The Chicago White Sox were one of the worst teams in Major League Baseball this season. It is truly sad to think about how they played this year which resulted in a record of 61-101. There were mixed expectations depending on who you asked but nobody envisioned it being this bad.
However, a star was born. After a somewhat disappointing start to the year, Luis Robert Jr. turned it on. In fact, he started to show that he was one of the best players in the league. The status of the White Sox will obviously hurt any MVP votes but he was that good this year.
If he hadn't been there, it would have been easy to see this team with the worst record in the sport. They had the fourth-worst record with him actually there so removing him would have been scary.
In 2023, Robert Jr. had a 5.1 WAR. He is right around a guy like Juan Soto in terms of a WAR for a season this year which tells you just how good he was.
The Chicago White Sox are lucky to have a guy like Luis Robert Jr.
In addition to playing some elite-level centerfield from a defensive point of view, Robert Jr. had his best year offensively. He slashed .264/.315/.542 for an OPS of .857. He had 80 RBIs and 90 runs scored to go with 38 home runs. It was a super-elite year for him.
Part of the reason Robert Jr. was able to break out this season is the fact that he stayed healthy. He played 145 games and he had never played in over 100 in a single season. Almost half of his career games came this season. Now that he is feeling good, he was able to play so well.
2023 Final Grade: A+
You know what grade Luis Robert Jr. deserves. He gets an A+. He was in the middle of a horrible situation but he played like a super star. The White Sox were part of highlight packages somewhat regularly because of him. Again, if he wasn't there, they would be even more irrelevant.
All you can hope for is that the White Sox are not forced to trade Luis Robert Jr. You read the WAR comparison to Juan Soto earlier but we have to hope that he doesn't end up with the same fate as him by being traded either. The White Sox also didn't get a World Series out of Robert Jr as Soto got in Washington.
He will at least start the year with the White Sox and you can expect more of the same. He is an incredible player and the White Sox should be doing what they can to build a winner around him. Hopefully, they do.