Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News arrow-downArrow Down icon Arrow Up icon

3 top White Sox prospects inching closer to MLB

@scottmerkin
April 30, 2019

CHICAGO -- Luis Robert has moved one step closer to the White Sox. The team announced a promotion of MLB Pipeline's No. 37 prospect from Class A Advanced Winston-Salem to Double-A Birmingham in the prospect-rich Southern League. Robert, 21, had torn apart Carolina League competition with a .453 average, .920

CHICAGO -- Luis Robert has moved one step closer to the White Sox.

The team announced a promotion of MLB Pipeline's No. 37 prospect from Class A Advanced Winston-Salem to Double-A Birmingham in the prospect-rich Southern League. Robert, 21, had torn apart Carolina League competition with a .453 average, .920 slugging percentage and 1.432 OPS along with eight home runs, five doubles, three triples, 24 RBIs and 21 runs scored. He also swiped eight bags for good measure.

All of these highly impressive statistics were produced in 75 at-bats over 19 games by the outfielder. Notably, the White Sox have been careful to not rush previous top prospects such as Yoan Moncada, Eloy Jimenez and Michael Kopech -- to name a few -- on their way to the Majors.

There was no promotion until every item had been checked off their organization’s checklist, regardless of a potential big league need.

Robert was limited to just 50 games during the 2018 season because of wrist injuries. But if he can provide sustained success at Birmingham, there’s a chance he could be fast-tracked to the White Sox in ’19.

“Again, fundamentally we want to put these guys in the position to get at-bats and be challenged and be able to show progress,” said White Sox general manager Rick Hahn during a Friday media session.

Right-handed pitcher Zack Burdi, the No. 16-ranked White Sox prospect, also was promoted to Birmingham. Outfielder Steele Walker, ranked No. 11 among White Sox prospects, was promoted to Winston-Salem.

Burdi, 24, was the 26th pick overall in the 2016 Draft. After returning from Tommy John surgery in 2018, Burdi pitched seven games for the White Sox affiliate in the Arizona Rookie League and made five appearances in the Arizona Fall League, but he was slowed by a lat strain in Spring Training.

Burdi also could reach the Majors this year, and he is considered by some as a potential future closer, but he's still making his way on the comeback trail post-surgery.

“He’s still rehabbing at this point,” Hahn said. “You’ve seen it over the years. When a guy first is hurt, and then rehabbing, and then versus when he finally knows it’s fully behind him -- those are really three different approaches to a competitive game.”

Walker, 22, was the team’s second-round selection in the 2018 Draft. He hit .365 with a 1.018 OPS for Class A Kannapolis to go with 11 RBIs, 10 doubles and three triples.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.