I will be the first to admit that I was highly skeptical when I heard all of the reports that Jacob Robson was going to be one of the best outfielders on the team in 2015. Prior to this season, he really hadn’t done much to impress anyone who had seen him play. After the first 13 games, there hasn’t been a player that has been more valuable than The Maple Hammer.
Jacob Robson has been given the nickname the Maple Hammer because he is a native Canadian. The Canadian part is more than appropriate, but the Hammer part of the nickname might make you think he is a power hitting phenom. He is quite the opposite. Robson currently leads the team in Batting Average, Runs, Hits, Stolen Bases, and Base on Balls. Basically, all the small ball categories. In an injury shortened season that Robson was given a medical redshirt for, he had one hit. That is a serious step forward for a player.
It is such a major improvement, I tried to think of other Bulldogs who have made such a significant jump from one season to the next. The first that came to mind was Chris Stratton. Stratton spent the first two season of his career struggling to find command of his pitches and consistency from start to start. In 2012, he made the jump from struggling former phenom to SEC Pitcher of the Year and a consensus All American. He ended up being drafted in the first round by the San Francisco Giants.
Does that mean I think Robson will be a first round draft pick at season’s end? No, but I think he is starting to display the ability the coaches saw in him a few years ago when they first recruited him. In the man time, he will keep showing the other skeptics like me that we were wrong all along.