Robinson raking in the Pioneer League

In the 25th round of the 2007 draft, the Royals selected Clint Robinson out of Troy University. The left handed slugger led the Trojans in nearly every offensive category this spring, and his offensive assault has continued this summer in Idaho Falls. Through 101 at bats for the Chukars, Robinson is hitting a robust .376/.418/.604 with a team-best five home runs and eight doubles.

Indeed, Robinson, a 6-foot-4 first baseman from Dothan, Alabama, has been the Idaho Falls Chukars' best hitter so far this summer, and he's among the Pioneer League leaders in nearly every offensive category, including home runs, OPS, and batting average. Meanwhile, the Chukars have been the best team in the league, and Robinson is thrilled with how the season's gone so far.

Robinson is second in the Pioneer League with 29 RBIs

"I'm enjoying it a lot. We've come out and had a good start to the season, and the team's playing well -- defense, pitching, hitting -- everything.

Of course, dominating a league is nothing new for Robinson. A four-year starter for Troy University, Robinson rewrote many of the school's offensive records. This spring, he hit .364/.449/.661 with 17 home runs and 71 RBIs for the Trojans en route to a first team All-Sun Belt selection, and in late June he was further honored by being named to the 2007 American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings All-America team.

Robinson spoke fondly of his time at Troy, which has appeared in two straight NCAA regional tournaments.

"It's a program on the rise, with one of the hardest non-conference schedules in the country," said Robinson. "I love the coaches there, and I miss it a whole lot, but I'm glad to be out here in Idaho Falls and playing ball."

Robinson, who was one of three big collegiate first basemen the Royals selected in the June draft, had never before been drafted. He was excited to be selected, and he signed quickly.

Robinson hit 37 home runs in his collegiate career at Troy

"It was the best feeling ever," said Robinson of being drafted. "I played for a long time, worked for a long time, and to have it finally pay off was a great feeling."

Even though Robinson hasn't appeared to skip a beat in the transition from collegiate baseball to the pro ranks, he has noticed that the pitchers in the Pioneer League are more advanced than what he faced in the Sun Belt Conference.

"At the college level when you have a player who's a pretty good hitter, a guy that's going to get drafted, they pitch a lot different," said Robinson. "Guys here, they have good stuff and they're not afraid come right at you like some of the guys in college might be. They definitely have better stuff out here, and they're not afraid to throw it."

At the plate, Robinson said he's still working on the adjustment to wood bats, along with his pitch recognition to lay off bad pitches. For a power hitter, Robinson doesn't strike out very often, and he employs a rather simple approach at the plate that hasn't seemed to fail him yet.

"My approach has been the same my whole life," said Robinson. "Get up there, get a pitch that you can hit hard, and just hit it hard. That's the only thing you can control."

Robinson is playing first base full time for the Chukars

Defensively, Robinson split his time pretty evenly between first base and right field in college, but the Royals drafted him strictly to play first base. His athleticism lends itself well to the position, and in addition to his strong arm, he seems to move pretty well for a big man. Still, he feels he still has some work to do in order to master the position.

"It's good, but it's tough because the air up here is a little bit different, so fly balls and communication and all that is tough, but you just go out there and work everyday. That's all you can do."

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