Self scouting report: Blue Jays' Will Robertson

April 14th, 2020

Before baseball’s hiatus to combat the spread of coronavirus, Will Robertson was looking forward to his first full season of professional baseball.

The 22-year-old right fielder got 61 games under his belt with the Class A Short-Season Vancouver Canadians last year after playing 54 at Creighton University before the Blue Jays selected him in the fourth round of the Draft. After slashing .268/.365/.404 with six homers, 11 doubles, one triple and 33 RBIs to start his pro career, Robertson is excited for whenever he gets the chance to continue what he started. 

“Starting out, I was just getting a feel for where I struggled a little bit, just getting used to pro ball and the speed of it,” Toronto’s No. 26 prospect said. “Toward the end was where I felt like I picked it up a little bit and felt a little more comfortable with it. If anything, I’m trying to carry over what I did toward the end of the year and fine tune some stuff.”

Evaluating himself using a Major League Scouting Bureau report and the 20-to-80 scouting scale, basing his grades on the standards set by the Bureau, Robertson offered insight into what the future might hold.

Top tools
The native of Loose Creek, Mo., gave himself the highest future grades in his power and aggressiveness, offering above-average future evaluations of both, with a full-grade improvement in power and a half-grade jump in aggressiveness.

“Playing the game from a young age, I’ve always been very aggressive,” Robertson said. “Growing up, it’s always been my [modus operandi]. Even playing basketball, I’ve always been very aggressive, so it just carries over. It’s instinctive, kind of built in me, which can be good and bad at times.

“With the power, consistency is everything. Players who are at the next levels are doing it very consistently and that’s what everybody in the Minor Leagues is trying to do is to perfect that. How good can you be at your best and how often can you do it?”

Room for improvement
Offering modest improvements in his evaluations from present to future, Robertson jumped his hitting ability, power and speed each one grade, moving all three tools to average or above average, with the belief that the same thing can get him there across the board.

“I need that consistency,” he said. “With this [year] being my first Spring Training, going through it for the first time, you’re learning a lot and taking little bits and making it your own. You’re making your game how you want it to be and learning along the way.”

Among the things Robertson took away from his time in Dunedin this spring were some of the ways to combat the differences between college baseball and the professional game.

“My approach, and how to go about your business, off the field, in the cages,” he said. “And little tweaks that you can make both mentally and physically throughout the year. It’s a long season, so to be able to put Band-Aids on stuff that needs to be done in order to keep grinding through it, that’s helpful.”

Scouting the scout
Offering insight into his own game and grades, the outfielder had some experience in the realms of scouting and grading when he filled out the evaluation. 

“Being a college guy, you definitely see scouting reports a lot more than the younger guys do,” Robertson said. “But the grading scale, I wasn’t familiar with it until the Draft. That was the first time I ever saw it, so there’s not a big familiarity there, but definitely with scouting reports, I’ve seen them.”

What the scouts say
“Power is his best tool,” one National League scout said. “He has a sweet, slight upper-cut stroke with bat speed. He likes the ball down and in, can drop the bat head and does a good job middle out. He struggles versus left-handed pitching, gets beat on his hands in. He’s more of a dangerous than a good hitter right now. He will be solid-to-average defensively in the corners with enough arm for right field. He has big upside if he makes strides offensively. He’s got my attention.”

What’s missing
“Work ethic,” Robertson said of what the scouting report misses about him as a player. “How hard people work on the field and at practice and stuff like that. Then also with the eye, being able to see how people move is something [it misses], because there are definitely a lot of things you can judge off that.”