By Michael Beaven
AKRON, Ohio - RubberDucks right-hander Jared Robinson is emerging as an unheralded member of the bullpen for manager Rouglas Odor.
Robinson is not widely regarded as a top prospect in the Indians organization, but the 24-year-old from California is compiling an impressive season.
Robinson entered Friday's game with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies with a 0-2 record, a 1.57 ERA, 35 strikeouts and seven walks in 23 innings with the RubberDucks.
Ducks catcher Logan Ice lauded Robinson for being "really athletic."
"He has got plus stuff," Ice said. "If you look at percentages, he is slider heavy. I think hitters at this point know sliders are coming and they are still struggling to hit it, which is a testament to how good the pitch is.
"He is a strong kid. His body works well for him, he is strong and compact and his delivery is really repeatable. He has a really good feel for his slider ... and he can throw 95 to 97 miles per hour with his fastball. He has got a nice two-pitch mix going on."
Robinson said he is finding success by "being consistent everyday, working in the weight room and in my bullpens."
"Everyday consistency is important," said Robinson, who has made 12 appearances with the Ducks this season and held opponents to a .163 batting average.
"These are some great hitters in AA, and I've gotten through some challenges during spring training playing in some of the big-league games, backing up. I got to see some good big-league hitters and that gave me kind of an advantage facing AA hitters."
Robinson, who is 5-foot-11 and 205 pounds, said he received advice from Indians players and coaches. He shared the best piece of knowledge sent his way is, "Don't let the game speed up on you. Slow things down and be in control."
"Just because you moved up or you are at a higher level, don't get a big head," he said. "Stay positive and keep working hard everyday."
Robinson started playing baseball at age 5, and continued to hit and pitch at Bishop Amat High School in La Puente, California. He also played running back and cornerback in football, goalie in soccer, and competed in the discus, shot put, the 200 meters and the 400 meters.
"I had the opportunity to play junior college ball at Cerritos College [in Norwalk, California] and that opened up a lot of eyes to some scouts," Robinson said. "I said, 'Hey, why not keep pursuing the dream,' and here I am today."
Dennis Rogers to be inducted into 2020 ABCA Hall of Fame
Whenever a mention of Riverside City College baseball sprouts in conversation, one will always pose the question "Is Dennis Rogers still a coach at RCC?" Anywhere Rogers went, winning followed. From his successful time at various levels including community college, high school, Division II, II and the professional ranks he earned an induction into the 2020 American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Hall of Fame.
Rogers captained the Tigers for 26 seasons from 1990-2015 where his legacy was tattooed in the record books. He lead the Tigers to an overall record of 775-319-2 (.707 winning percentage) and 22 playoff appearances.
Rogers reshaped RCC into a championship machine since stepping on scene in 1990. He went on to win three-consecutive California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) State Championships in 2000, 2001 and 2002. He followed with a fourth state title in 2007. From then on, Riverside has been a powerhouse program, not just within the Orange Empire Conference (OEC), but in the state of California.
Rogers coached over 50 big leaguers that include Bobby Kielty, Jesse Chavez, Chris Stewart and Delwyn Young. Furthermore, he was known for developing young coaches to take on various roles at many levels. He mentored and coaches with current RCC baseball Head Coach Rudy Arguelles.
Rogers, too, had a taste of professional baseball as a player and a coach. In 1982-84, he managed the Oakland Athletics Class-A affiliate, the Medford A's, and led them to a 1983 Northwest League Championship. He followed by coaching the Athletics' Rookie Class A team, the Vancouver Canadians, and earned the 2004 Northwest League Western Division Championship. Furthermore, he coached the Pittsburg Pirates' Class-A and Class-AA teams from 1986-87.
As a player, he was drafted by the San Francisco Giants and played in their minor league system from 1974-75.
Prior, Rogers enjoyed coaching stints at John W. North High School, San Gorgonio HS, and San Bernardino Valley College. He piloted San Gorgonio HS to a California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) 4A Championship.
The ceremony will be held on Friday, January 3 at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, TN.
(Nicho Della Valle, Riverside City Athletics)