Kristian Robinson wants to keep things simple before he starts attacking the more complex aspects of his swing. But the precocious 18-year-old outfielder is already thinking about what he wants to do down the road.
“I think contact is No. 1,” Robinson said midway through spring training. “That’s a basic, fundamental platform. And then from there starting to work on (swing) planes. But I don’t really want to get too much into that because I’m young.
“I’m just trying to hit right now and get as many reps in as I could, so that when I get into games, it’s nothing new and I’m ready to hit any pitch that I see.”
Robinson, who signed out of the Bahamas in 2017 for $2.5 million, might have the highest ceiling of any Diamondbacks prospect. In his 2018 pro debut he hit .279/.363/.428 with seven home runs and 12 stolen bases in 57 games at a pair of Rookie-level stops.
Robinson struck out 26 percent of the time, a couple ticks worse than the average in the Arizona League, where he spent the bulk of last season.
In addition to making more contact, he said he’s also trying to improve his durability for longer pro seasons to come. Robinson found himself wearing down at times in 2018.
Eventually, though, Robinson hopes to tackle more advanced issues. He wants to dig into his hit data, figure out what zones and pitches he struggles most with and find ways to adjust his swing.
He pointed to the swing changes J.D. Martinez had to make mid-career, saying he’s hoping to get those out of the way while he’s still in the minors.
“I don’t want to be at that point where I’m struggling (in the majors) and now I have to try and fix everything,” Robinson said. “I want to see if I can fix it down here . . . so that when I get up there I’m already an elite hitter and now it’s just adjusting to what pitchers are doing.”
Robinson could remain in extended spring training for the first month before reporting to low Class A Kane County.
— Outfielder Marcus Wilson performed well in the back half of games when he was called over to big league camp, impressing D-backs manager Torey Lovullo and others. In a two-day span, Wilson made a diving catch and hit a home run. “When it comes together, it happens fast for some guys,” Lovullo said. “And it looks like he’s on the right path.”
— Righthander Deyni Olivero, who posted a 3.94 ERA at Rookie-level Missoula last year, saw his stuff take a step forward this spring. His fastball ranged from 91-96 mph and sat 94 during a recent spring outing. Olivero is the cousin of D-backs righthander Rubby De La Rosa.