Saturday, June 14, 2008

Prospect Profile: RHP David Robertson (#24)

RHP David Robertson - New York Yankees Bumped from Double-A Trenton to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre earlier this month, RHP David Robertson is one of several intriguing internal candidates to help bridge the Joba-less gap to Mariano Rivera. Equipped with a huge curveball, the former Univeristy of Alabama closer had a 0.96 ERA in three stops last season, his first in professional baseball.

He's pitched six straight scoreless innings - including Thursday's three batters faced, three strikeouts performance - and boasts a 2-0 record, 2.16 ERA, and 37 strikeouts in 25 innings at AAA this year.

Earlier this week, Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal hinted that Robertson fans may not have to wait much longer to see the right hander in pinstripes:

"The Yankees are aggressively shopping right-hander LaTroy Hawkins, two rival executives say, intending to clear a spot for a reliever who currently is at Class AAA. Righty J.B. Cox, who missed all of last season after undergoing elbow-ligament transplant surgery, is one candidate; he began the season at Class A, but has since moved to AAA, where he has allowed one run in 12 1/3 innings. Righty David Robertson, who began the season at AA, also has been impressive at AAA. Hawkins, signed to a one-year, $3.75 million free-agent contract, has a 6.08 ERA in 22 appearances."

RHP David RobertsonScouting Report: RHP David Robertson

David Robertson entered the year as the Yankees 24th rated prospect (Baseball America). Selected in the 17th round of the 2006 MLB Draft, he made a huge impression last season making stops at Charleston, Tampa, and Trenton.

He has three above-average pitches.

David Robertson's Repetoire:
Cutter: 90-92 mph with natural cut action.
Curveball: Plus pitch. Has bite, angle and depth. Can throw for strikes or bury.
Slider: Plus pitch. Good bite, late action. Keeps down in the zone.

According to BA's 2008 prospect handbook, Robertson should challenge for a big league role in 2008. "Despite his small frame [5-foot-11, 180], he makes his mistakes down in the zone and has yet to give up a homer in pro ball [still true] ... His size seems to be the only reason scouts don't project him as a future cloaser.

Development/Progress: -- David Robertson's Career Stats --
Last season, his first as a pro, Robertson went a combined 8-3 with a 0.96 ERA at three levels. In 84 innings he surrendered just 45 hits and 32 walks. He struck out 113. Opponents held opponents to a .154 BAA.

In two seasons as Alabama's closer he posted 18 saves and averaged better than 11 strikeouts per nine innings.

Baseball America Prospect Rankings: 2008 - #24.

UPDATES:
6/28 -- David Robertson was called up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. LHP Kei Igawa was optioned back to SWB.

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