Birthday boy Robert collects three hits

Top White Sox prospect boosts Triple-A average to .352

Luis Robert is batting .349/.403/.638 with 23 homers, 71 RBIs and 34 steals across three levels this season. (Laura Wolff/Charlotte Knights)

By Jordan Wolf / | August 3, 2019 10:55 PM

Luis Robert had himself a pretty happy birthday.

The freshly turned 22-year-old went 3-for-5 with a double and an RBI in Triple-A Charlotte's 6-4 win over Gwinnett on Saturday at Coolray Field. The three hits matched his highest total with the Knights, achieved most recently four days ago.

Video: Knights' Robert smacks RBI double

It was just another game for Robert, who's done nothing but mash since being promoted to Triple-A. But the occasion called for a little extra celebration from his teammates, who surprised him with a birthday cake in the clubhouse.

"He was embarrassed a little bit," Knights hitting coach Frank Menechino joked. "They had more fun with it than he did."

The top White Sox prospect went after the first pitch of the game from Braves No. 10 prospect Huascar Ynoa but flied to left field. The same approach -- one he uses often, according to Menechino -- paid off the next time up as he socked a double to right on the first pitch to plate Ramon Torres with the first run of the game.

"He swings at the first pitch of the game 90 percent of the time -- sometimes he gets a hit, sometimes he doesn't," Menechino said. "He is focused on hitting the ball that's over the plate and he's doing a good job of it now."

Gameday box score

Robert added singles in the fifth and seventh to cap his night. He struck out swinging in the ninth inning, coming up one hit short of a new Triple-A benchmark.

Over his last 10 games,'s No. 5 overall prospect is batting .395 with two homers and seven RBIs. He sports a .352 average through 21 contests since being promoted from Double-A Birmingham, where he hit .314. The Havana native opened the season with Class A Advanced Winston Salem and put up a .453/.512/.920 slash line in 19 games.

That performance has fueled speculation as to when Robert will end up in Chicago, potentially this season as part of his meteoric rise through the ranks. Menechino said he isn't sure he's quite ready to don the pinstripes, but what is certain is that he's dominating where he is now.

2019 MiLB include

"Luis Robert is doing great," he said. "He is out-talenting the talent that's here. ... This kid, he can run, throw, catch, do everything."

Torres finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored in his Knights debut. Charlie Tilson went 3-for-4 with a double and Daniel Palka crushed a three-run homer. Odrisamer Despaigne (5-4) picked up the win after allowing three runs on six hits and three walks with seven strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings.

Ynoa went 4 1/3 frames and surrendered six runs on nine hits and a pair of walks while striking out five. Batterymate Jonathan Morales and Pedro Florimon drove in two runs apiece for the Stripers.

Jordan Wolf is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @byjordanwolf. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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