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5-tool D-backs prospect Kristian Robinson added 25 pounds of muscle

Fans at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick watch a spring training baseball game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

After signing with the Arizona Diamondbacks out of the Bahamas in 2017, it didn’t take long for Kristian Robinson to establish himself as one of the team’s top prospects.

An MLB profile said Robinson has not only performed like it on the field, he has developed his body in a way that will increase the power he has already displayed.

Robinson added 25 pounds of muscle between spring training and Aug. 20, when he was added to the D-backs’ 60-man player pool and joined the alternative training site last season, according to MLB.

“Everyone else was already in mid-season form, and it took him, like, two days to look like he’d been playing there all year,” farm director Josh Barfield told MLB.com.

“He had a few games where he’d do something to make you think, ‘We don’t have anyone else who can do that. He hit three homers — three opposite-field home runs — in back-to-back-to-back at-bats over at Chase Field. One in the pool, one over the pool and one on the concourse. He does some things that not many people can do.”

This was a year after he hit 14 home runs in 69 games and slugged .514 between Class A Short Season Hillsboro and Class A Kane County.

He’s not just a power bat. Robinson also has above-average speed, having stolen 17 bases that season, and over his two minor league seasons he is hitting .281.

At Hillsboro, he slashed .319/.407/.558 and hit nine home runs in 44 games, all of which would have been among league-best had he qualified, MLB’s John Parker writes:

Though a promotion left him without enough plate appearances to qualify for the league batting title, he still tied for second in home runs. He would have finished second in average, on-base percentage and slugging if he had qualified and was named to the Northwest League All-Star team.

Robinson did all that while he was still a teenager. He turned 20 on Dec. 11.

Parker wrote a couple key areas in which Robinson can improve.

First, at Kane County beginning in August 2019, his strikeout rate rose to 29% and his walk rate fell under 8%. Both of those areas need to be rectified.

When he does make contact, he needs to put the ball in the air more than hard-hit grounders. Robinson hit half his balls in play with an exit velocity of at least 95 mph, according to FanGraphs, and he can make the most of that power by lifting it.

By improving those areas, he can be ready for the big leagues by 2022, the year in which MLB Pipeline projects him to take the field for the Diamondbacks.


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