The Jays Journal staff returns with our yearly Top 30 prospect rankings. The #21 spot goes to an outfielder, Will Robertson.
Position: Outfielder Age: 22
Height: 6’2” Weight: 215 lbs
Throws: Left Bats: Left
Acquired: Drafted in the 4th round of MLB’s 2019 June Amateur Draft
2019 Organization Level: Short-Season A ETA: 2022
Will Robertson was not a highly sought-after player when his high school career was nearing its conclusion. However, in three seasons (2017-2019) as Creighton University’s right fielder, he posted a 0.401 OBP and a 0.960 OPS in 691 plate appearances. In 2018, he played in the Cape Cod Baseball League (“CCBL”) and recorded a 0.816 OPS in 192 plate appearances; the CCBL is a summer baseball league for collegiate players.
After signing with the Blue Jays, Robertson joined the Vancouver Canadians in A- ball. In 263 plate appearances, he produced a 0.769 OPS. His other key stats in Vancouver can be found in Table 1.
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According to Baseball America’s Scouting Report, Robertson
"… has a level left-handed swing that is geared more toward hitting hard line drives more than driving the ball over the fence. But at a listed at 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, he has above-average raw power and will likely tap into it more in time. He has an aggressive approach, but his bat control keeps his strikeout rate manageable."
MLB Pipeline has similar comments regarding Robertson, the hitter.
"Robertson, whose short, quick left-handed stroke and strength made him one of the better college sluggers in his class. He lets his home runs come naturally rather than swinging for the fences, making repeated contact that could allow him to hit for average as well … Robertson has below-average speed out of the batter’s box but is closer to average once he gets going."
FanGraphs and MLB Pipeline give Robertson a 45 grade for hitting and a 55 for power. MLB Pipeline rates Robertson’s run tool as 40 (below average), which is better than Fan Graphs mark of 35.
MLB Pipeline notes the following:
"He needs to improve his defensive instincts, and his arm is merely average, so he could eventually shift to left field in pro ball after playing right field at Creighton. Regardless of which outfield corner he winds up at, Robertson has the requisite pop to fulfill the profile."
Baseball America concurs with MLB Pipeline’s assessment of Robertson’s defensive skills.
"He is a below-average runner and has average arm strength. He likely fits best in left field, which puts more pressure on his bat, but his performance this summer opened eyes."
There is an agreement between FanGraphs and MLB Pipeline regarding Robertson’s arm (50). FanGraphs rated his overall defence as average (50) whereas MLB Pipeline was a tick below with their grade of 45. In A-ball this past season, Robertson played the vast majority in right field. However, it would not be a surprise if he ends up as a left fielder.
FanGraphs overall assessment for Robertson is 40, which projects him as a bench player. However, MLB Pipeline gave a final grade of 45, which is still below average but a little higher than Fan Graphs mark. That 45 mark would cast Robertson in a utility role on an MLB roster.
The last word
Robertson is projected to be a bench/utility player in the Major Leagues. However, he did open some eyes during this past season and perhaps he can continue to surprise in the future.