White Sox could see top outfield prospects both reach majors in 2018, which would accelerate rebuilding efforts. Each player could make an immediate impact.
The Chicago White Sox promoted many of their top pitching prospects this past season. With each of the pitchers experiencing success, could the Sox promote two of their top outfield prospects quickly in 2018?
Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert are two of the Sox top three prospects. After success in 2017, each player could move closer to making their major league debuts sooner rather than later. Jimenez had an impressive end to his 2017 season as he was promoted to Double-A Birmingham in August. Robert played well in 24 games with the DSL White Sox of the Dominican Summer League.
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The Sox have two young talented outfield prospects who have fans excited for the future of this team. Jimenez was acquired as part of a return for Jose Quintana in early July and quickly become one of the team’s most popular prospects. He’s currently playing in the Dominican Winter League for Gigantes del Ciabo. He hit a home run in his second at-bat of his first game of the season on Saturday.
The Sox top ranked prospect and fourth overall could very well find himself in the majors next season. Although Jimenez excelled with Single-A Advanced Winston-Salem and Birmingham in 2017, don’t expect the Sox to quickly promote him unless he proves he’s ready to handle major league pitching. However, if he is promoted next season, he could make an immediate impact.
Along with Jimenez, Robert could be another player that reaches the majors next year but he would need to succeed at more levels. Robert will get an invite to Spring Training in 2018, but he will start the regular season at Class A. Although Robert had a brief stint with the DSL White Sox, he put up some very impressive numbers. Robert hit .310/.491./536 with three home runs, 14 RBIs and a 1.027 OPS for the DSL White Sox.
The 20-year-old outfielder isn’t expected to play in the majors in 2018, but it wouldn’t surprise Sox general manager Rick Hahn if Robert advances a few levels next season according to Scott Merkin of whitesox.com. This doesn’t mean Robert will get promoted to the Sox, but he could be closer to the majors by the end of 2018.
"“From there, it wouldn’t shock me if he pushed up a level or two depending on where he started in the 2018 season. He has a very advanced approach at the plate, he’s very physically gifted and it would not surprise me if he wound up moving on the quicker side.” Rick Hahn"
The likelihood of both Jimenez and Robert reaching the majors in 2018 is very slim. Jimenez has a better chance of playing for the Sox next season than Roberts as he has the advantage of longer playing time in this country. However, the possibility of Roberts advancing quickly isn’t as far-fetched as some may think.
With the Sox entering their second season of rebuilding, they don’t have to rush either Jimenez or Robert to the majors. Roberts will likely need more time to develop as he makes the transition to playing in the United States for the first time in 2018. Sox fans should expect for Jimenez to join the team before the end of next season, but they should remain patient for Robert’s development.