Kristian Robinson, OF, ARI

[This is the first of an occasional series of players I will analyze in the offseason simply because they are being ranked highly by Top Lists in the industry, yet they have little track record. ‘What are the rankers seeing?’ is the question I will try to answer.]

Robinson was already on industry Top 30 lists last year, and he is creeping into Top 10 territory so far on the released 2021 lists. What is going on with this teenager from the Bahamas?

Video courtesy of Prospects Live
  • Born: December 11, 2000
  • B/T: R/R
  • 6’3″, 190-lbs
  • Drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2017 out of the Bahamas.

The Numbers

His raw numbers are listed above courtesy of baseball-reference.com. Let’s aggregate by year then focus on the important numbers for minor leaguers:

The first thing to note is that he played above Rookie level as an 18-year-old. Yes, that 2019 line — against A- and A competition who averaged about three years older than him — yes, as basically a high school senior, he put up very, very, very impressive numbers. The only criticism you could make is his strikeout rate, but that 26% was about average for major leaguers last year! He has speed, he has really great power, he draws walks because pitchers noted that power, and he gets on base a lot where he uses his speed.

When a teen can produce among men, he gets the benefit of the doubt on rankings.

He did struggle against RHP in Class A ball, but did not do so in Short Season A ball, so while we can keep an eye on this, it’s nothing to worry about yet.

We see him pull his doubles and a decent chunk of his home runs, but he has opposite field home runs too. As a teenager, this is a fine spray chart.

Yes, he was climbing all the way until full season A ball, and then he basically got tired. As 18-year-olds in hot summers tend to do …

The Scouts

Warnings

The usual for his age: we need to see him conquer Double-A before we truly can relax, and we want to make sure his summer struggles against righties was just a phase, not a habit.

Conclusion

I keep saying he was just 18 but he’s already 6’3″ and weighs 190. He is in great physical shape and the frame he carries will let him put on more muscle and more power. Scouts says his tools are at least average across the board, and obviously in some cases the tools are plus already.

Plus he draws walks! That’s harder to teach a teen, who often like to use their natural physical gifts and just hack away. Not Kristian. It’s his ability to hit — coupled with his prodigious power — that make scouts drool.

Basically, among the teen prospects, he has one of the highest ceilings, and what he’s done on the field so far has done nothing to discourage this sort of thinking.

And now you know why he gets ranked so high.

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