Tigers Prospect Profile: Montreal Robertson

After being drafted in the 29th round, the Tigers were able to quickly sign right-hander Montreal Robertson and sent him immediately to the GCL, where he's already showing his stuff. What did the Tigers get in this big righty?

Montreal Robertson
Position: Righ-handed Pitcher
Height: 6-4
Weight: 200
Born: 6/19/1990
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Background
Robertson was the Tigers 29th round pick this past June, just before his 21st birthday. He signed quickly and was assigned directly to the Gulf Coast League as a reliever.

While at Coahoma Community College, Robertson pitched two seasons and missed another with Tommy John Surgery. During his 2011 season, Robertson was one of the most dominating pitchers in the league, and some area scouts were surprised he wasn't popped before the 29th round.

In just 48 2/3 innings, Robertson struck out 62 batters and walked only 19, while allowing a ridiculous 16 hits. He finished the year with a 2-1 record, five saves, and a 2.47 ERA while being named MACJC All-State.

Scouting Report
For a 29th round pick, Robertson has a very intriguing profile as an extreme arm strength guy with a great frame.

Robertson is a very good athlete, having played basketball, baseball, and football in high school. He has excellent arm speed with arm action that works very well with his body. Most scouts believe his mechanics could use some tightening in pro ball, as his arm slot has a tendency vary at times and his landing foot can be inconsistent. His athleticism should allow him to improve his consistency.

As his mechanics become more consistent, Robertson should throw more quality strikes. Most of the time he works in the strike zone, but he must gain the ability to move the ball in and out, and up and down with more regularity.

Robertson's fastball rarely dips below 90-91 with his two-seam and scouts routinely had him up to 94 mph during the spring. Some scouts have reportedly seen him as high as 97 mph since turning pro, but that peak velocity has been rare. His two-seam fastball has good movement down in the zone and he can induce groundballs regularly.

He also features a slider and a change-up. His slider is an oft-used pitch that he will go to in big situations, though most scouts give it a below-average present grade. He throws the pitch mostly in the 83-84 mph range but has been as high as 86 mph. Robertson spins the pitch pretty consistently and it could be an average pitch with more instruction and repetition.

Robertson considers his change-up to be his best pitch, though he rarely threw it against JUCO competition; a disappointing trend with scouts that were anxious to see the pitch in action. He has thrown it a little more as a pro, and while inconsistent, the pitch has flashed above-average.

Nearly every scout I have spoken with sees Robertson as a reliever long term, and early indications are the Tigers view him in this role as well. With his present control and command, Robertson has more seventh inning potential for a ceiling, but could upgrade that to a setup reliever with more quality strikes.

Performance

Level

Team

W-L

ERA

G

GS

SV

SO

BB

IP

AVG

R

GCL Tigers

1-2

4.50

10

0

3

10

6

12.0

.273


Health Record
As previously mentioned, Robertson missed time in college after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Unlike the normal UCL replacement where the tendon has ruptured, Robertson's UCL pulled away from the bone in his elbow, requiring an unusual repair.

The Future
Robertson was handled carefully in 2011 and the Tigers are hoping to keep his innings down this summer. He was assigned immediately to the GCL where he is working in a late inning role.

He may be a relative unknown to draft followers, but Robertson's arm strength is legit and it gives him a chance to be a real prospect even if he is a huge sleeper right now. He profiles best as a seventh or eighth inning reliever with a power fastball and at least one useable secondary pitch.

Robertson's command and consistency will have to step forward for him to fulfill his potential. After a summer spent in the short-season leagues, Robertson is likely slated for West Michigan in 2012, and his performance will dictate his progression from there.

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