The Chicago White Sox's best player in 2023, Luis Robert Jr., was one of three finalists for the American League Gold Glove Award. He was up against two other high-quality candidates, Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier and Seattle Mariners center fielder Julio Rodriguez.
That’s some tough competition but Robert Jr. had a shot at the Gold Glove thanks to an outstanding season in center field.
But it wasn’t meant to be and Robert Jr. lost out to Kiermaier.
I had an opportunity to watch the Gold Glove Awards Show and saw some highlights of what Robert Jr. was up against with the other two center fielders.
The Chicago White Sox saw Luis Robert Jr. have a great defensive season.
I also had an opportunity to watch both a little bit this season and they are two very good players that made a lot of great plays on defense. Robert Jr. was just as good as these guys but lost out in the end.
As a White Sox fan, it’s nothing to be upset about. Just being named as one of the finalists for the Gold Glove Award is enough to make someone feel proud of the accomplishments that they gained throughout the season. Robert Jr. shouldn’t have to worry about his performance as he was rock solid throughout the entire 2023 campaign.
Remember that the Gold Glove Award does not include batting stats, so we need to concentrate on Robert Jr.’s handling of the center field position. We saw him make big plays time and again this season, robbing batters of home runs and making those difficult catches.
His glove is great. He doesn’t drop the ball or miss on plays. Robert Jr’s range is excellent and he gets all over the field thanks to his speed and quickness. He’s got a burst of energy that can’t seemingly be matched and feet that fly to the ball.
Robert Jr. is what should be considered the consummate center fielder and deserves as much recognition as he can get.
The Chicago White Sox need to take great care of him to ensure that he remains with the team and stays healthy. Right now, he is the White Sox's top player at any position on the team and someone that they can build around as they navigate through this highly important offseason.
Sure, it’s a big bummer that he didn’t win the Gold Glove Award but that doesn’t detract from the fact that Robert Jr., had an All-Star season with the White Sox. His play helped a dismal team be just a little bit brighter and gave us hope for a solid future for the White Sox.
I would expect Robert Jr. to be even better in 2024 (hopefully the White Sox will be better as well), make the All-Star game again as well, and finally nail down the Gold Glove honor he missed out on this year.
Robert Jr. is a player with a ton of upside and with room to grow. The White Sox are very lucky to have him and therefore cannot afford to lose him. He’s a vital piece to a puzzle that General Manager Chris Getz is trying to put together to build a winner.