Padres Prospect Interview: Dan Robertson

While Dan Robertson, 24, is everyone's idea of a classic underdog, short in stature, a late round draft pick; a part of the story that many people overlook is that he can also really play.

In his first year in the organization with Eugene ,he hit .377 to win the Northwest League batting crown, along with MVP honors, and last year was a big part of the Midwest League champion Fort Wayne TinCaps, hitting .296/.380/.398.

This year, he was one of the Storm's most consistent performers, finishing the season at .300/.375/.400 with 27 doubles, 30 stolen bases in 39 attempts and a very good 59/52 BB/K ratio. The best indicator of what type of player Robertson is were his numbers with runners in scoring position; .343/.420/.504.

He rotated between all three outfield spots and has a very strong arm. The Padres gave him time at second base in the Instructional League, which could only increase his value down the road.

I know this comes across as a dumb question, but what is the biggest difference between the levels? You guys always answer that it is basically just baseball but there has to be a reason why you start in Eugene as opposed to Portland?

Dan Robertson: Maybe the weather it is a lot hotter here [laughs]. No, you know it is baseball. The competition gets a little better and you start playing against most of these guys for a number of years and the guys that perform well stay around and obviously the more you play, the better you become.

I've seen you play for a couple of years and I don't mean this in a bad way, but you are not the biggest guy in the world. Someone decides to run on you in the outfield and just gun them down, even this series I saw it a few times. Where does your arm strength come from?

Dan Robertson: I don't know and can't really put a finger on it. I grew up playing long toss but then again I was a middle infielder in high school too. It's just something that I have always had and is probably god-given. I'm just blessed to have it.

You can't really prepare for it and playing long toss can help your endurance, but I really think its something you either have or you don't. You can't take the time to go out and practice it during the season its just more of something that happens in the game when you have the adrenaline going.

You put up some good numbers this year, especially with runners in scoring position. You have a pretty easy repeatable swing that seems to play to your advantage in tight situations. Is it because you don't try to do too much?

Dan Robertson: Somewhat. It really just depends on the situation. If I'm coming up leading off the inning, I might be a little more patient, look for a ball to drive. When there are runners on, I'm thinking of one thing - get them in. That is the only thing I am thinking off because it is my turn in the box to change something on the scoreboard.

You have hit six home runs this year, two of them for grand slams. So maybe you are looking to do a little more than just move them over?

Dan Robertson: It's funny both of them were the pitches I was looking for, but you know like everyone else I don't consider myself a home run hitter. Actually I kind of like triples you get to run a little, but I will run into a few depending on the park.

You have a very good stolen base percentage. As most of you guys have explained to us over the years, its more than just speed. What do you think are the reasons behind your success?

Dan Robertson: A little bit of what I was taught in college; when to run, who is up and where we are in the game. If the situation is right, it is easy to determine whether you can run or not. If you grew up playing the game a lot of times you can hear what the game is telling you. I pride myself on not getting myself out, but I like to run and am just getting a chance to really start opening it up. But I am trying and working with Dave Roberts and Jonesy [Gary Jones, the Padres roving infield/baserunning instructor] has really helped.

The key is to get yourself in scoring position which helps you get more opportunities to get runs and win games.

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