When Luis Robert came to the United States to play professional baseball for the Chicago White Sox, I’m sure he imagined his first professional season would have a slightly different outcome. Robert’s season was interrupted twice due to the same thumb injury and because of this, he was never able to truly get into a groove at the plate. Since he missed extended time during the season, it was an easy choice to send him to the Arizona Fall League to give him the opportunity to get extra at-bats and to makeup for the missed development time.
Since joining the Glendale Desert Dogs roster in October, Luis Robert has easily been one of the most exciting prospects throughout all of the Arizona Fall League, and he’s had the production to back that up. Through 11 games, he’s slashing .356/.408/.444 with one home run, one double, and eight RBI’s. Also, Luis Robert has had at least one hit in each of the 11 games he’s played in. He missed a little over a week with hamstring tightness, but he picked up right where he left off when he rejoined the Desert Dogs lineup.
At the plate, Luis Robert looks extremely comfortable, which is a positive sign for someone who had to deal with the previously mentioned injuries. He hasn’t looked overwhelmed at all, and is locked in each time he steps up to the plate. Initially, most of his hits were coming on ground balls through the hole, but as the Arizona Fall League season has gone on, he’s starting to drive the ball more frequently and produce more line drives. He blasted his first home run of the AFL season last week and just missed hitting another one yesterday.
— Sean Williams (@TLS_Sean) November 5, 2018
On top of the general success at the plate, Luis Robert has shown that he can be successful in situational hitting. With runners in scoring position, he’s hitting .615 and has 7 RBI’s. With runners on base, he’s hitting .364 with 7 RBI’s. He also had a walk-off single in the bottom of the 11th inning, which you can see below. Another thing I’ve noticed during his time in the Arizona Fall League is that Luis Robert is extremely efficient at putting the ball in play with two strikes. In 45 at-bats, he’s only struck out 7 times. He had the same amount of at-bats during his time in Kannapolis, but struck out 12 times there, so he’s seeing some improvement in that aspect.
— Mike Rosenbaum (@GoldenSombrero) October 26, 2018
Because of his consistent performance at the plate and in the field, Luis Robert was named a starter in the Fall Stars Game which took place this past Saturday. This game has seen a lot of talent, having players like Ronald Acuna Jr., Victor Robles, Gleyber Torres, Cody Bellinger, and Eloy Jimenez participate in recent years. The Arizona Fall League is always flooded with great talent, and Luis Robert has placed his name next to some of the best that this league has to offer.
— Sean Williams (@TLS_Sean) November 3, 2018
I had the opportunity to speak with a couple of scouts before the Fall Stars Game on Saturday and I asked them what Luis Robert’s power projections will look like at the MLB level. They said: “he will be a 20-25 home run per season guy. Right now, he’s not getting much leverage on his swing. However, once he makes a few adjustments, the ball will start flying off his bat.” The scouts also mentioned that they believe he will develop into a body type that’s similar to Lorenzo Cain or Marcell Ozuna.
Seeing everything come together for Luis Robert has been exciting. He’s finally feeling comfortable at the plate and is looking like he will be well worth the money. The power in his swing will come eventually, but for right now, it’s great to see what he can do when he’s healthy and in the zone. The only thing preventing Luis Robert from having a very successful career in the MLB is his health. He’s a walking toolshed that works hard every single day. He’s a threat at the plate, in the field, and on the base path. His consistency in the Arizona Fall League could be a big confidence booster for him moving into next season.
Follow Sean on Twitter-Feature Photo Credit: Sean Williams/The Loop Sports