We don't know when, but we do know this: They're coming.
They are a special group of White Sox minor league outfielders who are making their way to the big leagues. It's a train of prospects from Charlotte to Kannapolis chugging down the tracks dreaming about a one-way ticket to Chicago.
As the White Sox minor league outfield instructor, Aaron Rowand is a conductor on this train, doing whatever he can to make sure all of them reach the ultimate destination.
Unfortunately, there are only three starting spots in the White Sox major league outfield. That's a problem for another day.
In the meantime, Rowand's job is to get them ready for the bright lights of the big leagues. He's been up close and personal with all of these players, a group that includes seven of the White Sox top 14 prospects, according to MLB Pipeline.
It's a dam that at some point might burst.
We might see select games, various video clips and statistics in a box score. What does Rowand see?
"As far as outfielders go, I challenge you to find another organization with as much talent in the outfield in their minor league system," Rowand said on the White Sox Talk Podcast.
In a 35-minute interview with myself and Ryan McGuffey, Rowand went in depth about many of the White Sox top outfielders, giving us keen insight into who they are as players and competitors. White Sox fans, you're going to like what you hear. But first, some of the highlights.
On Eloy Jimenez: "I asked him point blank, 'You're already a great hitter and I know you want to be better, but do you think you can elevate your outfield game?' And he said, 'I want to be a great outfielder.'
"And I said, 'That's what I wanted to hear.' He's got the talent level and the mental makeup and the maturity in his approach to be a superstar. He's got that in him. I'm not going to label him as anything or compare him to anybody because he still has to go and do it, but the talent level and the maturity of his at-bats and his makeup mentally is off the charts."
On Luis Robert: "I don't think people even know where his ceiling is yet. He has off-the-chart tools in every aspect: throwing, hitting, defense, hitting for power, speed. When people talk about a five-tool player, he's the epitome of that. He's another one like Eloy. They were really good for each other playing together this spring. They hung out together, talked a lot together. He's got that chip on that shoulder, that drive. He comes to work everyday and takes it seriously. He takes learning English very seriously. He comes out every day trying to prove that he's the best one out on that field. When he's healthy, it's pretty impressive to see what he can do."
On Steele Walker: "I think Chicago is going to fall in love with him when he gets there. His intensity on the field is second to none compared to anybody else that you would try to compare him with. He kind of has that flair to him.
"All of his teammates love him, all the instructors love him. I'm lucky enough to get to work with him every day. He's always got a smile on his face. He's out there to work, but he knows how to have a good time when the time is right. He brings a lot of laughter and excitement to all the drills and all the games that he's a part of."
On Luis Gonzalez: "He's come a long way (defensively). He communicates more out there. He runs the outfield defense from center field a lot better. He's in tune with the game more. He's reading swings and bat angles. His routes have gotten a ton better. He puts his head down and goes. Defensively, he's one of the top guys that we have in the organization, and that doesn't even speak to his offense. He's got something working right now. He's down here at Instructional League. Every time he goes to the plate, you feel like he's going to hit a rocket somewhere. He's an even-keeled kind of guy. He doesn't ride the emotional wave of making an 0-for or getting too high when he gets two hits one day. He's very level-headed and another guy who's very consistent."
Rowand also spoke about Blake Rutherford, Luis Basabe, Micker Adolfo, Alex Call and many others. We asked him what outfielder other than Jimenez could make it to the majors in 2019. Rowand's answer might surprise you.
Listen to the podcast here: