With the 9th pick of the 8th round (235th overall) the Detroit Tigers selected Mississippi State University outfielder Jacob Robson, aka "The Maple Hammer".
Hometown: Windsor, Ontario
Teams: Windsor Selects, Tecumseh Thunder, Ontario Blue Jays, Canadian Junior National Team, Bourne Braves.
Coaches: Al Bernacchi, Dave Cooper, Dan Bleiwas, Greg Hamilton, Harvey Shapiro, John Cohen.
Previously Drafted: Selected by the San Diego Padres (30th) in 2012.
Twitter Handle: @JakeRobson7
Slot Money: $181,600
Signed For: $181,600
Scout: Justin Henry
Rated: 211th on Perfect Game's top 500 combined list ... Perfect Game’s 100th-Best Junior ... D1 Baseball’s 113th-Best Player ... Named 52nd-best prospect in Cape Cod by Perfect Game.
Hit: 50 | Power: 20 | Run: 65 | Arm: 40 | Field: 55 | Overall: 45
Drafted in the 30th round by the Padres as a Canadian high schooler in 2012, Robson was a semi-regular on Mississippi State’s 2013 College World Series club as a freshman but missed most of 2014 with an elbow injury. Undrafted as a redshirt sophomore a year ago, he could go in the first five rounds despite missing four weeks with a broken left hand and not performing as well afterward. As many as seven hitters off the Bulldogs’ Southeastern Conference regular-season champions could be drafted in June, with Robson competing with fellow outfielder Reid Humphreys to be the first.
Robson builds his game around his well above-average speed. His quickness makes him a fine defender in center field, enhances his on-base ability and makes him a basestealing threat. If he doesn’t provide enough offense to become a big league regular, his wheels and ability to use them could make him a useful fourth outfielder.
Robson employs a compact left-handed stroke at the plate, usually focusing on hitting line drives and groundballs and using the entire field. He doesn’t have much power but sometimes gets himself in trouble by trying to pull and drive the ball. He has an eye for drawing walks, adding to his profile as a top-of-the-order catalyst.
Robson may own one of the best nicknames in baseball in “The Maple Hammer.” The Ontario native has made quite a second home for himself in Starkville, and he’s really come on the last two seasons, hitting over .300 and being the consummate leadoff man for the Bulldogs both last spring and this year.
At just 5-10, 175-pounds, he certainly doesn’t jump out at onlookers, but he’s an experienced, disciplined hitter who has a great feel for the barrel. He has performed well in the toughest conference in college baseball and also been a star in the Cape Cod League, so he’s definitely not afraid of the bright lights or tough competition. While he owns very little power, Robson is a plus runner who has the range and defensive chops to stick in center field so he’ll profile well as a top-of-the-order type.