Name: Whitney Robbins
Position: Corner Infielder
DOB: September 25, 1984
The Twins selected Whitney Robbins in the fourth round of the 2005 draft, taking the first baseman out of Georgia Tech. A big kid with a power bat, Robbins made quite a splash during his first season in the Twins organization, and will likely be in the lineup at Fort Myers in 2007.
During his high school days, Robbins played his ball at Calhoun High School. Also a star quarterback for the football team, Robbins was a four-year letter-winner as a pitcher, first baseman, and third baseman, and finished his high school career with a .580 batting average. He also posted a 9-3 record as a pitcher, while smacking 23 home runs, and driving in 160 runs as a corner infielder.
In 2000, Robbins helped his team to the Georgia State Championship in baseball, and the team finished as a runner-up in 2001. Quite the athlete, Robbins also has his school's passing yards record, as he was an honorable mention All-Stater.
Robbins attended Georgia Tech, where he would go on to have a stellar three-year career. In 2004, Robbins first season with the Yellow Jackets, Robbins appeared in 54 games, batting .313. The young slugger batted .300 during the ACC Tournament, and then went 5-12 with two home runs in the NCAA Atlanta Regional. Robbins was named to the All-Tournament Team in the Regional, and then would go on to bat .270 in the Cape Cod League during the summer.
In 2005, Robbins once again made his presence felt late in the season, earning a spot on the ACC All-Tournament Team, as well as the All-NCAA Regional Team. He showed late game heroics during the ACC Tournament, driving in the game-winning RBI against Wake Forest, and Florida State.
In his final season at Georgia Tech, Robbins helped his team to the College World Series, batting .352, while blasting 13 home runs. A pure hitter, Robbins finished his career at Georgia Tech as one of the better hitters in the program's illustrious history.
After the Twins selected Robbins in the fourth round of the 2006 draft, he quickly made a name for himself within the organization, as he got off to a blazing start for the Beloit Snappers. Making the jump from college ball to a full-season team looked easy for Robbins, who would go on to bat .304 for the Snappers. He was the highest place draft choice of the 2006 class.
After signing with the Twins in late June, Robbins went on a tear, batting .778 through his first three professional games. In 32 games, Robbins drove in 26, and had 13 extra-base hits.
Batting and Power: Robbins is a good overall hitter, who has shown a power prowess during his short time with the Twins organization. One thing his collegiate coach told us is that he has an excellent batting eye, and really knows how to work the count to his advantage. He is a good size kid, who has gap power, and should be an extra-base hit machine in the future. He has a good enough stick to play either of the corner infield positions, and will most likely be in the middle of the lineup for Fort Myers next season.
Base running and Speed: Robbins does not have great speed, but he is definitely not a liability when he gets on the base paths. He does have enough speed to make a double happen, but he really does not have that second gear that can stretch a double into a triple. He is a heady baserunner, who rarely makes a mistake on the base paths. During his college career, Robbins only stole a handful of bases, so he is projected as a 3-5 stolen base a year guy.
Defense: Robbins is a great defender, and the Twins feel he could eventually make the permanent switch to the left side of the diamond. He has great feet around the bag, and almost makes playing first base look effortless. His college coach told us he is an "excellent" defensive first baseman, and with how smooth he is with the glove, the transition to third base should not be very hard for him. It will be Robbins' glove that should separate him from the other corner infield prospects in the Twins organization.
ETA.2008 The rise through the Twins organization could be a fast one for Robbins, who already has some experience at the full-season level. He showed that he could hit professional pitching in 2006, and he could make one or two jumps during the 2007 season. If he can work his way to New Britain by the end of the 2007 season, then he should be set up for making his Major League debut sometime during the 2008 season.