A's Robertson Eager To Go
OAKLAND—The only thing Daniel Robertson ever disliked about practices were that they were too darn short. He kept asking his coach, his dad or whoever stuck around to hit a few more ground balls or throw a little more BP.
Now Robertson will have a chance to test his resolve in the hot Arizona sun. And he has no doubt he will keep up the rigorous regimen.
"It's what I want to do," he said, then paused. "It's what I was born to do."
Robertston, 18, was a supplemental first-round pick in June's draft, and he signed quickly despite rumors he would be a tough sign with a UCLA commitment as his alternative. His stock had been on the rise leading up to the draft, when the A's pegged him with the 34th pick.
"I heard talk where I could be a surprise sandwich or early second-round pick," he said. "After (the A's) took me, I heard a couple of teams after them were a little mad. They planned to get me."
Robertson hit .560 with six homers and 36 RBIs for Upland (Calif.) High this spring. He played third base his first three years in high school, then moved to shortstop as a senior.
"I feel like I project out as a third baseman," he said. "If I could play short and be a plus hitter and good defender, that will be great. If it doesn't work, I'll move to third."
Scouting director Eric Kubota said the A's will start him at shortstop and see how he progresses before making the decision on moving him to third.
"We think he is a combination of a quality bat and the skills to play the left side of the diamond, whether at shortstop or third base," Kubota said.
The early comparisons are to Red Sox rookie Will Middlebrooks, and the question is whether the 6-foot, 190-pound Robertson will develop into a home-run hitter.
"There are glimpses of it," Robertson said. "I'm more of a line-drive, high-average guy. On-base percentage and drive in a lot of runs."
• Oakland signed lefthander Beau Jones, who had been released by the Marlins, and sent him to Double-A Midland. He was a Braves sandwich-round pick in 2005 then was part of the trade to the Rangers in 2007 for Mark Teixeira.
• High Class A Stockton outfielder Josh Whitaker hit seven home runs in an 11-game span in early July. A 25th-round pick out of Kennesaw State in 2010, he was hitting .283/.343/.508 with 17 homers in 311 at-bats.