Detroit Tigers Prospects Countdown: #16 Montreal Robertson


Right-handed Montreal Robertson continues the run of pitchers in Motor City Bengals’ countdown of the top Detroit Tigers prospects.

#20: Artie Lewicki (Link)            #19 Drew Smith (Link)                #18 Austin Kubitza (Link)          #17 Joshua Turley (Link)

Montreal Robertson’s rise to being one of the Detroit Tigers’ top 20 prospects hasn’t been the most conventional of ones.

The relief pitcher was a 29th-round draft pick in the 2011 amateur draft.

Despite that, his initial results were solid. In Robertson’s first professional season, he posted a 2.40 ERA, 22 strikeouts and 10 saves in 26 appearances that spanned 30 innings pitched. That season saw him jump from rookie ball to Single-A.

Then 2012 and a shift to the rotation came along.

More from Motor City Bengals

Robertson’s ERA ballooned to 4.69, and he only struck out 33 batters in 48 innings. The 25-year-old followed that up with a 5.83 ERA in 78.2 innings pitched as a starter in 2013. The 2013 season also saw him throw 12 wild pitches, and walk more batters (41), than he struck out (40).

Detroit’s brass apparently got the message that the pitcher was better suited in a relief role. The Coahoma Community College product switched back to the bullpen in 2014 and excelled again.

Since the move, Robertson’s ERA has consistently sat in the low threes. This has come while moving all the way up to Double-A. The highest Robertson’s ERA has reached was 3.48 last season with Double-A Erie last year.

The 2015 season also saw the reliever pitch in the Arizona Fall League against some of the league’s best prospects. Robertson pitched to a 1.84 ERA in 14.2 innings, striking out seven while only walking three.

Why He Has Potential

According to, Robertson’s fastball is his best pitch. The “heater sits in the mid90s and has touched 97-98 mph.” What’s more, his off-speed pitches are useful, the most exciting of which is a splitter that prompted the “ground ball machine” label.

The fact he can throw a blazing fastball, and induce a healthy number of groundouts is intriguing. The combination will play well out of the bullpen, where Robertson could thrive with the Tigers.

Future Roll

At 25-years-old, Robertson should make the jump to the Major Leagues soon despite only reaching Double-A last season. He may not be a closer given the prospects ahead of him, but Robertson will contribute. Expect him to function as a setup man or as a solid reliever. He’ll likely serve as part of a bridge to future closers Joe Jimenez and Paul Voelker.

Next: Detroit Tigers: 3 Non-Roster Invitees Who Could Make the Team

Given his age and recent success, it wouldn’t be a shock to see Montreal Robertson contribute to the Detroit Tigers sometime during the 2016 season. The Tigers clearly think highly of him, as they added him to the 40-man roster earlier in the offseason to protect the right-handed pitcher from the Rule 5 draft.