Rays’ Daniel Robertson Making Case for Promotion


Tampa Bay Rays prospect, Daniel Robertson made another leap towards the majors Saturday, producing three hits for the Double-A Montgomery Biscuits, including a home run.  The home run was his third of the season while the other two hits were doubles. 

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Robertson was sent to Tampa in the offseason trade of Ben Zobrist to the Oakland Athletics.  He’s MLB.com’s 64th ranked prospect and second in the Rays’ system. Considering Zobrist’s recent meniscus surgery that landed him on the disabled list and his lack of production prior to his injury, Tampa has to feel good about their offseason transaction.

In 2014, Robertson had a breakout season in the Oakland Athletics’ organization in a season split between the Mesa Solar Sox and Stockton Ports.  He batted .310 for the Ports with 15 home runs, 60 RBIs, and 110 runs scored.  More notably, he struck out only 14.6 percent of the time, which helped guide him to a .402 on-base percentage.

Robertson has been an extra-base hit machine this season with sixteen of his 30 hits going for extra bases.  He’s also producing in the clutch, leading the Southern league with 22 runs batted in. He’s eighth in the league in OPS with an .867 percentage.  With his ninth multi-hit performance of the season, he’s now batting .283 with 20 runs scored.  Through 27 games, he’s leading the Biscuits in runs, doubles, and RBIs.

Defensively, he has the accuracy and strong arm to play either shortstop or third base in the long-term.  His range may be better suited for third base, but with Evan Longoria stationed there, he’ll be a better fit at shortstop. 

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Robertson swing and patience at the plate are advanced for his age and his swing is as level as they come.  With the ability to spray the ball to all areas of the field, Robertson doesn’t try to do more than what is capable of.  Although he can hit double digit home runs, he’s not going to drive the ball over the fence enough to be a middle of the lineup hitter.  His 15 home runs and .161 Isolated Power in High-A are a solid indication of his maximum power potential in the majors.

His brief appearance in major league camp for one game will also help his cause for a promotion.  The 21-year old hit a pair of home runs against the Red Sox that left an impression on manager Kevin Cash. “Robertson, wow,” Cash said to the Tampa Bay Times. “It’s impressive. You definitely have to credit our scouting department. He’s fun to watch. An exciting player. I don’t think you ever want to lose a guy like Zobrist, but if you’re getting something like that, with that type of potential, I guess it soothes it over a little bit more.”

Tampa’s lineup could use an injection of offense into their lineup as they attempt to climb their way into first place in the division. Robertson likely won’t be that injection, but if he can make his way into Triple-A by July, he could see a call-up when rosters expand in September.