Roberson Keeps Adapting To Face New Challenges

Chris Roberson is the 25-year old outfielder of the future for the Phils and the journey of his career currently puts the prospect in Reading, as a member of the Phillies Double-A team. Roberson will play in next week's Eastern League All-Star Game and has put up a .313 average to go with 21 stolen bases through the R-Phils first 84 games. Roberson has not started in only two of Reading's games all season long.

Chris Roberson doesn't put too much of a premium on his All-Star selection, saying that he can't control whether he makes teams like that or not.

"They put you there. You're not trying to get there, you're just trying to play the best you can everyday." said the young outfielder.

Roberson is used to success through the early stages of his career though, as he hit .307 last year at Single-A Clearwater. He believes there is a sizable difference between Single-A and Double-A in the way that pitchers approach at-bats at this level. This has been one of the things that Roberson has had to adjust to this year in Double-A.

"The pitching at this level works more off-speed pitches. In Single-A, guys would try to get you out with fastballs, but here they wouldn't throw you fastballs. My biggest thing is staying patient, taking it one pitch at a time. I also need to stay within myself. When I'm struggling, I tend to press and try to do too much." said Roberson.

Roberson believes that his team's early season struggles made it more difficult to get in the work that you need to do as a player because it's not as fun to come to the ballpark. Roberson was quick to add that losing is not an excuse for players to not get their work in and that he believes his team is capable of producing a better win total than they have put up over the first half of the minor league season.

"When we were losing it makes it tough because its not as fun to be at the ballpark. When you're winning, it makes it fun to be at the ballpark, but you still need to do what you have to do to get better. I believe we, as a team, are capable of putting up more wins than we have put up so far." said the confident Roberson.

Roberson could be considered a late bloomer since he didn't take an all-out interest in baseball until he was solidly in control of his life during college. The two-sport star was originally a football phenom and had offers to play football, but chose baseball instead. His interest in the game started in junior college and that's when he started to realize his future was in baseball.

"I started to venture out when I went to junior college. After I got everything smoothed out in my life, I really got serious in junior college, got drafted, and started to move up." said the 25 year old outfielder.

Move up he has as he has moved steadily up through the Phillies minor league system since he made his debut with the organization as a member of their Gulf Coast League team in 2001. He believes that the professional game he has experienced so far is very similar to the way the game was played in college and this similarity has aided his growth as a player. His intense desire to win and the intensity he brings to the field every day has its genesis in his college playing experiences.

"It all started in college for me. It's almost identical in terms of the way the game is played to pro ball so far." said Roberson.

Roberson has the talent and the skill to be an everyday major league player in the very near future. He would likely take over the left field slot from Pat Burrell after Michael Bourn ascends to the starting center field position in Philadelphia next season. Roberson simply needs to be exposed to Triple-A pitching before the end of the season to be poised to make the jump to Philadelphia next year. He will be a solid Major League corner outfielder who stands to serve the Phillies nobly in that role for many years.


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