The final impact Cuban prospect to sign under the old international rules, Luis Robert received a $26 million bonus from the White Sox, resulting in a $52 million commitment after the overage tax. A lean, athletic 6-foot-3 center fielder, Robert hadn't played competitively for about a year when he signed, so he was eased into pro ball in the Dominican Summer League. The 20-year-old's production should be essentially thrown out, as the talent disparity between Robert and the rest of the DSL would be akin to sending an established major leaguer to Double-A for 28 games. Evaluators agree that he is a plus runner with premium bat speed that could lead to plus power. However, there are conflicting reports about how he projects as a hitter. Some think he will hit for a relatively high average with good on-base skills, while others think his swing may need to be overhauled if he is to make enough contact against upper-level pitching. He is an extreme upside gamble in dynasty leagues. Robert is expected to be assigned to Low-A or High-A.
Robert has been diagnosed with a moderate thumb sprain and will miss the next six weeks, Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune reports. This means we won't see the toolsy Cuban outfielder make his full-season debut until late April or early May. He has generated palpable buzz with impressive batting practice sessions this spring, showing off huge raw power to go with plus speed on the bases, but we won't have a good gauge on the hit tool until he gets into game action at an age-appropriate level. He remains a top-five target in first-year player dynasty-league drafts, as he was not expected to reach the majors in 2018, even with full health.
Robert suffered a thumb injury sliding into second base during Wednesday's spring game against the Reds, Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The thumb flared up again during Thursday's batting practice session and the White Sox have officially termed Robert's issue as left thumb inflammation. He should continue to be considered day-to-day as manager Rick Renteria stated that his activity is still limited for the time being.
Robert is dealing with a bout of left thumb soreness, Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. It's unclear when the issue cropped up, but it didn't seem to bother him much when he bashed a grand slam in the eighth inning of Wednesday's Cactus League contest. Reports indicate that the issue is relatively minor, and manager Rick Renteria seemed to reiterate that. "He's got a little sore thumb so we're checking out," the skipper commented. Robert's thumb was wrapped Thursday, so consider him day-to-day for the time being.
Robert was removed from Thursday's spring game after being tagged on the helmet on a stolen-base attempt, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reports. Cassavell reports that Robert appeared to be fine in the dugout, so it doesn't seem like this will be anything too serious. The exact nature of the injury is also unknown at this time, but look for him to return to action in the next few days.
Robert has been invited to the White Sox's major-league camp this spring, James Fegan of The Athletic Chicago reports. As expected, the White Sox will give Robert a look during spring despite the team having already announced that he'll report to either Low-A Kannapolis or High-A Winston-Salem to open the 2018 season. The 20-year-old hit an impressive .310/.491/.536 with 12 extra-base hits in 28 games in the Dominican Summer League after joining the White Sox organization midseason. He's still a couple of years away from contributing at the major-league level.
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