After Blue Jays pitching prospect Tom Robson lost much of his 2014 and 2015 seasons to Tommy John surgery, he’s looking to re-establish himself this spring
Hon. Mentions Part 1 Hon. Mentions Part 2 #30: Freddy Rodriguez
#29: Evan Smith #28: Deiferson Barreto #27: Chad Girodo
#26: Roemon Fields #25: Rodrigo Orozco #24: Reggie Pruitt
#23: Joe Biagini #22: Carl Wise
Canadian right-hander Tom Robson has been hovering in and around this range on top prospect lists since being draft by the Blue Jays in 2011. After dealing with elbow troubles earlier in his career, however, it eventually caught up with him in 2014 and forced the dreaded Tommy John. Now back in the groove after 36.2 innings in 2015, Robson is looking to climb back up the ladder.
Name: Tom Robson
Position: SP Age: 22
Height: 6’4” Age: 210 lbs.
Throws: Right Bats: Right
Acquired: Round 4, 2011 MLB Draft
The native of Richmond, British Columbia was selected out of Delta Secondary in Ladner, and after pitching just 11.0 innings in his 2012 debut, Robson shot onto the prospect scene with a breakout performance in 2013.
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Splitting the year between Bluefield and Vancouver, Robson totalled 64.1 innings pitched with an incredible 1.12 ERA. The most exciting peripheral takeaway from Robson’s performance that year was that he allowed just one home run, earning a GO/AO ratio of 3.48 (he’s maintained a level of 1.87 now across his minor league career).
The 2014 season was a significant step back, posting a 6.25 ERA over 31.2 innings. That’s not something a great value should be given to, however, given the unravelling state of his elbow at the time.
Robson returned to pitch in Bluefield, Vancouver and Lansing this past season, making 11 starts and one relief appearance. While the numbers still weren’t close to that excellent 2013 season, the lack of setbacks suggests that his feet will be squarely under him entering 2016.
The pitch to love with Robson is his fastball, which can touch the low-to-mid 90 and crosses the plate with a nice sinking action. This is where a good deal of his ground ball tendencies come from, something that will continue to serve him well as he faces more advanced hitters.
Before the surgery, at least, he was also throwing an average to above-average changeup with an improving curveball, so the advancement of one of those could serve him very well to play off the heater.
Robson may still need time to ramp up to 100% this season, but if he can avoid any further elbow troubles, the raw stuff and physical makeup are both there to enjoy somewhat of a breakout season. (Again!)