Luis Robert signed a six-year, $50 million contract this offseason despite never having stepped foot on an MLB diamond. The Chicago White Sox obviously know they have a star in the making, even if you just look at his video game-like minor league statistics. However, in recent years, the Sox have not really seen a top prospect of theirs burst onto the scene (except if you count Fernando Tatis, Jr., but we’re not going down that road). What should Sox fans anticipate from Robert in his first full MLB season?
Luis Robert is Fast
We know this. He’s a rocket that can cover a vast amount of ground in centerfield. This is just one catch, but look at this ridiculous range:
Robert could be comparable to Adam Engel in the outfield. Even if he ends up being a slight downgrade on the defensive side of things, La Pantera brings a lethal bat. However, his defense is just a plus tool in centerfield with Nomar Mazara and Eloy Jimenez, two notably bad defenders, sandwiching him. Watch his speed in the outfield. It lives in the shadows behind his immense power.
Luis Robert Does Not Walk Much and Strikes Out Frequently
Yes, minor league pitching may have not been able to match Robert’s bat, but what if he got in a groove against weaker pitching and his 5.1% walk percentage became the norm. He could have just been murdering the ball, so every pitch seemed fat to him. That’s where his 26.4% strikeout percentage becomes a concern. This indicates that yes, in most cases, Robert sees the ball incredibly well. He hit 32 dingers across 122 games in A+, AA, and AAA ball last year, which is quite impressive. On the other hand, be on the lookout because he may struggle against MLB pitching at the start of the season.
Luis Robert Has the Most ‘Raw Talent’ on the Roster
There’s a reason Luis Robert is a top-three prospect in baseball, behind only Gavin Lux and Wander Franco. FanGraphs also projects for him to be worth 3.1 fWAR in 2020. That would make for a really impressive rookie season. He’s the closest thing to Mike Trout in the minor leagues. That’s not saying he will be one of the greatest players ever, but he has the tools to be.
Robert may struggle in March and April, but as the season progresses, expect him to come into his own. Heck, the White Sox expect it. Who knows? He may never hit that learning curve just and pick up where he left off in 2019, hitting monstrous home runs.