Prospect Pulse: Analyzing Mets Pitching Prospect Hansel Robles

An article by posted on February 11, 2013

hansel robles

Hansel Robles, RHP

Bats: R  Throws: R
Height: 5’11″  Weight: 185 lb.
Position: Pitcher
Age: 22
MMO Top Prospect Ranking: 20 
ETA: 2014

Background:

Here is an excerpt from the recent MMO Top 25 Prospect list, where Robles was ranked No. 20:

Signed as an international free agent in August of 2008, Robles did everything in his power last season to dispel the idea that he projects to be a reliever. Arguably, Robles had the best season of any arm in the Mets system with an ERA of 1.11 over 72.2 innings, which led the New York Penn League. If you include his final start in the post season, he finished the year with 45 straight shutout innings, a WHIP of .784 (47 H/10 BB) and 0 home runs allowed. His 66 strikeouts were nothing to sneeze at, resulting in an 8.2 K/9 compared to an exceptional 1.2 BB/9 ratio. He can throw a fastball, slider, change-up, and an occasional curve ball.

Analysis:

Hansel Robles set the NY-Penn League on fire last year. He dominated hitters with a low-90s fastball, an average slider, and a below average change-up. Many project Robles to be a bullpen guy at the big league level, but he was used as a starter for the Brooklyn Cyclones last season. He was nothing short of spectacular, and blew everyone away with some impressive numbers. However, after breaking down his pitching mechanics, you will see that there is some cause for concern with regards to Robles ever being a pitcher that can withstand the rigors of being in a starting rotation. Check out the video below, where I break down his mechanics, and you will see what I mean.

As you see in the video, his mechanics lead me to believe that he will ultimately be utilized in the bullpen if, and when, he makes it to the big league level. The kid has a ton of potential, and if he can straighten out his mechanics, he will continue to dominate hitters as he moves up through the system. Right now, the velocity on his fastball varies from 90-95mph. The major reason for the huge discrepancy in speed is because of his mechanics. There also has to be concern that the strain he puts on his arm could potentially lead to future arm injuries, so it will be prudent to try and work out the kinks before that happens.

As I pointed out in the video, he uses his arm and upper body to generate his velocity. By using his lower half more, and driving towards the plate, he could generate more consistent velocity and save his arm a lot of stress. His incomplete follow through is also generating additional strain on his arm.

Aside from the mechanical deficiencies, Robles future seems bright. If you throw 94mph, you always have a bright future. He generates great velocity, and after improvements in his mechanics, he will not only improve the consistency of that velocity, but also have better command of his secondary pitches. With an arm as live as his, it wouldn’t be such a bad thing if he ended up in the bullpen, which is where I think he will eventually end up and flourish.

For more Mets minor league and prospect coverage, you can follow me on Twitter @FirstPitchMitch.

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