Wilmington, DE - The St. Patrick's Day weekend now behind us means we're less than three weeks away from Opening Day at Frawley Stadium when the Blue Rocks begin their 25th season against the Potomac Nationals on April 6. The Blue Rocks continue their list of Top 25 Players in team history with a former Blue Rock who has recently found success at the big league level.
It's been a long journey for Clint Robinson. After spending eight seasons in the minor leagues and having just a handful of plate appearances at the MLB level, Robinson has seemed to find a spot on the Washington Nationals roster. Before he headed to the nation's capital, Robinson was a farmhand for the Kansas City Royals when the team drafted the first baseman in the 25th round of the 2007 MLB Draft from Troy University.
After putting together a great campaign with Idaho Falls in the Pioneer League where he won the Pioneer League MVP and Idaho Falls Player of the Year award in 2008 he kept his torrid hitting going as a Blue Rock in 2009. That season with the Blue Rocks, he became a staple in the lineup, playing in 124 games. In that span, he hit a respected .298 with 13 home runs and 57 RBI. In addition, he paced the Blue Crew with 130 hits and finished second in doubles with 31. The 130 hits Robinson collected still stands as the most by a Blue Rocks hitter in the last eight seasons.
Robinson made his way up the ranks and cracked the MLB on June 8, 2012 when he debuted against the Pittsburgh Pirates. However, it wasn't a long stay in Kansas City. He returned to the minors and was designated for assignment. After spending the 2013 season in the Toronto Blue Jays' system, he joined the Los Angeles Dodgers minor league ranks in 2014. Robinson earned a call-up to the Dodgers on June 25 and five days later he came up clutch with a game winning pinch-hit run scoring single off of Corey Kluber of Cleveland. It was his first career hit. He played in eight more games with the Dodgers primarily as a pinch hitter. He was designated for assignment and finished the season in the Pacific Coast League with Triple-A Albuquerque where he crushed the ball with the Isotopes and hit .312.
Prior to the 2015 season, he signed a minor league contract with the Washington Nationals. With a good spring, he made their Opening Day roster. Still with rookie status, the then 30-year-old began his rookie season. He ended up playing in 126 games which was sixth most on the team and hit a solid .272 with 10 homers and 34 RBI serving as a utility player. He split time at first base and learned the outfield on the fly.
In 2016, Robinson served in the same role and hit .235 with a career-high 16 home runs and 46 RBI in 104 games. The Jefferson City, Missouri native looks to continue to be a part of the Nationals lineup heading into this season.
Wilmington opens its 2017 campaign at Frawley Stadium on Thursday, April 6 against the Potomac Nationals. Season seats, mini plans and group packages for the Blue Rocks' 25th season are on sale now. To purchase tickets, visit the team's website at www.BlueRocks.com. To learn more about what is on tap for the Rocks' 25th season celebration, check out www.BlueRocks/25thseason.com.
25 Years of Blue Rocks Baseball
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.