Q&A with Chris Robinson

Twenty-two year old catcher Chris Robinson joined the Cubs' farm system from Class-A Lakeland of the Florida State League in the trade that sent Neifi Perez to Detroit in late August. Upon joining Lakeland's counterpart in the league, the Daytona Cubs, all Robinson did was hit safely in 11 of the 12 games he played in, batting .356 overall.

Robinson was originally a mid-to-late round draft pick by the Mets in 2002, but committed to the University of Illinois and three years later became the third-round selection by the Tigers. He split his rookie season between the New York-Penn and Midwest League's, batting a combined .248 in 45 games.

With Lakeland this season, Robinson hit .286 in 95 games prior to the trade and defensively, he committed seven errors and 16 passed balls for a .988 fielding percentage. He threw out 26 percent of runners.

Inside The Ivy: What can you tell us about yourself, where you come from, etc.?

Chris Robinson: I'm a Canadian. I grew up in Canada just outside of London, Ontario. I signed with the University of Illinois and played three years there, so I know a little about the Cubs' fanatics from my college career. It's somewhat ironic that I ended up with the Cubs, because when I got traded, I started getting phone call after phone call from guys in school that were telling me how excited they were that I was now a Cub. I'm excited to be here just as much as they are excited to have me.

Inside The Ivy: How quickly did you pick up on the Cubs-Cardinals and Cubs-Sox rivalries?

Chris Robinson: (laughing) That was one of the first things I picked up on – you're either a Cubs, Cardinals or White Sox fan. I think it was my sophomore year where the Cubs had that great run and almost made the World Series. That was the first year I started rooting for them. My roommates in college were Cub fans, so I had to either root against them and be the most unpopular guy in the group or go along with everybody else.

Inside The Ivy: Did your approach vary once you got to the Cubs?

Chris Robinson: I tried to continue the same approach I'd had all year, especially these last couple of weeks in the season when your body starts to tire. You want to keep the same routine you've had all year. I think the biggest adjustment I made was hitting in the three hole here. The pitching was a little different in the six and seven holes like I was in at Lakeland. It was a pretty good transition, especially staying in the same league and playing against the same teams, so I knew what I was coming into.

Inside The Ivy: Did the coaches talk to you about changing anything once you arrived to Daytona?

Chris Robinson: No, they left me alone and let me play. Our hitting coach (Richie Zisk) gave me some pointers and stuff I could work off of, but for the most part I think they just let me go play. That's one reason why I think everything went so well. They gave me a little leeway and let me play the game I enjoyed playing.

Inside The Ivy: How would you describe yourself as a hitter?

Chris Robinson: I like to consider myself a gap-to-gap hitter. I'm not much of a power hitter. Hopefully I'll hit well for average, but I've never really been a guy that looks for a home run. Normally when I do get a home run, they're up in the wind or something.

Inside The Ivy: Defensively, how would you rate yourself?

Chris Robinson: That's always been one of my strong suits. I take the most pride in my defense. Even as far back as high school, I put a lot of emphasis on it because I think as a catcher, you're playing a position where it's vital to have someone back there who can call a game and handle a staff. My goal is to have a pitcher want to throw to me and to have every single pitcher on the staff want me to catch them. I think that's something I've worked toward all year and think I had that rapport with all the guys in Lakeland. Coming over here, I had to prove myself to all of the pitchers here and hopefully I did that.

Inside The Ivy: Who on the Daytona pitching staff impressed you the most in the short time you were here?

Chris Robinson: All of them really. I remember playing against them two weeks earlier and being frustrated as a hitter trying to get a hit off them. I just remember much rather catching them than trying to hit off them. They've got some great pitching down here.

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