Name: Tyler Robertson
Position: Starting Pitcher
DOB: December 23, 1987
The Twins selected Tyler Robertson in the third round of the 2006 draft, making him the first pitcher they selected in last June's draft. The left-hander, who's father is a Major League scout, had a decorated high school career, and his future looks bright in the Twins organization. With his size and youth, Robertson could be a top prospect in a year or two.
Robertson was arguably the best pitcher in the state of California during his senior year of high school, and had the athletic ability to either play collegiate baseball, or football. On the diamond, Robertson was named Mr. Baseball in the state of California, after posting a 9-1 record on the mound. The young left-hander had a 0.74 earned run average, and struck out 143 batters in over 74 innings of work.
Robertson also did some damage at the plate, batting .434, and was given a scholarship by the prestigious Cal-State Fullerton program. As great as the program is, Robertson was slated to be in the starting rotation as a freshman, showing how big a prospect he was for the school. Instead of going the collegiate route, Robertson signed with the Twins, and was assigned to the Gulf Coast League Twins.
Robertson was placed in the starting rotation for the Gulf Coast League Twins, and was one of the more reliable starters in the team's rotation. The first-year professional showed great skill on the mound, and seemed to make a smooth jump from playing high school baseball, to the professional ranks. If he can put together another solid season in 2007, he could be one to watch on the Twins prospect list.
For the Gulf Coast League Twins, Robertson posted a 4.25 earned run average in his 11 starts, winning four against two losses. He seemed to falter a bit down the stretch, and if it had not been for a sub-par August, then he would have finished with an earned run average in the low threes. His late-season demise could have been a result of a roller-coaster year, and he should be ready to go to start the 2007 season.
Repertoire.Fastball, Curveball, Changeup
Fastball. Robertson has a decent fastball, and it a pitch that he could work on to be a lot better. The kid possesses a high-80's to low-90s fastball, and with his height, he could crank that up a few notches. One thing he does well with his fastball is throw it for strikes, as it was a pitch that he relied on quite a bit in high school. He is now with probably the best pitching farm system in all of baseball, and with his upside and the fact that he is a lefty, the young man could turn his fastball into quite a devastating one. Not many young lefties have the kind of potential he does.
Other Pitches: Robertson has a great curveball, and it is one that many in the organization figure could be his outpitch down the road. It is a pitch that really wowed scouts, and once he can locate it better, than he will couple a sick curveball with a plus fastball. The curve ranks as one of the top ten in the Twins organization, and for a kid his age, that is a pretty impressive feat. He also has a changeup, though it is far and away his third pitch. If he can get his changeup to rank with his fastball and curve, then he will have one of the better three-pitch arsenals of any prospect in his age group.
Pitching. One thing that scouts keep telling me about Robertson is that he has a funky delivery, and sometimes his arm slot gives away his pitches. However, he is brand new to the professional scene, and with the coaches around him, the young lefty should be able to fix his glitches. Some have gone on to say that his delivery is ugly, but with a young pitcher, you will work on that kind of thing, even if it means cutting into his development. If he does not fix it, then he will not be able to grow as a pitcher, and he will never be able to work on his stuff. Another thing about Robertson is that he is a monster on the mound, and gives his all everytime he gets on the mound.
Projection. Robertson definitely projects as a starting pitching prospect, given his track record and his upside as a pitching prospect. He commands innings, and is a guy who prides himself on taking the ball every fifth day. With his pitches, he is not a guy who you would expect to come out of the bullpen, and the Twins are going to do everything they can to make him the best pitcher they possibly can. He is also a teachable kid, who has a great baseball mind. He will most likely be in the starting rotation in Elizabethton in 2007, where he will once again get the opportunity to pitch every fifth day.
ETA. 2011. With Robertson, it is all about him fixing his mechanics. He will never be considered Major League-ready if he is not able to fix some things in his delivery. However, his curveball has been rated as being a plus Major League pitch, and if he can sit in the low-90s consistently, then at 6'5'', he has to be considered a legitimate Major League prospect. He is going to be handled with kid gloves over the next two seasons, but once he hits 20, it is going to be push, push, push. With his stock, I expect him to crack the Major League roster sometime when he is 24.