The Tigers drafted some interesting names in 2011. There was an Ismael, a Guido, and a Montreal. Ismael Salgado has a long way to go before being a legitimate prospect, and Guido Knudson looks like an organizational soldier. Montreal Robertson is the one out of the three that looks a little intriguing right now. The Tigers seemed to look for guys that might have taken a fall because of injury this season in the draft, Robertson falls under that category. Despite his injury, he has already flashed some potential, and could be a guy to watch in the next couple of years.
For a more in depth look at Montreal Robertson, turn the page……….
Robertson, a right-handed pitcher, was drafted in the 29th round of the 2011 draft out of Coahoma Community College. At 21 years old, this 6’4″ 220 lb. specimen signed quickly with the Tigers and was assigned to the Gulf Coast League where he operated as the team’s main closer. The Tigers took it easy with Montreal, due to the aformentioned injury (Tommy John) history that he was still gaining strength from.
Only pitching 30 innings for the Tigers this summer, Robertson posted an ERA of 2.40, and recorded 10 saves. In those 30 innings, Robertson recorded 22 strikeouts and walked 16 batters. He did allow batters to hit .281 against him, but did keep the ball in the yard, not allowing a single home run in his professional debut.
Montreal is the rare reliever with a 3 pitch mix, however, they still need some sharpening up. Due to the injury he had in collegE. Robertson is still relatively young, and still has some learning to do on the mound. The good thing is, there is some ceiling here for him to reach. Robertson’s biggest weapon is his arm strength. His fastball sits routinely 91-93 mph, and has touched even higher before. His tremendous sinking action allows him to generate a lot of ground balls, and with improved command of his fastball, this could be an above average pitch for him. He does have good athletic ability, and with some minor tweaks in his delivery, Robertson could get a little more out of his fastball both in velocity and command.
His best secondary pitch is probably his change up. Again, he gets good sink on this pitch, and throws it with a quick arm motion that matches his fastball. There is a pretty good separation of velocity between the change and his fastball, and with more experience and confidence throwing it, could be an above average pitch as well.
His slider is probably the pitch that needs the most work at this point, and one of the problems is that he has thrown it quite a bit in the past. Because Robertson is still working to be mechanically consistent and sound, his slider tends to be all over the place. He doesn’t show very good late break on the pitch, and often times it flattens out from not getting on top of it. It will be interesting to see if the Tigers get him to throw the change more.
Robertson is intriguing because he is a good athlete with a good arm with the potential for 2 above average pitches. To me, he needs to live off of that power sinker of his that generated a ground ball ratio of almost 2 to 1 last season. If he doesn’t better his command much and can’t sharpen the slider, he will be limited to a 6th or 7th inning type guy. If all goes well for him, his ultimate ceiling is that of a set-up guy.