Position: Right-handed Pitcher
Date of Birth: 6/19/1990 (2014 Opening Day Age: 23)
Acquired: 2011 MLB Draft, 29th Round
Ranking History: #69 (2012), #38 (2013), #24 (2014)
Background: Very much off the radar entering the 2011 draft, the Tigers believed they found a hidden gem in the 29th round when they picked Robertson out of Coahoma Community College. His first season, Robertson pitched very well in the GCL with a 2.73 ERA 26-1/3 innings. He followed that up with a 4.69 ERA in 48 innings as a starter at Connecticut the following year, and then received a rude awakening when he was knocked around in the Midwest League during his full-season debut in 2013.
|2013 Stats - Pitching|
Body: Big, physical body; intimidating presence; excellent strength; good athlete; broad shoulders; strong legs; well-coordinated; missed time in 2013 with elbow strain; Tommy John surgery in 2010; MLB body.
Delivery/Mechanics: Effort in delivery; audible grunt with many pitches; not quite max effort but close; arm is exceptionally quick; doesn't always finish pitches well and will leave ball up; inconsistencies with arm slot and landing foot; has gotten markedly better since entering pro ball; still needs refinement; mechanics play better in short bursts; relief future based on delivery/mechanics; may be injury prone based on effort and past history.
Fastball: Sits 91-94 during starts; will reach 95-96 at times; loses velo as outings extend; sits 94-96 in short, one-inning bursts; can reach 98 mph on occasion; really good life on FB when fresh; movement fades as he gets tired; everything is better early in outings; FB is electric for 20-25 pitches at a time; good angle from large frame; can miss bats in the zone with movement and velocity; really good offering in short stints. Grade – Present 6/Future 7
Slider: Hard, mid-80s pitch; will overthrow frequently; darting break in horizontal plane; minimal vertical movement to pitch; acts more like a cutter most of the time; induces more weak contact than misses bats; looks like FB out of hand; maintains arm speed and angle with FB and SL; pitch could play better with harder FB in relief outings; potential above-average second pitch; more fringy at present. Grade – 4+/5+
Changeup: Non-existent; lacks feel for pitch; minimal progress since entering pro ball; arm speed slows; doesn't trust grip; movement is inconsistent; not a factor in his arsenal; won't be part of long term pitch selection. Grade – 2+/3
Control/Command: Struggles to throw strikes with FB and SL at times; mechanical effort and inconsistency leads to some control struggles; leaves FB up too often; needs to work down in the zone; seems to do better with control when he's airing it out and not thinking about it; will always be more thrower than pitcher; average control is possible; command will be suspect but should be able to move up and down at times and possibly side to side.
Other: Bulldog; highly competitive; can get too amped up before some outings; really great mentality for the bullpen; likeable kid; hard worker; good intelligence; wants to help the team in any way.
Summary: Raw CC arm with electric fastball potential and SL that can play; competitiveness rivals FB as best trait; likes to attack hitters and challenge them with his best stuff; fearless; reliever profile due to loss of stuff later in outings and high-effort delivery.
Risk: High risk; TJ surgery on resume and additional elbow problems in 2013; no success in full-season ball; ultimate role TBD.
Projection: Should move to bullpen in 2014 and could excel and move rapidly through the system after such a move; likely headed to Lakeland to start the year; as a reliever he could reach Double-A before year end and could be on the MLB radar late in 2015.
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