Detroit Tigers fans on social media keep asking the question. What does Jacob Robson have to do to get a call up to Detroit?
Every day as I write up the Detroit Tigers Minor League reports, I see the same question come up on Twitter and sometimes on Facebook.
It’s a perfectly valid question. On the surface, among prospects lists (ours included) he is “too old” (26 years old) and lists like FanGraphs, he is known for a strong hit tool and his speed. Triple-A numbers are so hard to quantify because of the balls that were being used and the level of pitching is not the same as the major league level.
During the off-season, he went to Australia to play for the Syndey Blue Sox to get ready for the season. His work ethic has impressed the fan base so far this season.
Robson’s numbers between Erie and Toledo this season are getting harder to ignore. He has a slash line of .417/.513/.708 with an OPS of 1.221. He has plus speed and is known for his hit tool. Outside of his nine home runs in 2019, he hits the balls in the gap and already has 11 doubles so far this season.
So what does a site like Baseball America has to say about Robson? ($)
“Robson’s tools aren’t great, but he does bring a lot of energy and enthusiasm to the table. He is a plus runner who can fit defensively at all three outfield positions with an average throwing arm. His hit tool has the potential to be average, although the power grades out as below-average in spite of his double-digit home run season. Tigers’ evaluators love his energetic approach to the game.”
A Detroit Tigers tryout?
Victor Reyes hasn’t hit with power on the big league level yet he has been given opportunities based on the upside. JaCoby Jones is back in Toledo. The two times I have seen Robson play, it seemed that with high velocity, pitchers were able to jam him inside but from my amateur point of view, and what my fellow co-expert Chris Brown has said over and over again, you can tell how a team feels about a prospect based on the priority placed on them.
As the rebuild continues this season, the front office and manager A.J. Hinch are evaluating what they have in the system currently. Adding the Windsor native to the list of players the Tigers should take a look at for at least a fourth outfielder position could go a long way for fans.
Check out my other “road up I-75” series on Yariel Gonzalez.