Chicago White Sox outfield prospect Luis Robert batted .328/.376/.624 with 32 home runs and 36 steals over 122 games in the minors this season. And no, he was not merely some product of the juiced ball in Triple-A as he raked at not just one but three levels this year, playing 47 games at Triple-A and 75 combined between High-A and Double-A.
Yet, even with expanded September rosters, Robert is not going to get a cup-of-coffee in the bigs this year. Why? White Sox general manager Rick Hahn says it’s because Robert played a career-high number of games, had a short offseason due to participating in the Arizona Fall League, and because he jumped two levels.
One always wonders, of course, whether service time manipulation was part of the equation when such a high-profile prospect is involved. What says Hahn?
That’s about as believable as Michael telling Connie and Kay that he had nothing to do with Carlo’s killing, but Hahn’s the boss so it’s not like anyone can do anything about it.
Hahn now has the whole offseason to explain why Robert won’t start the 2020 season with Chicago. It can’t be the old chestnut about defense, because Robert is an outstanding center fielder. I’m gonna go with either (a) “his offseason was too long this year, what with not playing in September, so we’re worried about rust”; or (b) “well, he didn’t have any time in the bigs at the end of last year so we don’t wanna just start him out there to begin the season.”
After which Hahn will start the engine of his IronyMobile and drive away.