Prospect Countdown #25 : Austin Robichaux

Top 100 Los Angeles Angels' Prospects Countdown, #25 : Right-Handed Pitcher, Austin Robichaux (photo : Travis Berg)

Austin Robichaux, Right-Handed Pitcher

HT : 6'6
WT : 170
DOB : November 23, 1992 (23), Crowley, Louisiana
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : University of Louisiana-Lafayette (Lafayette, LA)
Acquired : Drafted in 18th Round of 2014 MLB Draft
Last Year's Ranking : Unranked

Sometimes, sinker-ball pitchers are over looked because they aren't in the standard tool group that flashes excellent strikeout pitches. However, they record outs, which is what truly matters. Austin "Aut" Robichaux is that prospect for the Los Angeles Angels, and isn't going over looked in our countdown for the manner in which he pitches - attaining outs.


There are certain things that go a long way that will never standout in a box score or radar gun, and that's the ability to know your body and the situation you're in. Robichaux not only has outstanding self knowledge, but is near off the charts with his baseball IQ. Knowing what pitch to throw, where to throw it, and how to adjust when necessary is something special, and may not be outmatched for pitchers in the entire Angels farm system. This alone will carry Robichaux to the upper levels of the minors without his talent - which is impressive as well.

The thing that makes Robichaux a standout is his ability to hit his marks with all three pitches that show up as plus pitches. His arsenal is pretty standard, mixing a fastball, curve and changeup, all that he mixes and fills the zone with in easy fashion.

Robichaux did struggle slightly finding the zone with his fastball last season, nit picking the edges of the zone and not always getting the call. His fastball has good sinking and bore movement to it with an easy downhill plane from his delivery. It sits in the low 90's, touching the 93-94 zone at times, peaking at 95. With some command issues comes easy and hard contact against him - which happens with sinker-ball pitchers - but he mostly kept the ball down allowing ground ball rates to rise.

As for off-speed, Robichaux mixes a curve and changeup that are both Major League potential "out" pitches. His curve has good hooking motion with a late drop. His changeup is a good pitch to mix in with his fastball and is very effective against left-handed hitters.

Though he can fill the zone with all his pitches, he had some control problems this past season. This may come from a quick delivery that can become rushed at times. There's also some concern in the delivery as to the amount of pressure he puts on his elbow and shoulder. This could lead to a move to the bullpen despite how high a ceiling he holds as a starter. He's still very athletic and has good knowledge of his body which may mean a proper adjustment in the future.

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Playing for his father, Tony, at UL-Lafayette, Robichaux reached into the record books, tying the school's all-time record in wins at 19, finishing his collegiate career with a 19-9 record, 3.05 ERA, 1.094 WHIP and .235 opposing average. In his final two years, Robichaux recorded 17 of his 19 collegiate wins in his final two seasons, helping lead the Ragin Cajuns to a Super Regional appearance.

In his debut as a professional, Robichaux held a 4.91 ERA and 1.289 WHIP with Rookie Orem. In his final eight appearances, he held bats to a .227 average and .613 OPS, while holding a 3.00 ERA and 1.000 WHIP. Left-handed bats hit just .224 against Robichaux.

This past season, Robichaux was a highlight piece to Low-A Burlington's rotation, finishing the year with a 9-8 record, 3.74 ERA, and 1.310 WHIP. 13 of Aut's 28 games went for six or more innings, and went 7-1 with a 1.67 ERA and 0.978 in those games. In mid June, Robichaux went 25.2 innings without allowing a run.

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There are concerns that Robichaux's harsh delivery will force him into the bullpen, but for the time being, the Angels will keep him in the farm system rotation with his next destination very likely being High-A Inland Empire for the 2016 season. Keeping the ball low will be a large point for Robichaux's movement in the system.

It's hard to judge anything with Robichaux until the organization makes a decision on if he's a starter or reliever. If a starter, he'd be back of the rotation at his ceiling who will produce a large amount of ground balls. If a reliever, he has many different scenarios, but it's likely he'll reach the Majors by the 2017 or 2018 seasons.

For more updates on the Los Angeles Angels, their prospects, and our Top 100 Prospects Countdown, follow us on Twitter, @AngelsOnScout. Keep up with our countdown on Twitter with the hashtag, #LAATop100Prospects.

This article was published by Taylor Blake Ward, who serves as a Senior Publisher for, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.

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