Luis Robert

New No. 5 prospect in baseball Luis Robert wins MVP at Southern League All-Star Game

New No. 5 prospect in baseball Luis Robert wins MVP at Southern League All-Star Game

Eloy Jimenez deserved every bit of the spotlight Tuesday night for his broken-bat, game-winning homer in the ninth inning on the North Side. But he wasn't the only star of the White Sox rebuild doing big things.

Down in the minors, Luis Robert continued his huge season with MVP honors at the Southern League All-Star Game.

Robert is the newly minted No. 5 prospect in baseball, per MLB Pipeline's just-updated rankings, and he celebrated by adding a new piece of hardware to his growing collection. He went 2-for-3 in the Southern League All-Star Game with a double, a triple, two RBIs and a run scored. Not bad for a day's work on one of the biggest stages at the Double-A level.

Robert, of course, has just torn up minor league pitching so far in 2019. In 60 games between Class A Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham, he's got a .353/.403/.630 slash line, 12 home runs, 44 RBIs, 45 runs scored, 18 doubles and 18 stolen bases. After playing in only 50 games in 2018 while battling various thumb injuries, Robert has obviously shattered the numbers from his first season of pro ball in the United States. And there's still a bunch of baseball left this season.

While the White Sox have been in no rush to move their highly touted prospects along faster than they need to during this rebuilding process, Robert's been so hot at the plate all season, he might warrant another jump before the season's through. As for when fans could see him playing big league games on the South Side, it doesn't seem at all ridiculous at this point to suggest he could be on the Opening Day roster for the 2020 season.

As for those rankings, Robert effectively replaces Jimenez as a top-five prospect for the White Sox. Jimenez graduated from prospect status and provided his biggest moment as a big leaguer Tuesday night against the Cubs, the team that traded him to the White Sox. Now all eyes are on Robert as he continues to move through the system. And he's not alone. The White Sox boast three of the top 18 prospects in the game, per MLB Pipeline's new rankings, with Robert at No. 5, Michael Kopech at No. 16 and Dylan Cease at No. 18. Nick Madrigal isn't too far behind, either, at No. 40.

The future is very bright on the South Side.

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Luis Robert is starting to mirror Eloy Jimenez's minor league production

Luis Robert is starting to mirror Eloy Jimenez's minor league production

Luis Robert started 2018 by absolutely dominating the Carolina League and quickly earned a promotion to Double-A Birmingham. He hasn't slowed down since, which brings to mind another big White Sox hitting prospect.

The White Sox prospect added a pair of impressive games to his resume in less than 24 hours. On Tuesday night, Robert went 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles. One of the doubles was of the walk-off variety. The 21-year-old outfielder drilled a ball down the left field corner with the bases loaded and drove in all three runs for the win. (See the video above for Robert’s highlights from that game).

Following those dramatics, Robert had another solid game Wednesday afternoon. He went 2-for-5 with a two-RBI triple.

Wednesday’s game was the Rickwood Classic, an annual game Birmingham plays at a stadium that was built in 1910.


With six hits (three of which went for extra bases) in less than 24, Robert is now hitting .309/.363/.543 in 24 games for the Barons. His hot start to the season saw him move all the up to No. 18 in the MLB Pipeline prospect rankings, two spots ahead of White Sox pitching prospect Michael Kopech. With Eloy Jimenez, Robert and Kopech, the White Sox have three of the top 20.

Robert’s surge in 2019 has been the highlight of the White Sox minors this season. He is starting to follow Jimenez’s path of simply mashing the ball at every spot in the minors.

After being traded to the White Sox in July of 2017, Jimenez was assigned to Single-A Winston-Salem as a 20-year-old. He started that year with Myrtle Beach, the Cubs affiliate in the same league. He was then promoted to Birmingham after 29 games with Winston-Salem.

This season, Robert returned to the Dash after injuries limited him to 32 games with the team last year. It took just 19 games before he was promoted to Birmingham. Comparing the two players’ performances shows that Robert is putting up somewhat similar production to Jimenez post-trade in 2017.

Player AVG OBP SLG
Jimenez .348 .405 .635
Robert .373 .430 .710

Robert is about a year older than Jimenez was when he finished the 2017 season in the White Sox system, but the performance of the two has some similarities. Robert’s absurd numbers in Winston-Salem carried his combined numbers, compared to Jimenez being a bit more even between the two levels.

Robert has 10 home runs in 179 plate appearances while Jimenez had 11 home runs in 195 plate appearances so even that is very similar. Jimenez drew more walks (8.7 percent of his plate appearances) and struck out less (19 percent) than Robert (5.6 percent walk rate vs. 23.5 percent strikeout rate), but Robert is also a better defender, can play centerfield and has 14 stolen bases this season.

Jimenez was one of the highest-rated hitting prospects in recent years and Robert appears to be on a similar path. Jimenez split 2018 between Birmingham and Triple-Charlotte. If Robert stays on a similar path, he could be about a year away from his MLB debut.

 

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Luis Robert is back to destroying baseballs in the minors

Luis Robert is back to destroying baseballs in the minors

White Sox prospect Luis Robert added another eye-catching highlight to his reel on Thursday.

The Cuban outfielder sent a ball into orbit for Double-A Birmingham on Thursday, hitting a 446-foot home run.


It was Robert’s second home run with the Barons since getting promoted at the start of May. He finished the game 3-for-4 with a double to go with the home run. Oh, and he also had two stolen bases.

After a relatively slow start with the Barons (at least compared to his ’create a player’ numbers in the Carolina League), Robert is now hitting .300 with a .955 OPS in 13 games with six doubles, a triple and a home run. He also has five stolen bases.

Elsewhere in White Sox prospect land, Nick Madrigal hit his first professional home run.


Madrigal was the fourth pick in last June’s draft, but has been a mixed bag so far in 2019. He has lived up to his billing as a hitter who very rarely strikes out, but is hitting just .256 with a .326 on-base percentage for Single-A Winston-Salem. He isn’t known as a power hitter at all, but it still took him until his 76th game in the minors to hit a home run.

 

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