It hasn't been an easy transition to the professional ranks thus far for Oakland A's 2011 10th-round pick Dusty Robinson, but he still has a positive outlook. The burly outfielder is batting only .204 through his first 32 professional games, split between the Arizona Rookie League and the New York-Penn League.
Despite those numbers, Robinson has showed flashes of what the A's saw from him in college. Eight of his 23 professional hits have gone for extra-bases, including three that have left the yard. Robinson has also shown agility on the basepaths with five stolen bases in six attempts.
Robinson came to the pros after a strong three-year career at Fresno State, during which he hit 47 homeruns in three seasons.
Although he hails from Southern California and went to school out West, Robinson is familiar with the Northeast, where he is currently playing for the short-season Vermont Lake Monsters. Last summer, Robinson played in the Cape Cod wood bat league, where he was teammates with current Lake Monsters' outfielder Bobby Crocker.
Donald Moore spoke with Moore during the Lake Monsters' recent road-trip through upstate New York.
Donald Moore: Hi Dusty, how your first year in pro ball going?
Dusty Robinson: It's going great. You know, all the guys are great guys and it's fun to meet new people and it's just a process you know. It's a lot of hard work you got to put in to better your swing and you got to do anything you can to keep asking if I can get some early work in. It's just a transition you know. Just getting out there and playing everyday.
DM: What are your goals for this season?
DR: The goal for me would be to better all the aspects of my game you know. My hitting, my fielding, running, anything I can do to better me as a player.
DM: What is the best thing about being a professional ball player?
DR: It's awesome, man. You get to come out and live your dream as a child and come out and play everyday. You get to throw on the jersey. And you know there are no days off really anymore. If you go 0 for 1 one night, you say, hey there is a another game tomorrow and you get to wake up and get to do it again.
DM: Any pregame routine?
DR: No, just strap it on and play.
DM: Any hobbies?
DR: I like to get the Xbox in, Call of Duty. Before baseball became so big, I'd go to the lake with my friends and just hang out during the day. Maybe play some golf or do any of that stuff.
DM: If there is one person that taught you most about baseball, who would that be?
DR: I'd have to say my head coach in college, Mike Batesole. He helped me so much through college, he became really one of my best friends. He taught me so much about the game that I never knew and just those three years in college were great.
DM: What would you like to improve on this season?
DR: Like I said earlier, I'd just like to better every aspect of the game: hitting, fielding and maybe get quicker and bigger, and keep working hard to get to those goals.
DM: Favorite team growing up?
DR: The Dodgers, but it has changed now that I got drafted by the A's.
DM: Favorite player?
DR: Pete Rose, before all the gambling stuff. Just the way he played the game and how he left everything on the field and played 110 percent every game no matter if it was the All-Star game trucking the catcher to everyday to just the way he played.
DM: Craziest thing you every saw on a baseball diamond?
DR: Probably be this year in Arizona. We had a guy take a full swing, broken bat over the pitcher's head and the ball went about two feet and stayed fair for a single.
DM: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
DR: You know, probably what everyone would say, hopefully playing in the big leagues for the Oakland Athletics. You have to take it one day at a time and better yourself.
DM: I want to thank you so much and the best of luck to you.