Clint Robinson: Waiting for a chance

Clint Robinson is Royals Corner's No. 20 prospect. However, Robinson and the Royals are running short on time to give the slugger a chance in Kansas City.

As hitting prospects go, Clint Robinson has a lot working in his favor. He's shown good power since his debut in 2007, the ability to make contact and good knowledge of the strike zone. Those skills helped make him Royals Corner's No. 20 Royals prospect for 2012.

With a career .312/.379/.536 line in more than 2,300 minor-league plate appearances, it's not out of the realm of possibility for him to perform like a poor man's Travis Hafner for a few seasons.

However, the 26-year-old first baseman has at least one obstacle between himself and playing every day for the Royals at Kauffman Stadium. That obstacle is Eric Hosmer, who has a stranglehold on the corner position for the foreseeable future.

Barring injuries to a series of players, Robinson's best chance to play for the Royals is as a bat off the bench. He would probably play well in that capacity for manager Ned Yost, and certainly would provide more value than a 12th pitcher or a speed-only reserve such as Chris Getz. While Robinson's only tool at the major league level would probably be power, his left-handed bat would be valuable if the club needed to pinch-hit for a righty late in a game.

The Royals are running out of time to find out how Robinson would play in the majors, as he could be a six-year minor league free agent after the 2012 season. Robinson's window of opportunity might only arrive once he departs the organization for another willing to let him compete for a job off the bench.

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