Chicago White Sox vice president and general manager Rick Hahn had a smile on his face as he was getting ready to introduce Luis Robert to the media on Saturday. In acquiring the Cuban outfielder, the Chicago White Sox added the top international player, as ranked by MLBPipeline.
It took about a week for Rick Hahn to finalize the terms on Robert’s contract, but the particulars are in. Luis Robert is officially a member of the White Sox organization.
Hahn met with the media and talked about what he saw in Robert.
“In adding Luis to our organization, we feel we’ve added another dynamic potential talent. Luis, who we view having the potential to be an impact center fielder for the long term, provides a special combination of power and speed that’s unique in this game to get today, and he instantly becomes one of our top position-player prospects and one of the top outfield prospects in the game.”
Now that he has signed his contract, Robert instantly becomes one of the top 100 prospects, as ranked by MLBPipeline, in baseball. The Chicago White Sox now have seven prospects on the list, with right-handed pitcher Zach Burdi knocking on the door.
Robert has yet to face a minor league pitcher and he is already ranked No. 26 on the list. When and if he develops, he could become one of the best players in baseball. That just goes to show how well regarded Robert is as a prospect. Now it is up to the Chicago White Sox to develop him properly.
It may take a while before White Sox fans get a glimpse of Luis Robert on the field. Some believe that he will be ready for the majors in about two years. That may be truthful, primarily because the White Sox intend to take their time with him. The White Sox might put Robert on the fast track if he can prove to be able to handle the elevated change in competition. He will also have guys who are willing to show him the ropes.
Passion. Pride. Tradition.— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) May 27, 2017
Welcome to Chicago, Luis Robert! pic.twitter.com/x91lAkGa62
One particular White Sox player who cannot wait to mentor Luis Robert is first baseman Jose Abreu. He barely hid his excitement, as CSN Chicago reported, when the topic came up during an interview.
“I’m excited to have that opportunity (to be a mentor). That’s something that I like to do. I like to advise the guys and tell them what to do for their best like I am doing right now with [White Sox prospect Yoan] Moncada. I’m just waiting for that opportunity to happen with (Robert).”
Abreu does not have to wait until Robert is with the big league club. There are trade rumors with Abreu’s name attached to them. According to CBS Chicago, the Chicago White Sox face a huge dilemma — trade Jose Abreu while his value is high, or keep him as a mentor to the younger players coming up in the farm system. Regardless what the White Sox do, Abreu’s mentoring can begin now.
The Chicago White Sox will continue to make some additions to their team. Most of those players will be adding to the farm system. Players such as pitchers Jose Quintana and David Robertson will be able to net the White Sox some more top prospects. Once the dust settles, the White Sox could have the top minor league system in baseball by season’s end.
Luis Robert could see the major leagues as early as in September of 2018. It is likely that fellow countryman Yoan Moncada will already be there. If half of the Chicago White Sox prospects pan out, a true dynasty could be born. Rick Hahn will be smiling even wider.
[Featured Image by Jon Durr/Getty Images]