The Texas Rangers' fourth-round selection in last week's MLB Draft––Drew Robinson––is regarded as perhaps the top pure high school hitter in the state of Nevada.
The Las Vegas native as a left-handed swinger, right-handed thrower with a sweet swing and a mature approach at the plate. The Rangers drafted him as a shortstop, but many scouts believe he'll eventually move into the outfield, where his plus arm strength should play well.
Robinson had knee surgery two years ago––causing him to miss the Area Code Games––and he has lost some speed since. Still, as Robinson explains below, he believes he can gain some of that speed back with work in pro ball.
Lone Star Dugout caught up with the 18-year-old, who has signed a letter of intent to the University of Nebraska.
Jason Cole: What are your thoughts on going to the Texas Rangers in the fourth round?
Drew Robinson: It was pretty unreal. It's something I've dreamed of my whole life. I've always wanted a chance to play professional baseball, and now it's here. It's crazy.
Cole: Going in the fourth round, did you get picked about where you were expecting heading into the draft?
Robinson: Yeah. My advisor did a really good job with estimating, I guess you could say. He told me I was going to go around those rounds. I was pretty excited to know that he was right.
Cole: How much contact did you have with the Rangers organization in the time leading up to the draft?
Robinson: They were one of the teams that followed me a lot. The area scout was one of the guys that talked with me and I guess you could say we built up a relationship. It was definitely pretty cool to get drafted by a guy that I had talked with.
Cole: You were drafted as a shortstop. I know you played shortstop in high school, and there has also been some talk of you potentially moving to the outfield down the line. What are your thoughts on that? Do you think that's a possibility, or do you see yourself staying at short?
Robinson: I'd definitely like to stay at short, because that is the position I have been playing for about three years now. It has kind of grown on me. I guess you could say I understand it better than I do the outfield. I didn't really play the outfield much.
Cole: Being a guy that is known for having a strong arm, did you do any pitching in high school?
Robinson: No, my coach didn't want me to get hurt. He did a good job of protecting me and making sure I stayed healthy.
Cole: How did you feel about the way you performed during your senior season of high school?
Robinson: It was alright. I had high expectations for myself. Looking at the numbers, I had a very good season and I'm really happy with what I did. It was a successful season.
Cole: Going out there in front of scouts just about every night, did you ever feel any extra pressure to perform?
Robinson: No, you just go out there and play. There are people watching every single game in the stands. Scouts are just people watching the game. It's just baseball––you just go out there and play and have fun.
Cole: You had knee surgery in the past. How long ago was that surgery?
Robinson: The operation was in January 2008.
Cole: So I'm assuming there are no lingering issues from that at this point?
Robinson: No, not at all.
Cole: Tell me about yourself as a hitter. What's your approach at the plate like?
Robinson: Basically, I try to be kind of like Derek Jeter. I try to keep my hands inside of the ball and drive it the other way. And then if he hangs one, I can lift it up out of the yard. But I just try to drive everything to the gap and hit hard line drives and knock off the pitcher's head, basically.
Cole: Assuming you end up signing and get into the Rangers organization, what areas of your game would you like to improve upon the most?
Robinson: I would say my running, I guess. I used to run a 6.7 [60-yard dash] and now I'm running about a 6.97. I just need to work on my footwork I guess.
Cole: You signed a letter of intent to play at the University of Nebraska. What led you to pick the Huskers?
Robinson: The organization and the people involved with the school––when I went there, I just felt like I fit. It's a good thing going that they have over there, so I just wanted to be part of it. But now that pro baseball is head of me, I feel like I want to go out there and play right now––like today.
Cole: So it's safe to say that you're expecting to sign with the Rangers at some point?
Robinson: Yeah, eventually.
Q&A with Rangers 4th Round Pick Drew Robinson
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