DOMINGO ROBLES, LEFT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: April 29, 1998
Signed: Int’l Free Agent, 2014, Pittsburgh Pirates
How Acquired: International Free Agent
Country: Dominican Republic
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|The lefty Robles was one of the three top pitchers signed by the Pirates in 2014, the others being Adonis Pichardo and Brian Sousa. He reportedly got up to 92 mph before his debut season, but threw only 87-88 during the season. By 2017, he was sitting at 91-92, but he was averaging around 90 in 2018. He also throws a curve and change.
Unlike Pichardo or Sousa, Robles stayed healthy, making 15 starts and running up a good innings total for a 17-year-old. He finished with very passable numbers for his age, but he also improved rapidly as the season went along. His opponents’ OPS for each month of the season, June through August, was .875, .654 and .529. His K rate was just 4.5 and 4.9 the first two months, but 8.8 the last month. He dominated left-handed hitters, holding them to a .489 OPS, while right-handed hitters managed .765.
Robles went to the GCL, where he made nine starts and five relief appearances. He showed excellent control, but opponents batted .280 and slugged .434 against him, both marks that were well above the league average, and didn’t miss many bats. On the other hand, he spent the season at age 18. He threw barely over half the innings he threw the year before.
Spending the season in the Bristol rotation, Robles just held his own. He tended to get hurt by big innings. Two games, in which he allowed 14 earned runs in 4.2 IP, inflated his ERA. It was 3.22 in his other 12 starts. He showed very good control but still didn’t miss many bats. He had a big platoon split, giving up a .722 OPS to right-handed hitters and only .537 to left-handed hitters. He had a high ratio of groundball to flyball outs and may have been hurt by Bristol’s defense, which was by far the league’s worst.
Robles made 21 starts for West Virginia and pitched well without dominating. He didn’t miss many bats, but didn’t walk many. He was victimized quite a bit by the Power’s infield defense, which was especially bad early in the season. As a result, 22 of the 60 runs he allowed were unearned. The Pirates promoted Robles to Bradenton for five starts at the end of the season. His first start was a disaster, with nine earned runs in three and a third innings. In the next four, though, he gave up just six earned runs in 25 innings. On the season he had no platoon split.
Robles started off in the Bradenton rotation, pitching very well through ten games. His K rate remained low, but he held opponents to a .203 average and walked very few. The Pirates moved him up to Altoona and he took a while to get adjusted, posting a 5.14 ERA through the end of July. He pitched a lot better in August, with a 2.31 ERA in six starts that included a nine-inning shutout. In fact, he had three complete games and two shutouts while in AA, the other two complete games being seven innings each. At Altoona, opponents batted .279 against Robles and he allowed 13 home runs. He had only a small platoon split.
Like most finesse lefties, Robles will have to show that his stuff will play well enough at each new level. He’ll be eligible for Rule 5 for the second time. He won’t turn 22 until a month into the 2020 season.
|2020: Minor League Contract|
|Signing Bonus: $175,000
MiLB Debut: 2015
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2021
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: 2018
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|July 2, 2014: Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as an international free agent.