10 Questions with Tom Robson
* Tom Robson (Ladner, BC), signed by Jays scout Jamie Lehman, is currently re-habbing in Dunedin with a mild elbow strain. Photo: Alexis Brudnicki ….
By Clayton Richer
The Hot Corner
Tom Robson was the highest drafted canuck in the 2011 amateur draft being selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the fourth round, 139th overall. The 19-year old right handed hurler is currently in Dunedin re-habbing from an injury.
He started the season with the class-A Bluefield Blue Jays of the Appalachian League making three starts and is still searching for his first professional win.
Robson a native of Ladner, BC is a veteran of the Canadian National Junior Team and has his goals set on one day pitching in the major leagues for the team he grew up idolizing, and the Jays are banking on the same.
Tom Robson Interview:
1. You were drafted by the Jays in the 4th round, 139th overall in the 2011 amateur draft. What kind of experience was the negotiation and signing process, how close were you to attending school?
The negotiation process took quite a while which was kind of bittersweet because I wanted to start playing pro ball but at the same time it allowed me to go to Cuba with the Canadian Junior national team. As far as the date I signed, I don’t really remember the exact date but it was around the deadline, Aug. 15th. If I had not signed I would have gone to central Arizona Junior College.
2. What did it mean to you to be the highest drafted Canadian in the 2011 draft?
It was a honour to be the first Canadian selected. There were a lot of good players coming out of Canada last year, so being the first Canadian taken was a very proud moment.
3. What pitches do you throw and what is your “out pitch “and what type of velocity do your pitches hover around?
I throw a four-seam seam fastball, which sits around 88-92 right now, touching 93, a two seam fastball which is in the high 80s, a curveball 74-76, and a changeup at 81-83
4. What baseball team did you follow growing up and do you emulate your style around any major league players?
I have followed the Blue Jays all my life. Being from Canada I enjoyed supporting the home team watching them whenever I could growing up. My style is pretty much standard, try to get ahead and stay ahead, while throwing all your pitches for strikes which is key.
5. You were assigned to the Bluefield Blue Jays class rookie affiliate, what has the transition like been to pro ball?
Being on the Canadian junior national team I was used to being away and playing against pro teams, so it wasn’t to big of a shock for me. I try to keep a level head and not get too high or too low.
6. Who has been the most influential person in helping you develop as a baseball player throughout your career?
Brent Crowther. I have been working with him since I was about eight years old, and am still learning a lot of not physical but mental thing about pitching. Doug Mathieson (Langley Blaze) and Greg Hamilton (Junior National Team) also made a major impact on my career as well, shaping me into the baseball player I am today.
7. What is the one facet of your game you think you need to improve to make it to the Major Leagues?
Trying to be as consistent as I can. If I can string together a few solid starts in a row, instead of one good one bad, I feel like that will be the key to making the Major leagues.
8. What has been your biggest baseball related accomplishment to date?
Either representing the JNT in the 2010 worlds or being drafted to the Blue Jays.
9. You have represented Canada as a member of the Canadian National Junior Team, what was it like playing with the maple leaf on your chest and what is your proudest International moment?
It was definitely some of the best times of my life travelling around the world playing baseball representing Canada. Its a lot different then putting on any other kind of Jersey. Playing with the best group of guys selected from your country competing for a medal is something really special and something i will never forget. My proudest moment was when I pitched six scoreless innings against team Cuba in the worlds.
10. Who has hit the longest home run you have ever witnessed in your career.
Robby Hefflinger off Jonathan Paquet. He hit it over the scoreboard at the Atlanta Braves spring training facility.