Keep An Eye on Drew Robinson
Three of the game’s most feared sluggers are from Las Vegas. The astonishing Kris Bryant, the otherworldly Bryce Harper, and the future of the Texas Rangers, Joey Gallo. These ball mashers are well-known in the baseball world. These baseball monsters playing their way into sports section headlines. These guys are can’t-miss fantasy assets.
Drew Robinson is also from the City of Casino. But unlike the aforementioned three, he is not a heralded young star nor he is an owner of tantalizing 80 raw power. Unlike Gallo, his teammate with AA Frisco who took Greg Maddux’s daughter to prom, Robinson is from the darker, labor side of the city. Still, even though he is less appealing as a prospect, one can see a future big league regular in him.
The 6’1″ infielder gathered some buzz among Rangers prospect aficionados when he drew 86 free passes with class-A Hickory and led the entire organization, including the MLB club in the category, with a .273/.409/.444 line. He once again led the organization in free passes in 2013, walking 72 times. His development process took a toll in 2014, in which he posted an abysmal .190/.273/.366 line in his first stay at AA. He was exposed to the Rule 5 Draft the following winter, but no one took him.
Repeating AA in 2015, the 23-year old left-handed hitter seems to have back on track. Entering Sunday, the 4th round pick in the 2010 draft is slashing an respectable .222/.352/.439 with 10 long balls in 216 PA in the Texas League. His low average might be getting victimized by a .254 BABIP. Despite the low batting average, his overall offensive numbers rank in the better half in the Texas League leaderboard. His 10 round trippers total, which is just 3 shy of his career high mark with roughly 3 months to go, sits atop of the league, alongside a pair of Royals farmhand, Balbino Fuenmayor (to be honest, I didn’t make up this name) and Mike Bianucci. I have to note that they’re four and eight years older than Robinson, respectively. He’s also posted a 122 wRC, which means that he’s performed 22% better than the league’s average. Oh, and how about walks? He’s walked 36 times this season, ranked 5th among Texas League hitters, while his 16.7 BB% being 4th best. He’s putting up these figures while being 1.3 years younger than the average hitter in the circuit.
Defensively, he played corner positions, mainly third base and right field until 2014. This season, he’s appeared in 41 games at second base while been manning some shortstop lately. As you may have noticed, his offensive profile fits better for the middle infield. He’s a little slow to handle the middle infield, but his arm is enough to be there. How ever, I see a decent backstop in him. In fact, I’ve been on the D-Rob for Catcher bandwagon for the last couple of years, even though I’m solely driving the car. If someone in the Rangers front office has the same opinion, we may see him sitting behind the plate handling pitches, and that would make him even more valuable.
Recently, Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs gave Robinson a Danny Espinosa comp, while Baseball America’s Matt Eddy compares him to the likes of Jason Kipnis and Matt Carpenter. Robinson needs to learn to punish mistakes to join the flock of elite second basemen, though, he has the potential to be a first division regular. He’s likely to kill your team in average, but could be a star in OBP leagues, with double-digit homer pop. And if he keeps roaming around on the field, there’s a chance he’d be a poor man of Ben Zobrist.
Drew Robinson is not a sexy prospect nor is he likely to be a n impact player. But he’s worth keeping an eye on.
Thanks to Michael Tepid for assistance!