White Sox

Meet the Prospects: Charlie Tilson

Meet the Prospects: Charlie Tilson

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.

Charlie Tilson

Tilson, the 25-year-old outfielder, has been associated with only one word since joining the White Sox organization: injuries.

A Chicagoland native, Tilson came over in the July 31, 2016, trade that sent Zach Duke to the St. Louis Cardinals. An intriguing return for Duke, Tilson made his major league debut two days later, picking up a hit in his first at-bat but tearing his hamstring in the same game. That ended his 2016 season just as it was getting started, and the same fate struck in 2017, as well, with a pair of injuries that wiped out last year for Tilson.

Tilson finally returned to action last fall, playing in nine Arizona Fall League games. He picked up six hits in his 40 plate appearances and walked seven times. Two of his hits were doubles.

There's still reason to be excited for Tilson potentially making an impact in center field for the White Sox. In 100 games with Triple-A Memphis, a Cardinals affiliate, in 2016, Tilson slashed .282/.345.407 with 16 doubles, eight triples and four home runs. He walked 33 times compared to 51 strikeouts and stole 15 bases. He scored 53 runs and drove in 34 more.

Tilson's numbers were even better — including 46 stolen bases — with Double-A Springfield in 2015. Who knows if he can rediscover that base-stealing ability after a series of leg and foot injuries, but it's something to look for as the White Sox rebuild moves along.

As of their most recent rankings, MLB Pipeline had Tilson rated as the No. 19 prospect in the White Sox organization.

Get to know Tilson in the video above.

Is Luis Robert so good that he'll start the season at Double-A?

Is Luis Robert so good that he'll start the season at Double-A?

Just how good is Luis Robert?

Well, that's the problem. Us on the outside, we don't know exactly.

The White Sox obviously love him, willing to give him big bucks to come play a starring role in the rebuild. Rick Renteria raved about Robert last month at the Winter Meetings, getting White Sox fans all excited by hyping Robert's speed, fielding skills and power.

But as good as the scouting reports sound, is Robert really so good that he'll go from never playing a game in the United States to the higher levels of minor league baseball right away?

That eyebrow-raising possibility was floated Tuesday.

Robert unsurprisingly has plenty of confidence in his own abilities and told The Athletic's James Fegan at the team's hitters' camp in Arizona that his goal is to make it to the big leagues sometime in 2018.

But perhaps the more interesting comment came from Chris Getz, the White Sox director of player development, who said Tuesday that Robert could potentially start the season at either of the White Sox two Class A affiliates, Kannapolis or Winston-Salem, or even at Double-A Birmingham.

Robert is just 20 years old, and he's yet to play a game of minor league baseball in the United States after spending his teenage years playing in Cuba. In fact, his only action since joining the White Sox has been 28 games in the Dominican Summer League. He did fare quite well in that handful of contests, slashing .310/.491/.536 with three homers, 14 RBIs, 12 stolen bases and a sparkling 22-to-23 walk-to-strikeout ratio. But that's not really the point.

The White Sox are in no rush with Robert, or any of their highly touted prospects, for that matter. Not expected to compete for a championship in 2018, there doesn't appear to be any reason to elevate Robert to the highest levels of the minors so quickly without first getting him some experience in the lower levels.

Of course, Getz even mentioning the possibility of Robert starting the season at Birmingham should also show just how good the team thinks Robert is right now. So maybe Robert's major league dream for 2018 isn't as crazy as it sounds?

Meet the Prospects: Luis Alexander Basabe

Meet the Prospects: Luis Alexander Basabe

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.

Luis Alexander Basabe

Basabe, the 21-year-old outfielder, flew under the radar in the trade that sent Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox.

A native of Venezuela, Basabe was overshadowed by Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech in that deal with the Red Sox, but he's a promising piece of the future, as well.

A year before joining the White Sox organization, Basabe slashed .264/.328/.452 with 66 runs scored, 53 RBIs and 25 stolen bases in 110 games with Boston's two Class A affiliates in Greenville and Salem.

Last season with Class A Winston-Salem, VBasabe played in 107 games, slashing .221/.320/.320 with 52 runs scored, 36 RBIs and 17 stolen bases.

As of their most recent rankings, MLB Pipeline had Basabe rated as the No. 17 prospect in the White Sox organization.

Get to know Basabe in the video above.