The Chicago White Sox aren't having the 2023 season they expected but if there is one thing to take away from it, it's undoubtedly the giant leap forward Luis Robert Jr. has taken.
Robert Jr. is in his fourth major league baseball season and his health for the majority of the season has finally given him the opportunity to showcase to the industry of baseball what all the hype was about back when the White Sox signed him.
He is slashing .271/.330/.569 with a .899 OPS. He has already hit the most home runs he has ever hit in a season halfway through the year with 26, (tied for third in the league) and also is second on the White Sox in runs batted in with 51.
Robert Jr. has established himself as one of the top dogs in the league and has given the White Sox a franchise player to build around. The White Sox have some restructuring to do and it starts with building a roster around the best talent on the roster.
Luis Robert Jr. has been incredible for the Chicago White Sox this season.
The MLB has even recognized all the success he is having. He made his first all-star game appearance, in which he, unfortunately, didn't play due to a minor injury.
On top of that, he also participated in the Home Run Derby, as he beat Adley Rutschman 28-27 in the first round. He ended up losing in the semi-final round to Tampa Bay Rays star Randy Arozarena.
Beyond that, the MLB recently released an updated version of their MVP poll. Luis Robert Jr. was second on the American League side, trailing only Shohei Ohtani.
Now, everyone knows the type of season Ohtani is having for the Los Angeles Angels. He has been nothing short of spectacular. Many are saying it's been the best individual season from a player of all time and rightfully so.
So while Luis Robert is currently in the MVP race, there's a high probability that second in the race is the closest he will get to winning the most prominent individual accomplishment in baseball.
At the moment, Ohtani has better numbers in every category than Luis Robert offensively. On the defensive side, while Robert has been one of the best center-fielders in the league this year, Ohtani has been one of and if not the best pitcher in the league.
Baseball is weird sometimes, so who knows what the second half will hold for Robert Jr. and Ohtani. If Robert Jr. wants any chance at receiving the award, it's going to take an even bigger half of baseball than his first half of the year was.
The last time a Chicago White Sox won the MVP award was in 2020 when Jose Abreu brought it home during the 60-game 2020 season.