Luis Robert’s first career playoff home run was one to remember.
The White Sox rookie connected on an 0-1 fastball from Mike Fiers to lead off the second inning of Thursday's 6-4 loss to Oakland in the deciding Game 3 of the American League Wild Card Series and launched a 487-foot blast to left-center field.
It's the longest homer by a White Sox player in the Statcast era, the second longest in postseason history in the Statcast era and the second longest in Major League Baseball this season (behind Ronald Acuña Jr.'s 495-foot shot against Boston on Sept. 25).
At 23 years and 59 days old, Robert is the youngest player in White Sox history with a postseason home run.
Robert hit 11 homers during his rookie season. Few of them were wall-scrapers.
“I didn't really see this one because when I hit the ball, I just started running," said Robert through interpreter Billy Russo. "The guys in the dugout were the ones who told me where the ball landed. But I didn't see it, I have to see the replay."
For much of the 60-game regular season, Robert seemed to be the favorite to be named AL Rookie of the Year, but from Sept. 1-23, he went 6-for-70 with 30 strikeouts. He finished the season with five hits in his last three games, against the Cubs, and hit in all three against the A’s, turning both prolonged slump and the playoffs into valuable learning experiences.
“We didn't get the results as a team that we were expecting that we wanted,” said Robert, who had two hits and two RBIs on Thursday. “But overall for me, and for us, it was a good experience just because it was something new. For me, especially, it's one I'll just add to the whole experience I had during the regular season, and I truly believe it's going to put me in a better position for next year.
“It's going to make me a better player. Every experience we had every day is something that's going to make you better as a person, as a player, and that is how I see it. You know next year, hopefully we have the chance to play with fans, and that's going to be different, too. At least we know what we can expect.”