Dodgers farmhand Errol Robinson takes next step in his career

Last Friday the Great Lakes Loons of the Midwest League received two replacement players from the Dodgers extended spring training facility in Glendale, Arizona. The Loons are still treading water with 10 players presently on the 7-day DL while a number of players have struggled, especially at the plate. The dreaded disabled list includes six pitchers and four infielders.

Errol Robinson was one of those replacements and he was one of four shortstops selected by the Dodgers in the 2016 First-Year Player Draft. The native of Boyds, Maryland was picked by the Dodgers in the sixth round of the draft out of the University of Mississippi. The other shortstops drafted by the Dodgers in 2016 were Kevin LaChance, who is still at extended spring training, first round selection Gavin Lux, who has divided his time with the Loons between shortstop and second base, and Zach McKinstry, who has split his time almost equally between second base and third base with the Loons and Quakes.

How can the Dodgers miss with a guy named Robinson?
(Photo courtesy of MiLB.com)

Robinson had a bit of a down year in 2016 while struggling in the first part of his college season. However, he rebounded as the season moved along to hit .270 with a .325 OBP and .352 slugging percentage. Although he did not match his 2015 season, Robinson attracted attention with his overall skill set.

He had started for the ‘Ole Miss’ 2014 College World Series team as a freshman. His ticket to the starting lineup was his athleticism and his above average glove as a shortstop. Scouting reports indicated he had the infield actions, body control, quickness and average arm strength for the position.

His college coach was not surprised that Robinson was drafted within the first ten rounds.

“He’s got great range,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “I think the thing that’s really special about Errol is he’s got great hands. If he touches it, he catches it. He just doesn’t miss balls.

“In our league, there were so many outstanding shortstops that were draft eligible,” added Bianco. “Because Errol was just a sophomore, he kind of flew under the radar.”

His performance in the 2015 Cape Cod League likewise helped boost his draft prospects. Facing some of the best college pitchers in the nation, he hit .312 while using his above-average speed to be a useful, if not prolific, base stealer.

Billy Gasparino, Dodgers Director of Amateur Scouting, was more than pleased when able to select Robinson in the sixth round of the draft: “Robinson had a good track record at short, he hit in the Cape [Cod League], he’s a good find in the sixth round,” said Gasparino.

He reported to the Ogden Raptors of the rookie level Pioneer League and came away from the plate hungry after a slow June. However, he rebounded quickly and hit .304 in August raising his batting average for the season to .282 along with 18 stolen bases in 20 attempts.

The 6’0”/ 180-pound Robinson made his debut at third base with the Loons on May 12. He had one hit in four plate appearances. In his second appearance as a Loon, the right-handed hitter lofted a home run to left center field in the sixth inning while serving as the team’s DH for the day.

The 22-year old shortstop is now part of the Dodgers versatility program. Recently, Brendon Davis, Oneil Cruz and Gavin Lux have all played shortstop as well as other infield positions for the Loons. As mentioned, Robinson played his first game with the Great Lakes squad as a third baseman after having played shortstop about 90 per cent of his time with the Ogden Raptors in 2016.

Loons fans can definitely look forward to Errol Robinson flashing the leather but according to coach Bianco, there is more than a glove when he is penciled into a game.

“Errol has been sensational since he stepped on campus. He has that innate ability to always seem to make the big play, to always get the big hit. He’s always doing something to help you.”

 

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