While the Texas Rangers showed the errors of the Chicago White Sox rebuild on Wednesday night when they defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks to win their first World Series title in franchise history, White Sox center fielder Luis Robert Jr was recognized on an individual level for his 2023 season.
The 2023 Louisville Slugger Award finalists were announced on Thursday morning and Robert was named finalist for American League outfielders.
Robert was the only bright spot of what was otherwise an embarrassing 2023 season for the White Sox. 2023 was the first time that Robert has surpassed 100 games played in a season and had it not been for the White Sox being one of the worst teams in all of Major League Baseball, the team’s center fielder likely would be a strong candidate for the American League MVP award.
Chicago White Sox center fielder Luis Robert Jr is a finalist for the 2023 Louisville Slugger Award.
In 595 plate appearances with the White Sox last season, Robert slashed .264/.315/.542 with 38 home runs and a 128 wRC+. As Robert was making his ascension through the White Sox’s minor league system, there was an understanding that, at his full potential, Robert was going to be a true five-tool player. 2023 was the first glimpse that White Sox fans had at Robert being a true superstar.
With the direction of the White Sox moving forward unclear under new general manager Chris Getz, one thing is clear: Robert should be the building block for the next contending core. The White Sox were able to sign Robert to an extension that provides the team cost certainty through the 2025 season but the team also holds a club option for the 2026 season.
If the White Sox truly do intend to return to a form of contention in 2024, Robert needs to be on this team. There is no prospect or player that the White Sox could acquire this off-season that would put them in a better place for the long term than what they already have in Robert.