The Class A Kannapolis lineup just got a lot more intimidating.
No. 25 overall prospect Luis Robert has been added to the Kannapolis roster ahead of making his full-season debut, the South Atlantic League club announced Tuesday.
Robert has been out of official action since March 7 when he suffered a sprained ligament in his left thumb on a slide during a Cactus League game as a non-roster invitee to White Sox Major League camp. Incredibly, he suffered the injury during the fifth inning of the game but still managed to hit a grand slam three innings later to give Chicago a 14-12 win over Cincinnati. It was his only home run over nine games in the spring.
The 20-year-old outfielder has yet to make his stateside Minor League debut after signing for $26 million out of Cuba in May 2017 (the second-highest bonus ever given to an international amateur, trailing only potential future teammate Yoan Moncada's $31.5 million from the Red Sox in February 2015). Robert spent all of last season in the Dominican Summer League and appeared to have few issues in his first taste of affiliated ball. The right-handed slugger hit .310/.491/.536 with three homers, 12 steals and a near-even 23/22 K/BB ratio in 28 games for the White Sox's DSL affiliate.
Robert's speed is considered his greatest asset, but at a listed 6-foot-3, 185 pounds, he's got a good amount of power from the right side as well. His above-average arm and range should help him stick in center, at least for the time being.
The White Sox had said they expected Robert to play for Class A Advanced Winston-Salem at some point this summer, so the toolsy potential star might not be in Kannapolis for long. For now, he joins an Intimidators club that owns the best record in the Sally League at 34-19, and he could pack quite a one-two punch with No. 18 White Sox prospect Luis Gonzalez, who is batting .330 with a .941 OPS in his first full season.