During the spring of 2020, Eloy Jiménez repeated his high praise for Chicago White Sox teammate Luis Robert Jr., saying the center fielder was “going to be the next Mike Trout.”
Robert felt honored when he heard the comparison, but said through an interpreter Monday the Los Angeles Angels superstar was, “on a different level.”
“If I’m able to keep playing for a very long time and sustain the level of success that I’m having now, then maybe at some point we can talk about that comparison,” Robert said. “But in the meantime, I just have to keep working hard.”
Robert and Trout patrolled center field for their respective teams at Angel Stadium as the Sox and Angels began a four-game series.
“It’s always good to see and follow players like Mike Trout,” Robert said. “Kind of players that are one in a generation. When we are on the field, we are competing. It’s always good to compete against one of the best in the game.”
Robert received an honor before the game, earning American League Player of the Week for the first time in his career.
“It’s something that makes me really happy,” Robert said of the recognition. “It’s just the result of all the work I’ve put in. I’m very happy for it and it’s something that motivates me to keep working hard.”
He slashed .444/.524/1.111 (8-for-18) with four home runs, five RBIs and six runs in six games last week. Robert homered twice in Sunday’s 4-1 victory against the Boston Red Sox and hit a game-tying solo home run in Saturday’s 5-4 win.
He was the first Sox position player to earn the award since José Abreu from May 24-30, 2021, and the first Sox outfielder to receive the honor since Jiménez from Sept. 9-15, 2019.
“He deserves it, he’s earned it,” manager Pedro Grifol said before Monday’s game. “It’s not so much the production, but it’s the work he put in, the buy-in that he’s got. Really proud of him. He’s put in really good work.”
Robert continued his tear Monday, hitting a solo home run — his 22nd of the season — in the first inning. He had two of the team’s three hits in the 2-1 loss.
Through Monday, Robert ranks second in the AL in homers and extra-base hits (42), third in slugging percentage (.569), total bases (165), defensive runs saved (9), fourth in OPS (.897), tied for fourth in runs (52) and tied for eighth in doubles (20).
“The main key is being able to play every day,” Robert said. “I’ve been healthy. And that’s what you want. I have some ups and downs, but I think I’ve been consistent in my work and my routine. That’s probably the only thing you can control.”
He’s played in all but three of the team’s 79 games this season.
“Basically if you are not playing every day, you can’t show who you really are as a player,” Robert said. “This year, to me, it has been the biggest key (that) I’ve been healthy.”
Robert is one of five players in Sox history (eight times) with 20-plus doubles and homers before the All-Star Break, joining Frank Thomas (1993-94, 2003), Abreu (2014, ‘19), Jermaine Dye (2008) and Magglio Ordóñez (2000).
“I think every ballplayer wants to be the best that he can be, and that’s my case every time that I go out and every time that I’m on the field,” Robert said.
His play led Grifol to say after Sunday’s game, “There’s no doubt in my mind this guy’s an All-Star. No doubt. I don’t know who needs to hear it, but this guy’s an All-Star.”
Robert said Grifol’s words “means a lot.”
“That’s the most important, for it to come from the manager,” Robert said. “I appreciate that.”
Robert said of the possibility of an All-Star selection, “It would be something very special because I think I’ve been doing a pretty good job up to this point. If I’m not there, well, it wouldn’t matter. I’ll be doing whatever I’ve been doing since Day 1.
“It’s not something I can control.”
Source: Berkshire mont