2009 Cards Prospect #33 – Shane Robinson

After an injury-plagued 2007, the 24-year-old started off superbly in Springfield, struggled in Memphis following another injury and leveled out in the Arizona Fall League. Which Robinson will we see in 2009 and does he have what it takes to break through a crowded group of outfield candidates?

Scout.com Player Profile (including links to full 2008 and career stats)

2008 ranking: Not applicable

Position: OF

DOB: 10/30/1984

Height: 5-foot-9

Weight: 160

Bats: Right

Throws: Right

School: Florida State

Became a Cardinal: Selected in the fifth round (166th overall) of the June, 2006 First-Year Player Draft.

Selected 2008 stats

SPR 0.352 244 46 86 17 3 4 32 17 34 13 0.396 0.496 0.891
MEM 0.220 141 10 31 4 1 1 10 5 24 2 0.248 0.284 0.532
Tot 0.304 385 56 117 21 4 5 42 22 58 15 0.343 0.418 0.761
AFL 0.280 107 27 30 8 0 2 24 16 13 8 0.372 0.411 0.783

Staff comments (individual rankings in parens)

Dustin Mattison (37): Robinson put together a fantastic run at Double-A Springfield where he posted a line of .352/.391/.496 in 244 at bats. This breakout performance earned him a promotion to Memphis where he struggled. Against Triple-A pitching, he slugged over 200 points less than he did at Springfield. The Florida State product rebounded during the fall and put together a very respectable Arizona Fall League.

Undersized, Robinson possesses good speed on the bases and superb bat control at the plate. During play in the fall league, he walked more than he struck out while stealing eight bases in eight attempts.

I am not really sure he offers much more than Brian Barton so I really don't see a place for him in the organization. But I do believe he could prove valuable to a second division club as a speedy fourth outfielder capable of leading off.

Ray Mileur (31): Sugar Shane Robinson, how can you not love this guy? He got off to a great start in the 2008 season at Double-A Springfield, often leading the Texas League in hitting and being named to the Texas League All-Star Team. He played in 63 games for the Springfield Cardinals hitting .352 with four home runs and 32 RBIs before being promoted to Memphis, where the Sugar wasn't quite as sweet, hitting just .220 in 141 at bats. I wouldn't write this kid off yet.

Message board community (36): Robinson garnered significant Community support from the late 20's on before finally getting selected at number 36. While some people were impressed by his flirtation with .400 while at AA (he finished with a .352/.396./.496) others were disappointed by his .532 OPS when promoted to AAA. Robinson has battled injuries the last two years that have limited to a total of 152 games over that time frame.

Robinson's injuries have most likely affected his performance over his career and also made some Community voters hesitant to vote for him. Robinson's ranking was also most likely influenced by other players who have had good half years and then reverted back to their previous forms. In the end, it was probably Robinson's .372 OBP while striking out less than he walked and his 8 stolen bases (with 0 caught stealing) in the Arizona Fall League that won over the Community voters. - CariocaCardinal

Brian Walton (27): As Carioca noted just prior, while Robinson didn't knock anyone over with his Arizona results this fall, they were decent in a league of hitters. I doubt anyone expected him to maintain his Springfield pace, but his Memphis introduction had been concerning.

Assured of regular playing time as the Cardinals' priority player in the AFL, Robinson's stats most important for a leadoff-man type looked solid, indicating a leveling off of results in the middle of where one could optimistically expect him to achieve – somewhere between Springfield's highs and Memphis' lows.

In person, Robinson appears nowhere near his listed height and weight, which represents another challenge for him, one of many competitors in a very crowded outfield picture. Despite my relative optimism shown here by his ranking, Robinson is still only the fifth-highest outfielder on the list already at Double-A or Triple-A, and that doesn't include either Joe Mather and Brian Barton. The two are ineligible for this process, but at least one of them is likely to be in the Memphis mix next season. If you add Allen Craig or David Freese among the projected outfielders, even on a part-time basis, Robinson's battle for playing time becomes even tougher.

At age 24 next season, Robinson really needs to come out of the gate smartly and stay healthy to avoid losing ground in the race and joining former hot outfield prospects like Reid Gorecki and Cody Haerther that eventually fell by the wayside.

To see our entire list of 40 prospects, click here. You can also read each of the voters' philosophies in making their selections.

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