D-backs’ Kristian Robinson reinstated, can resume playing in games after 3 years
May 29, 2023, 12:21 PM | Updated: 1:48 pm
PHOENIX — Former Arizona Diamondbacks top prospect Kristian Robinson can resume playing in minor league games, as the organization reinstated him from the restricted list for the first time since 2021 on Monday.
Robinson, the 22-year-old outfielder from the Bahamas, was optioned to Single-A Visalia, and RHP Peter Solomon was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster.
Once a top 50 prospect in baseball by MLB Pipeline, Robinson has not played in a minor league game since 2019 with Single-A Kane County. He was arrested on April 5, 2020, following an altercation with law enforcement after the COVID-19 MLB stoppage began, according to police records.
He apologized through the team to the officer and the Diamondbacks, citing struggles with mental health issues. He served an 18-month probation period and received approval for a work visa last month.
“I think he has grown a lot over this period,” D-backs farm director Josh Barfield said on a conference call on May 2. “You forget how young he is … we know that he put himself in this situation, but at the same time, he’s very apologetic, he’s learned a lot.”
He was last placed on the restricted list in November 2021 after the D-backs selected his contract to avoid the Rule 5 Draft.
Robinson has spent the start of this season in extended spring training at Salt River Fields after getting work in during spring training.
Maybe opposing pitchers should stop pitching to Kristian Robinson?
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) July 24, 2019
“I just want to say congrats to him, it’s been a long journey for him,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said Monday. “He has been working his butt off in an extended spring training, and to continue to get his opportunity to progress and push to become a major league baseball player is gonna be exciting for every single one of us.
“… I just know he’s gonna get out to an affiliate and start to play some live games, he hasn’t done that in a while. I’m sure he’s pretty excited about it.”
Robinson slashed .282/.368/.514 in his last full season with 14 home runs and 17 swiped bases. Ahead of 2020, he was No. 1 on Arizona’s prospects list by MLB Pipeline, ahead of Alek Thomas, Daulton Varsho, Geraldo Perdomo and Corbin Carroll.
— Prospects Live (@ProspectsLive) August 6, 2019
He first joined the organization in 2017 as an international signee when he was 16 years old.
Robinson now joins D-backs 2022 top pick Druw Jones (injured list) on Visalia’s roster.