Weight: 175 lbs
Drafted: 17th Round out of U. Alabama in 2006
Position: Relief Pitcher
Stuff: David Robertson is on this list purely out of stuff. He throws both a 2 seamer and a 4 seamer in the mid 90s very consistently. He also throws a plus power slider in the mid 80s, along with an average cut fastball. The movement on all of his pitches is excellent. In his 127.2 college innings Robertson struck out 170 batters.
Command: In those same college innings, Robertson managed to walk 65. Scouts believe that the walking is not resulting from wildness but from nibbling. A transition to wood bats could help him immensely (similar to what the transition did to George Kontos), as he will be able to use the inside third of the plate to his advantage. Still, his control is what keeps him from being on the level of the other two Yankee big time relief prospects Mark Melancon and J.B. Cox.
Outlook: Robertson signed too late in 2006 to play in the minor leagues. Prior to signing, he absolutely dominated the Cape Cod League, earning playoff MVP honors. Robertson pitched 15 innings against the elite college hitters, striking out 15 while not allowing a hit or walk. This is significant because Robertson absolutely dominated wooden bats, and shined when the pressure was most severe (He struck out his final 6 batters to win the title). I think that Robertson may start in Charleston purely because of the loaded Tampa pitching staff, but he could be pushed up too. 2007 will be a telling year for him. If he can control his walks, Robertson could be an elite closer prospect in the minor leagues.
Grades: Ceiling A-, Health B, Comparison: Ferdnando Rodney.
Friday, December 29, 2006