Dodger Prospect #45 - OF Trayvon Robinson

Continuing the series on the top 50 Dodger prospects as we count down to the very best. Player ratings will be published Monday through Friday each week. Today we highlight #45, OF Travis Vetters, an Alumni of Major League's RBI program, who is working his way up the Dodgers' minor league system.

5-10 190 BS TR
Born-September 1, 1987, Los Angeles, CA
Selected in 10th round of 2005 draft 2007 rating #46 2008 rating #49

Baseball pauses to pay tribute to Jackie Robinson on June 15 each year, the anniversary of his breaking the color barrier in the big leagues in 1947. The Dodgers, naturally, takes the lead in that for Jackie was their very own, with ceremonies and every player on the team wearing Jackie's jersey number 42. It is fitting to remember another Robinson in the Dodgers minor leagues, working his way upward. He's related to Jackie only in the sense that all African-American professional athletes have a bond to the man who blazed a trail so wide and deep for them to follow. For it would be unfair to the greatest degree to say that Trayvon Robinson could be the "next Jackie".

No, one could bear that title, but Trayvon does have some talent that may well take him to the big leagues some day and that should be enough of a label.

His main gift is speed. Baseball America said he was the fastest man in the organization in 2006 and 2007, and it is obvious that Trayvon can fly.

An alumni of Major League Baseball's RBI program (Reviving Baseball in the Innercities) and having signed at 18 out of Crenshaw High in L.A. as a 10th round draft pick in 2005, Robinson spent his first two years as a Dodger playing for the Gulf Coast team.

He hit .296 as a rookie, then .254 last year  which may cause you to feel he's regressed. But not so, for after that initial year they made him a switch-hitter to again take advantage of his speed. It's not surprising therefor that he spent a good part of 2006 learning from the left side.

In 2007 he was the leadoff man for the Great Lakes Loons and, collected their first base hit ever- a bunt single. That was pleasing to the Dodgers who had been working with him on that art as well as hitting down on the ball to take advantage of his flying feet.

He was also moved to center field. Nor did he lead off but the fact that he did both and looked comfortable was a sign of how he's maturing as a player.

At the tender age of 20 and playing at Inland Empire in 2008 he had the best season of his young career. In his first full professional season, he had a solid year with the 66ers, collecting 121 hits, and to attest to his speed, 20 doubles, eight triples and for the second season in a row he stole 22 bases.

He has just started to become comfortable as a professional and his career should blossom from this point on. No, he's not going to be another Jackie but he well could be a Dodger named Robinson in the future. And that would be a fitting example of the legacy of Jackie. 

Trayvon Robinson

year	team  ave   obp   slug  ops    gm    ab  r   h 2b 3b hr  bi sb  
2005  GCLg    .296  .357  .470  .827   40  113  19  34  7  2  3  15  6  
      Ogden   .217  .217  .358  .565    8   23   2   5  0  0  1   2  0
2006  GCLg    .254  .340  .391  .721   39  134  24  34  7  2  2  20  5
      VBeach  .400  .400  .400  .800    3    5   1   2  0  0  0   1  2
2007  GLakes  .253  .314  .000  .000  110  396  50 100  9  4  2  31 22
2008  IEmp    .276  .328  .385  .713  112  429  67 121 20  8  4  42 22

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