CHICAGO -- An interesting mix of White Sox prospects will represent the organization on the Glendale Desert Dogs as part of the 2018 Arizona Fall League, highlighted by outfielder Luis Robert. Rosters for the AFL were announced on Thursday.Robert, the No. 25 overall prospect in all of baseball and Chicago's
CHICAGO -- An interesting mix of White Sox prospects will represent the organization on the Glendale Desert Dogs as part of the 2018 Arizona Fall League, highlighted by outfielder Luis Robert. Rosters for the AFL were announced on Thursday.
Robert, the No. 25 overall prospect in all of baseball and Chicago's No. 3 according to MLB Pipeline, will play with fellow outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe, the White Sox No. 9 prospect. They will be joined by infielder Laz Rivera (the White Sox No. 28 prospect), right-handed pitchers Zack Burdi (No. 17) and Zach Thompson and left-hander Tanner Banks. Robert has been limited to 165 Minor League at-bats across three levels this season entering Thursday due to thumb injuries and is hitting .235 for Class A Advanced Winston-Salem. He has not hit a home run but has 12 stolen bases, nine doubles and three triples.
• White Sox Top 30 prospects
Burdi is working his way back from Tommy John surgery, which he underwent in July 2017. He has a 2.84 ERA over 6 1/3 innings in the Rookie-level Arizona League.
"Very regimented. Very impressed by how he took on the program given to him," White Sox director of player development Chris Getz said. "Since he's begun his rehab assignment in Arizona, he's pitched very well.
"He feels great. His stuff is there. Our hope is to get him in the Fall League and go into the offseason in preparation for Spring Training and see what happens next season."
Basabe has 15 home runs, 15 stolen bases and an .809 OPS entering Thursday between Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham. Rivera, a 28th-round pick in the 2017 Draft, has a .315 average and .839 OPS to go with 12 home runs and 57 RBIs entering Thursday during his breakout season between Class A Kannapolis and Winston-Salem.
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Will Jimenez get September callup?
With Major League rosters expanding on Saturday, the matter of Eloy Jimenez's possible promotion to the White Sox continues to take center stage. Chicago's No. 1 prospect and No. 3 in all of baseball has crushed the baseball at Triple-A Charlotte, hitting .365 with a 1.010 OPS and 11 home runs in 197 at-bats entering Thursday.
"The reality is he's not here right now. He's doing a really nice job developing in the Minor League system," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "I know the season's coming to an end and everybody's wondering about where he's going to be.
"I know the fans are very anxious to see a lot of the young men that are prospects within the system, having them get there, rightfully so. But the long-term health of the organization will be determined by us as a whole organization and we'll continue to move forward."
Charlotte's regular season ends on Monday.
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Third to first
• Renteria wouldn't commit to an exact number of September callups on Thursday.
"I'm sure we'll have a few this weekend," Renteria said. "They haven't been notified yet. Then I'm sure there will be a few more once the regular Minor League season is over. But as we continue to move forward, the reality is I will manage and deal with whomever is here. I just have to continue to concentrate on the guys we do have."
• With a wry smile, Renteria commented on Michael Kopech's shorter haircut, which took place approximately 15 minutes prior to Tuesday's game at Yankee Stadium. Kopech said he was going more for a "professional look."
"Love it," Renteria said. "I know the owner loves it."
Kopech will start on Friday against the Red Sox, the club that drafted him and traded him to Chicago in the Chris Sale deal.
• Kopech to face former club in 3rd MLB start
• First baseman Jose Abreu is progressing well in his recovery from surgery on his lower abdomen/groin area, according to Renteria.
"I think he was going to see the doctor today for a follow-up," Renteria said. "He's still a little way away -- seven days to nine days [from returning to baseball activity]."
• A White Sox franchise-record nine pitchers have recorded at least one save this season, breaking the mark of eight, which was set five times (previously in 1988) per STATS. Joakim Soria leads the White Sox with 16 saves, while Jace Fry and Nate Jones enter Thursday in a tie for second (four), followed by Luis Avilan (two) and Chris Beck, Xavier Cedeno, Bruce Rondon, Hector Santiago and Thyago Vieira (one).
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.