Robinson Lacks Path To Big Leagues

SURPRISE, Ariz. Clint Robinson won the Double-A Texas League triple crown last year, but his road to Kansas City appears blocked.

Robinson, 26, is a first baseman/designated. The Royals have Billy Butler, 22, and Kila Ka'aihue, 27, at first base and DH. First baseman Eric Hosmer, 21, who is rated as the Royals' top prospect, should be in the majors next year if not before the end of this season.

"That's something I can't really worry about," Robinson said. "They pay me to come out here and just play the game. They tell me where to play and I just go out there and play to the best of my ability. I can't really control who is in front of me and who is behind me. I can just control what I can do."

Robinson did more than plug away last year, hitting .335/.410/.625 with 29 home runs and 98 RBIs.

"It was definitely something that was unexpected," Robinson said of his feat. "To win a triple crown is something I will definitely tell family and friends in the future about. It's something I'll always hold dear to me."

Robinson knows if the Royals had not promoted third baseman Mike Moustakas from the Naturals to Omaha in midseason he would have had little chance at the triple crown. Moustakas hit .347 with 21 homers and 76 RBIs in 66 games with the Naturals.

"I'm sure his numbers would have dwarfed mine, Robinson said. "He got his promotion to Triple-A, which anybody will tell you a triple crown in Double-A is still not the same as getting promoted to Triple-A."

Robinson was a 25th-round pick in 2007 out of Troy.

"As long as you produce and help the team to win, I don't think the round really matters that much," Robinson said. "As long as you show the front office you can contribute to helping them win, round and money go out the door."

Robinson played just three games in the Puerto Rican League over the winter before he was shut down with a partial ligament tear in his right elbow. Surgery was not necessary.


• The Royals signed Igor Felix, a 17-year-old with a 95 mph fastball, from the Dominican Prospect League for $225,000.

• Moustakas and Hosmer each homered in the Royals' second exhibition game against the Rangers.