SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 26: Trayvon Robinson #62 of the Los Angeles Dodgers makes a running catch in the outfield during a spring training game against the San Francisco Giants at Scottsdale Stadium on February 26, 2011 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)
Over the last 5 and a half years, Trayvon Robinson has gone to a raw high school player to one of the Dodgers top prospects. Drafted out of Crenshaw high school in 2005 and signed when he was just 17 years old, Robinson’s career got off to a slow start. His stats were very ordinary over his first three professional seasons, and he bottomed out with a .314 on base percentage in 2007. Since then, however, Trayvon’s career has been on the rise, and is best represented by his gradual increase in his on base percentage. In 2008 his OBP was .328, in 2009 it was .373, and finally in 2010 he reached base at a .404 clip. Robinson also has added a little power and a lot of speed to his resume as he’s matured, which has been demonstrated by his 26 homers and 85 stolen bases over the past two seasons.
Trayvon’s success earned him a trip to the AFL after the 2010 season where he posted a .389 OBP and played in the annual Rising Stars Game. Robinson has also gotten plenty of playing time so far this spring, and has already collected a couple of extra base hits while playing solid defense. On a Dodger telecast last week, Ned Colletti said this about Robinson:
"…He may challenge a year from now for a big league spot, we’ll have to see. He’s going to open the year in Albuquerque, and of course the PCL is very much a hitter’s league, so we have to keep that in conversation…but he’s got a chance to be a pretty good player with plus speed, plus speed, and some power and a very good defender. But there is still a lot of room for him to grow and a lot of room to get better as a professional. But he continues to show it and he continues to get better at it."
Here is what I had to say about Robinson during my Dodger prospect ranking:
"Drafted in 2005 out of Crenshaw High School, Trayvon Robinson’s career got off to a slow start. In his first three professional seasons he was very ordinary and wasn’t mentioned in any of the Dodger top prospect discussions. In 2008 he showed some signs of life while in Inland Empire, then really broke out in 2009 with 17 homers and 47 stolen bases. That brings us to the 2010 season, which Robinson spent in AA. While his stats weren’t eye popping with the Lookouts, the switch hitter had a solid all around year. He led the team with a .300 average, hit 9 homers, stole 38 bases, and only made 4 errors in center field. He also had an impressive .404 on base percentage which ranked 3rd in the entire Southern League, and recorded 12 outfield assists despite having a below average arm. After the season, Robinson played in the AFL and DeJon Watson has this to say about him: "He had a big year. Look at his numbers over the last three years, the trend is up. His on-base percentage has gone up 150 points in a three-year window. We're trying to expand his overall game, to get him to be more aggressive defensively. He's still pushing the envelope with his baserunning. We want him a little more aggressive going first to third. He gets good reads and jumps. He's relatively close to finishing off the skill set. This will be a really good test for him." After watching him play in the AFL, Don Mattingly also had some praise for Robinson and said "He's coming. I've had the chance to see him play with my son in Michigan, saw him in the spring and fall, and every time I see him, I love to see the progression. Each time he's gotten better. He's getting there. If he continues to progress, he's got a chance to be an impact guy." Besides his arm, which worries some scouts enough to say that he might not be able to handle center field at the big league level, Trayvon has solid 4 tools and a knack for getting on base. None of his tools are really outstanding, however, which limits his ceiling. Robinson also strikeouts out a little too much, so he’s going to try and polish his game in AAA next season. That being said, I’m almost positive that Robinson will make his major league debut at some point in 2011, even if it is just as a September call up."
In terms of his prospect ranking heading into the 2011 season, there seem to be mixed views on Trayvon since I’ve seen him anywhere from #1 to #10. Here at TBLA we ranked him #2, while Baseball America had him at #10. I had him a little lower than most at #8, but I do really like his combination of power and speed.
Robinson is a natural right handed hitter, and didn’t start switch hitting until after he was drafted by the Dodgers. There were several times early in his career when he wanted to give up switch hitting, but DeJon Watson was able to convince Robinson to stick with it and it has really paid off. Robinson even told our own Chad Moriyama back in the day that he actually has more power as a left handed hitter.
Robinson is of course under team control. Also, he was added to the 40-man roster in November of 2009 and his first option year was used in 2010, so he has two options remaining as we head into the 2011 season.
Unless something goes terribly wrong in the Dodgers outfield, Robinson will spend most of the 2011 season in AAA. If everything goes according to plan, however, Trayvon will make his major league debut when rosters expand in September.
When does the TBLA community think that Trayvon Robinson will make his major league debut? If he does make his debut in 2011, what will his stats be when he makes it up to Los Angeles?