Blue Jays 2015 Top Prospect Wrap-Up: Tom Robson
By Ryan Mueller
Blue Jays 2011 4th round draft pick Tom Robson experienced some ups and downs in 2015 after losing most of 2014
Blue Jays RHP Tom Robson started 2015 by being assigned to the 7-day DL on April 6th. On July 7th, Robson was assigned to the Blue Jays Gulf Coast League team to continue rehabilitation on his surgically repaired elbow.
The British Columbia native made 3 appearances for the GCL Blue Jays, posting an 0-0 record and 3.86 ERA in 4.2 IP. In his first two outings, Robson allowed 5 hits, no runs, no walks and 4 K’s over 3 IP. His last GCL outing lasted 1.2IP, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits, one home run, a walk and a strike out.
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On July 20th, Robson went back to his home province to start for the Vancouver Canadians, making 2 more rehab starts. In his first start he threw 3 no-hit innings, walked one and struck out 5; unfortunately, he took the loss in his next start, allowing 3 runs on 2 hits and 3 walks over 2.1IP, striking out 4 along the way.
Robson made it back to Lansing, where his season ended in 2014, on August 1st. He walked 2 and struck out 4 while keeping Bowling Green off the board over 3.2IP. He would allow at least one run in each of final 6 starts, but he finished the year healthy.
As a 22-year-old, Robson was on par with the average age for the Midwest League.
Thomas Robson finished 2015 without a win and 3 losses, making 11 starts (one RP appearance). In 36.2IP, he struck out 35 batters, good for 8.6 K/9, he walked 19 batters, good for 4.7 BB/9.
Opponents hit .292 with .361 BABIP off the 6’4″ right-hander. Combine that with his high walk totals and it comes as no surprise why Robson finished with a 1.66 WHIP. Robson threw 4 wild pitches and hit 3 batters during his time in Lansing. In total, Tom threw 7 wild pitches in 13 games.
Location and finish are said to be the last attributes to come back after undergoing Tommy John surgery, which explains the command issues he experienced.
Just over 50% of Robson’s outs on balls put in play can via the ground ball with 1.06 GO/AO. With outs showing no bias to one side of the field. Tom got 14 outs to 2nd, 13 outs each to 3rd and SS, and 7 outs to first.
Mandatory Credit: MLBfarm.com
In his previous three seasons, Robson allowed 4 home runs. In 2015, he almost equaled that total, allowing one during his time in the GCL and 2 more as a member of the Lansing Lugnuts. This left Robson with 0.7 HR/9 in 2015, up from his career total of 0.4.
Tom Robson’s 2015 stats
Tom Robson recorded 5 outs himself, finishing with a 1.000 fielding percent and 0.42 RangeFactor.
Prognosis for 2016
Tom Robson is eligible for the 2015 Rule V draft. It is highly unlikely any Major League team would select a pitcher that hasn’t pitched above Lo-A ball.
Robson got over a major hurdle in 2015 just by remaining healthy. He will need to show that he can command his pitches and increase his workload in 2016. After posting ERA over 5.00 with the Lansing Lugnuts, expect him to return there to start the 2016 season.
Expect the Jays to be patient with Robson, who has yet to pitch more than 65 innings in any one season since being drafted in 2011. If he doesn’t make it Dunedin by the end of June, than Double-A New Hampshire will need to wait until 2017.