2007 MLB Draft Q&A: Tanner Robles

A standout from Cottonwood High School in Utah, Tanner Robles may very well be the most talented high school left-hander eligible for the 2007 draft. Scouts have raved of his combination of stuff, deception, and command, making him a strong first round candidate. We recently caught up with Tanner for an in-depth Q&A session.

Scout.com: First of all, I'm sure it was a summer of showcases for you. How you do you feel your summer went and what were you able to get out of it?

Tanner Robles: It was a very busy and fun summer. My dad and I decided early on which events I would attend or hope for an invite too. To answer your question, I feel that I was sharp at all the events which included three innings at the Perfect Game National in Arkansas, two outings in Joplin, three innings at The Area Code Games in Long Beach, and one inning at the AFLAC Game in San Diego. I had a great time with all of my friends that I played with and against. I will never forget the awesome people of Joplin, especially my host family. It was also an honor to be able to visit the kids at the children's hospital in San Diego during AFLAC.

Scout.com: Which event do you think you had your best showing at and why?

Tanner Robles: I feel I was sharp at all the events. I had good command with all of my pitches and was 89-94 MPH with my fastball. I got the most out of Joplin because I had two real outings in which I pitched well instead of an inning here and there like at the showcases.

Scout.com: If you had describe your overall game, what are some important things you'd point out and basically what should people know about your style of pitching?

Tanner Robles: I am going to control the plate with my fastball. I realize how lucky I am to be able to play the game. So I don't disrespect it. If I get hit hard, no problem. I'm going to try to win the next battle.

Scout.com: What would you say is your strongest attribute as a pitcher and why?

Tanner Robles: I think the command I have with my fastball. If I'm hitting my spots, I believe I can get anyone out. Maybe the fact that I know I can still win even when I don't have my best stuff.

Scout.com: I understand you are making your college decision very soon. Have you thought ahead about the decision you could have to make between going pro and college?

Tanner Robles: That is true, I will make my decision in the next two weeks. I have also thought about the decision of pro and school down the road. My goal is to play in the big leagues, no doubt. I realize I have no control over the draft. I can only control my workouts this winter with my trainer and pitching coach, Gorman Heighmueller in that building. I expect to come out bigger, stronger, and better for my final high school season. If the pro scouts think I'm good enough in June, then I'm ready. If not I will go to school and learn more and get better and have a chance to play in Omaha.

Scout.com: What do you feel are the most significant improvements you have to make over the next year and how do you plan to correct them?

Tanner Robles: Well I don't have a year. I have five months to improve. I won't touch a baseball until the first part of November. I am in the gym five days a week right now getting stronger and working on flexibility. Baseball-wise, I'm going to work hard on my changeup, my pickoff moves and holding runners. Then I will see what my pitching coach thinks I need to improve on.

Scout.com: It seems that you were a player that moved up a lot on many prospects lists this summer. What differences do you think there were in your game that got you the added attention?

Tanner Robles: Thank You for saying that. I hope I did. No doubt the workouts last winter got me ready for the season and for this summer. I knew people would be at our games and I was going to be ready. My main focus was to get my school of choice handled. I also wanted to show well at all the events I was going to. I think my command and velocity was good all summer. Plus I was pumped to face all the top hitters in the country.

Scout.com: What do you feel is the most important thing an organization should know about you that they might not see at first glance?

Tanner Robles: I don't know if a scout can see work ethic at a game. They should know that whoever drafts me or wherever they send me, I'm going to be one of the hardest workers there. My dad has always told me that the harder you work the luckier you get. People always say how lucky I am. I laugh because it ain't luck.

Scout.com: What big league player would you best compare yourself to in terms of style and why?

Tanner Robles: Mr. [Roger] Clemens! I wish I could talk to him for one hour. He's a class act and a hard worker and he's coming to get you inside. I love Johan Santana and Andy Pettitte too. I'm going to get a changeup like Santana someday.

Scout.com: Could you please describe your repertoire of pitches, the velocities of each, and which is your best pitch, etc.

Tanner Robles: My fastball is 89-94 MPH, my changeup is 82-84 MPH, and the curveball is 72-74 MPH. If I had to pitch a game with one pitch it would be my fastball. It can turn into three or four pitches on a good day.

Scout.com: If you had to look back at a turning point in your career, what would it be? In other words, when did you realize you could take your game to the next level?

Tanner Robles: When I was 13 years old playing against some big dudes that were 16 in Arizona. My coach Kent Norris gave me the ball and said you better go find your pitches. I held them down for four innings pretty good. Maybe when I was a freshman pitching in the state tournament against Alta (state champs). We were tied at the end of the 5th, 5-5 my last inning.

Scout.com: How do you feel playing against such strong competition has helped you as a player?

Tanner Robles: I get pumped to face the best hitters in the nation. I think it also proves to scouts that I can hold my own outside of Utah. Plus we are all friends and love to beat each other.

Scout.com: Has the pressure of picking a school and getting all the attention from scouts and things like that been difficult for you? What have you done to handle all of that?

Tanner Robles: Not at all. It's all been fine. It feels good to be able to play for the school of my choice. That was my goal all along. The scouts I really like talking to them to get an idea of what I need to improve on. I feel great about my final three schools, the tough part will be only being able to pick one because I like the people. Thanks for the interview, and I want to thank all the schools that recruited me over the last two years. It has really been fun. I also want to thank all the people that have helped me get to this point.

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