The Luis Robert Effect


Image courtesy of The St. Louis Post

Many baseball fans around the world know and recognize the big names throughout Major League Baseball such as Mike Trout, Aaron Judge, Fernando Tatis Jr, Ronald Acuña and many more.  However, many fans do not pay attention to the entirely different world of upcoming baseball prospects.  They tend to forget that stars such as Mike Trout and Aaron Judge were once prospects with a salary that is a small fraction of what it is now.  While MLB games can be fascinating and exhilarating, it is important to know there is a whole other world of prospects and future stars.  

Meet Chicago White Sox outfielder Luis Robert. 23 years old, 6’11, 210 pounds and a Cuban native.  Many serious MLB fans know the name, but even now, the casual MLB fan who only watches playoff baseball may not know Luis Robert.  In 2017, Robert received a 27 million dollar signing bonus as a 20 year old.  Even wilder, Robert signed a 50 million dollar extension in January that could possibly reach 88 million dollars due to team options.  That’s a lot of money for someone who only made his MLB debut this season.  Yes, that’s right: Luis Robert signed multi-million dollar contracts before playing a single game in the MLB.  

Robert’s contract attracted many players, fans and scouts throughout the league.  Now, more young prospects may be demanding and trying to work more lucrative contracts.  For example, a prospect named Jasson Dominguez, who is only 17 years old, recently signed a 5.1 million dollar contract with the New York Yankees.  Young Latin American stars such as Ronald Acuña Jr. and Fernando Tatis Jr have also signed 100 million and 21 million dollar contracts, respectively.  

Robert has been labeled by many experts and baseball scouts as “the next Mike Trout,” which seem like very big words.  Former Cleveland Indian Omar Vizquel described Luis Robert as a young Ken Griffey Jr who “can do it all.”   Because of these comparisons, fans have created high expectations for the young star.  Robert’s lucrative contract has also caused fans to pay closer attention to players’ contracts, especially younger prospects.       

Robert’s prowess and comparisons to Mike Trout created a high demand for the young star’s Topps rookie card.  With sports cards currently on the rise, collectors are paying hundreds of dollars for a Topps certified Luis Robert autograph card.  Robert has not only created hype around the game of baseball, but also the hobby of collecting baseball cards.    

Luis Robert has also created hype and excitement around the MLB prospect world.  Many fans are now paying closer attention to prospects and future MLB stars.  Ultimately, Luis Robert’s name created a drive for fans and baseball card collectors to find “the next Mike Trout,” or in 20 years, experts may be trying to find the next Luis Robert.