day.

Here in Arizona, the focus isn’t necessarily on some far off future but on the present. As intriguing as all three guys are and as anticipated their mere batting practice sessions seem to be, they all potentially have a long way to go to crack the big league roster. Jimenez is the furthest along, but even he has only 73 plate appearances above the Class A level. Adolfo spent his first full season above rookie ball last year. Robert has yet to play a minor league game in the United States.

The group could very well make its way through the minor leagues together, which would obviously be beneficial come the time when the three arrive on the South Side.

“We were talking about (playing in the big leagues), but also we were talking about just to have the first stage of the three of us together in the minor leagues first and then go to the majors all three of us together,” Robert said. “To have the opportunity to play there should be pretty special for us. We were dreaming about that.”

For months now, and likely for months moving forward, the question has been and will be: when?

Whether it’s Jimenez or top pitching prospect Michael Kopech or any other of the large number of prospects who have become household names, fans and observers are dying to see the stars of this rebuilding project hit the major leagues. Yoan Moncada, Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez made their respective jumps last season. Hahn, who has said repeatedly this offseason that the front office needs to practice patience as much as the fan base, has also mentioned that a good developmental season for these guys might involve no big league appearances at all.

And it’s worth remembering that could be the case considering the lack of experience at the upper levels of the minor leagues for all three of these guys.

“In my mind, I don’t try to set a date for when I'm going to be in the majors,” Jimenez said. “That is something I can’t control. I always talk with my dad and we share opinions, and he says, ‘You know what? Just control the things that you can control. Work hard and do the things that you need to do to get better.’ And that’s my key. That’s probably why I stay patient.”

But staying patient is sometimes easier said than done. The big crowd watching Jimenez, Robert and Adolfo send baseballs into a to-this-point-in-camp rare cloudless Arizona sky proved that.

Dreaming of the future has now become the official pastime of the South Side. And that applies to fans and players all the same.

“I’m very, very excited,” Jimenez said, “because I know from the time we have here, that when the moment comes, when we can all be in the majors, the ones that can finally reach that level, we’re going to be good, we’re going to be terrific. I know that.”

Chris Getz described one White Sox prospect as 'one of the most physically gifted players I've ever seen'

mickeradolfo.jpg
INTIMIDATORS

Chris Getz described one White Sox prospect as 'one of the most physically gifted players I've ever seen'

There is an awful lot of hype surrounding the White Sox bevy of talented prospects.

Michael Kopech can hit triple digits. Eloy Jimenez has light-tower power. Alec Hansen can probably strike out Babe Ruth. Stuff like that.

But the team's director of player development, former White Sox infielder Chris Getz, had some interesting comments about one of the less-heralded guys in the farm system, a guy who could definitely factor into the team's outfield of the future.

"That was the first time I’d ever seen Micker Adolfo," Getz said during a Sunday afternoon SoxFest panel at the Hilton Chicago. "I don’t know the Micker Adolfo prior to 2017. Ultra talented, lots of tools.

"When I saw this kid for the first time, I thought, ‘This is one of the most physically gifted players I’ve ever seen.’"

Hello.

White Sox fans have been getting real excited over the likes of Kopech, Jimenez, Hansen and Luis Robert. And it's not to say that Adolfo has been completely off folks' radar screen. But "one of the most physically gifted players I’ve ever seen" is a heck of a rave review from Getz.

Adolfo had a breakout minor league season in 2017, slashing .264/.331/.453 with 16 home runs, 28 doubles and 68 RBIs in 112 games at Class A Kannapolis, and he's creeping further into the forefront of the conversation about the White Sox lineup of the future.

"Those were raw skills. He just needed to play baseball. He needed to get comfortable on a baseball field," Getz continued. "From an offensive standpoint, he was a guy who was trying to generate power, but he was already strong enough, he didn’t need to do that. So he really became disciplined last year with an approach. He stayed on top of the ball longer, and he would run into balls naturally and drive them out of the park.

"It was great to see him take strides. And now the confidence is coming, so who knows what’s in store next."

Meet the Prospects: Micker Adolfo

Meet the Prospects: Micker Adolfo

The White Sox rebuild is in full swing. While it might still be a year or two before the big league team is expected to start competing for championships, the minor leagues are stocked with highly touted talent fans will be eagerly following in 2018. With that in mind, it's time to Meet the Prospects and get to know the future of the South Side.

Micker Adolfo

Adolfo, the 21-year-old outfielder, is another young player White Sox fans are dreaming about seeing in the outfield of the future.

A native of the Dominican Republic, Adolfo has been in the White Sox organization since he was 17 back in 2014. In 2016, he saw his first action at the Class A level and slashed .219/.269/.340 in 65 games at Kannapolis. Last year, he logged a full season at Kannapolis, seeing those numbers jump up to .264/.331/.453 with 16 home runs, 28 doubles and 68 RBIs in 112 games.

As of their most recent rankings, MLB Pipeline had Adolfo rated as the No. 14 prospect in the White Sox organization.

Get to know Adolfo in the video above.