"The fans haven't seen my full potential and I'm excited to show them what I can do," said Robson. "I think I have a lot of potential that will allow me to succeed in this league. And my coaches support me. They realize that I haven't had the career that I wanted to have. They understand what I bring to the table and they are willing to use that."
After hitting .206 as a true freshman, including a .250 batting average in SEC games, and having a great summer hitting the ball in the New England League, he struggled as a sophomore, hitting just .063 in limited action. Although he doesn't like to use it as an excuse, there is a reason Robson wasn't successful last fall and spring. He had an elbow injury as well as mono.
"I first noticed the elbow problem at the end of last summer when I was playing in the New England League," said Robson. "I could feel a sharp shooting pain every time that I threw. I didn't say much at first but it got to the point where it hurt every time that I threw. I had treatment on it everyday but then it got to the point where it hurt every time that I extended my lead arm (when I hit). I was hitting something like .370, then that happened and I kind of went down. I wound up having to bunt a lot and ended up hitting .330.
"I don't use any of that as an excuse. It happened. I think there are things that I went through that I can learn from and that will make me a better person and player."
He was optimistic that it was just a temporary injury that would go away with treatment and rest but it came back in the fall prior to the start of fall scrimmages. In addition to the injury, he also came down with a case of mono.
"I went to treatment (when I got back to MSU) but then (the pain) came back (in October)," said Robson. "Then I got a really bad case of mono and missed half of the fall."
He continued his treatment after the fall scrimmages but the pain came back in the spring. He continued the treatment but he wasn't seeing the result that he hoped for.
"It came back in the spring and I got a couple of cortisone shots (but MSU team doctor) Dr. Linton said that if it continued to hurt that we would have to operate," said Robson. "That was something that I wanted to happen because it wasn't getting any better with treatment."
Dr. Linton explained to Robson what was causing the pain.
"My ulnar nerve was entrapped by my forearm muscles," said Robson, who had the operation May 8th. "It put a lot of stress on my nerve. What Dr. LInton did was move my nerve to relieve the stress off of it. The surgery went very, very well. And I thank Dr. Linton for that."
He quickly recovered from the surgery thanks to his hard work rehabbing.
"I did a lot of rehab before the surgery so that gave me a head start on recovering from the surgery," said Robson. "I continued to do rehab during the summer when I was playing summer ball and I'm continuing it even now. There is no injury any longer. Now, it is just a matter of being strong and healthy with my arm every day. And we are taking the correct steps to improve my arm strength, stability and endurance."
"I played for the Thunder Bay Border Cats in the Northwoods League," said Robson, who batted .254 (15-of-59) with an on-base percentage of .564, 7 RBI and 12 stolen bases in 15 attempts. "I started playing around July 2nd. Part of the reason for playing in the Northwoods League was more about the process than it was about results. The summer was really a chance to step back and look at myself as a player. I wanted to really evaluate what I needed to improve on as a player so that I could succeed in the SEC and help my team win."
One area that he felt he could improve on is his base-stealing. Although he has always had great footspeed, he has never been the base-stealer that he felt he should be.
"I talked to my summer league coach, who is a really good coach," said Robson. "He played outfield for the Cardinals in Triple A and he stole some bases. He talked to me about the logic of stealing bases, when to steal and on what counts. If you steal on a breaking ball count the pitcher is going to be slower to the plate and the pop time from the catcher is going to be slower because he has to handle the breaking ball. The hitter won't swing at it (in most cases). So, the next time you steal the hitter is (likely) going to get a fastball to hit. Not only am I helping myself by stealing but I'm also helping the hitter."
He used what he was taught and tried to steal as often as he could.
"I tried to steal every time that I got on base," said Robson. "If I wasn't stealing I was trying to get the move down so that I could steal later in the game."
You can see Jacob Robson and his teammates during fall ball beginning October 14th, the first day they play a scrimmage.