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Detroit Tigers TigsTown Scouting Report #23: Montreal Robertson

Montreal Robertson has yet to have a breakout season, but despite that, has remained an intriguing prospect that has bounced in and out of the top 50 over the last several years, continuing to flash the potential that made him a desirable sleeper prospect since he was a late round draft pick in the 2011 MLB Draft.

Vitals

Position: Right-Handed Pitcher

Date of Birth: 6/19/1990 (2016 Opening Day Age: 25)

Height/Weight: 6’4/220

Bats/Throws: Right/Right

Acquired: 2011 MLB Draft, 29th Round

Ranking History: #69 (2012), #38 (2013), #24 (2014), NR (2015), #23 (2016)

 

Background: An under the radar selection in 2011, 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. The 2014 season saw Robertson find success as a reliever in West Michigan, posting a 3.24 ERA across 43 appearances. His experience in the bullpen continued across two levels in 2015, splitting his time between High-A and Double-A.

 

2015 Performance

Team Level G GS SV IP H R/ER HR BB K ERA WHIP W/L
Lakeland A+ 19 0 0 37.0 28 15 / 13 0 20 28 3.16 1.30 2-6
Erie AA 15 1 2 31.0 35 14 / 12 3 15 30 3.48 1.61 2-4

Scouting Report

Body: Big, physical body; good athlete; broad shoulders; strong legs; well-coordinated; Tommy John surgery in 2010; MLB-ready body.

 

Delivery/Mechanics: High effort delivery; rarely consistent; quick movements from rocker step to balance point; often too hasty through balance into drive toward plate; gets out ahead of his arm at times, leading to bouts of wildness; uses strength to drive hard to plate and finish with violence; high ¾ slot; effort adds some deception.

 

Fastball: Velocity routinely rests in 94-95 mph range out of bullpen; will dip to 92-93 during longer outings and when he doesn’t have enough rest between appearances; can find 97-98 mph regularly, even when fatigued; explosive life on pitch; shows a little run at lower velocity bands when kept in bottom third of strike zone; “hops” at hitters when thrown up in the zone; plus pitch at all time and will flash higher; minimal advancements in overall FB consistency expected. Grade – Present 6+/Future 6+

 

Slider: Thrown hard and with conviction most of the time; sits in mid-80s with tight rotation and good tilt to pitch; at best will show two plane movement that can induce weak contact or miss bats; can get around pitch at times and cause it to lose bite/snap; showed improved consistency late in season; potential above-average pitch with additional focus and development against advanced hitters. Grade – 4+/5+

 

Control/Command: Delivery is not conducive to strike throwing; loses strike zone all together at times and struggles to regain the zone; FB will routinely miss up and to the arm side as arm drags from lower body moving too quickly through delivery; no command projection; below-average control at present with fringe-average projection.

 

Other: Highly competitive; can get too amped up before some outings; attacks hitters; doesn’t control the running game adequately.

 

Final Word

Summary: High-powered arm with velocity, life, and a quality secondary offering; control and complete lack of command hold him back from more substantial projection; has the right mentality for late inning role but without more strikes, those roles are unrealistic; FB-SL combo gives him a chance at an MLB career.

 

Risk: High risk; Still more thrower than pitch, and always will be; minimal control development to date; inherent risk of minor league relievers.

 

Projection: Should continue to find innings against advanced minor league hitters in 2016, likely finding way to Triple-A at some point; some potential for MLB debut this season; control problems limit ceiling; projects as middle relief arm with limited potential for 7th inning role if development steps forward; will likely bounce between MLB and the minor leagues for several years before settling into a modest bullpen role.

 

 


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