An update to MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Prospects sees a new face move into the top five — Chicago White Sox Cuban-born outfielder Luis Robert.
Robert, who will turn 22 at the end of this summer, has been absolutely tearing up the Southern League thus far in 2019. After starting in A+ with Winston-Salem and putting up a scorching .453 average in 19 games, the Sox decided it was time to promote him to Birmingham. After 41 games in Double-A, Robert had a .307 average with 13 doubles and 10 stolen bases.
His promotion in the rankings hasn’t been the only recent time Robert made news. In the Southern League All-Star game hosted by Biloxi, Robert showed why he is one of the quickest-rising prospects in all of the land. He went 2-for-3 with both a double and a triple to go along with two RBIs and a run. The performance was good enough for him to capture the All-Star Game MVP award, becoming the first member of the Sox to win the award since Tim Anderson did so in 2015.
The fiery play of Robert caught the eyes of MLB Pipeline, who decided to reward his phenomenal play in 2019 with a promotion on the Top 100 list. After beginning the season ranked as the 40th best prospect in baseball, Robert has hit his way into the number five spot in the rankings. He is now the second-best overall position prospect in the game behind the Angel’s Jo Adell (#4 overall), and the number one prospect in the Sox organization.
It’s safe to say that 2019 has been treating him very well.
Robert is not the only one representing the Sox highly on the list. In fact, he’s not alone in the top 20. Joining him are Michael Kopech at 16 and Dylan Cease at 18. Although Kopech hasn’t even thrown a pitch this year, he managed to move up two spots from his preseason ranking of 18. Cease has also seen a promotion on the list since the preseason after going 5-2 thus far for Charlotte, moving from 21 to 18. Both Kopech and Cease are products of the memorable offseason that saw Hahn unload the core of the team in exchange for these young guns. It is safe to say these moves are paying off.
Another candidate that has the potential to move up on the list at the rate Robert did is the fourth overall pick of the 2018 draft, Nick Madrigal. Madrigal, 22, currently sits in the 40th spot in the rankings. However, he’s been swinging a mightily hot bat and it may only be a matter of time until we see him inside of the Top 30. Madrigal was recently promoted to Birmingham and has been proving his worth since. He’s hitting .417 with a pair of doubles through 10 games in Double-A, but that’s not close to his most impressive statistic. In 227 total minor league at-bats so far in 2019, Madrigal has struck out just seven times total.
Madrigal rounds out the Top 100 list for the White Sox. However, the quality of the players that the Sox have on the list is high. Us fans should definitely be appreciative of it given that we had one of the most laughable minor league systems in the league. As a reference, does anybody remember who our top three prospects were back in 2013 when the rebuild was first imminent? It was Matt Davidson, Courtney Hawkins, and Erik Johnson.
Yeah, times were really that bad at one point. I reference 2013 to bring out the importance in this year’s prospects. Not only are the White Sox exceeding expectations at the Major League level, but their prospects are doing the same down below.