Scouting Twins Prospect #5: Tyler Robertson

The Twins selected Tyler Robertson in the third round of the 2006 draft, making him the first pitcher they selected in last June's draft. The left-hander, who's father is a Major League scout, had a decorated high school career, and his future looks bright in the Twins organization.

Name: Tyler Robertson
Position: Starting Pitcher
DOB: December 23, 1987
Height: 6'5''
Weight: 220

The Twins selected Tyler Robertson in the third round of the 2006 draft, making him the first pitcher they selected in last June's draft. The left-hander, who's father is a Major League scout, had a decorated high school career, and his future looks bright in the Twins organization.

Robertson was arguably the best pitcher in the state of California during his senior year of high school, and had the athletic ability to either play collegiate baseball, or football. On the diamond, Robertson was named Mr. Baseball in the state of California, after posting a 9-1 record on the mound. The young left-hander had a 0.74 earned run average, and struck out 143 batters in over 74 innings of work.

Robertson also did some damage at the plate, batting .434, and was given a scholarship by the prestigious Cal-State Fullerton program. As great as the program is, Robertson was slated to be in the starting rotation as a freshman, showing how big a prospect he was for the school. Instead of going the collegiate route, Robertson signed with the Twins, and was assigned to the Gulf Coast League Twins.

Robertson was placed in the starting rotation for the Gulf Coast League Twins, and was one of the more reliable starters in the team's rotation. The first-year professional showed great skill on the mound, and seemed to make a smooth jump from playing high school baseball, to the professional ranks.

For the Gulf Coast League Twins, Robertson posted a 4.25 earned run average in his 11 starts, winning four against two losses. He seemed to falter a bit down the stretch, and if it had not been for a sub-par August, then he would have finished with an earned run average in the low threes.

The 2007 season was the kind of year that really puts a prospect on the map for Robertson as the left-hander posted a 2.29 earned run average in his 16 starts. He tossed two complete games, struck out 123 batters in only 102.1 innings of work, and was second in the league in SO/9 ratio. He won nine games, and was named a Baseball America Low-A All-Star.

It was a tale of two seasons for Tyler Robertson in 2008, as he started off very strong for the Miracle. He ended up making 15 starts in the Florida State League, once again posting an earned run average under 3.00. However, he missed most of the second half of the season with arm problems, leading to the Twins shutting him down. His delivery could be the cause of his arm problems, but he will be healthy and back in Fort Myers again in 2009.

Repertoire. Fastball, Curveball, Changeup

Fastball. Robertson has a decent fastball, and it a pitch that he could work on to be a lot better. The kid possesses a high-80's to low-90s fastball, and with his height, he could crank that up a few notches. One thing he does well with his fastball is throw it for strikes, as it was a pitch that he relied on quite a bit in high school. He is now with probably the best pitching farm system in all of baseball, and with his upside and the fact that he is a lefty, the young man could turn his fastball into quite a devastating one. Not many young lefties have the kind of potential he does.

Other Pitches: Robertson has a great curveball, and it is one that many in the organization figure could be his outpitch down the road. It is a pitch that really wowed scouts, and once he can locate it better, than he will couple a sick curveball with a plus fastball. The curve ranks as one of the top ten in the Twins organization, and for a kid his age, that is a pretty impressive feat. He also has a changeup, though it is far and away his third pitch. If he can get his changeup to rank with his fastball and curve, then he will have one of the better three-pitch arsenals of any prospect in his age group.

Projection. Robertson definitely projects as a starting pitching prospect, given his track record and his upside as a pitching prospect. He commands innings, and is a guy who prides himself on taking the ball every fifth day. With his pitches, he is not a guy who you would expect to come out of the bullpen, and the Twins are going to do everything they can to make him the best pitcher they possibly can. He is also a teachable kid, who has a great baseball mind.

ETA. 2011. With Robertson, it is all about him fixing his mechanics. He will never be considered Major League-ready if he is not able to fix some things in his delivery. However, his curveball has been rated as being a plus Major League pitch, and if he can sit in the low-90s consistently, then at 6'5'', he has to be considered a legitimate Major League prospect. With his stock, I expect him to crack the Major League roster sometime when he is 24.


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