|March 4th, 2018
Selected by the Twins in the 29th round as a draft-eligible sophomore last year, Roberts didn’t sign, returning instead to the Demon Deacons where he’s making the move from closer to Friday starter. The transition started with a successful stint in the rotation at the Cape Cod League. Suiting up for Wareham, Roberts pitched to a 1.97 ERA with 35 strikeouts in 32 innings. Perhaps the most encouraging data point is that Roberts took his BB/9 rate from 5.40 in the spring all the way down to 1.69 during the summer. Roberts was suburb on Friday against UMass Lowell, striking out 11 over eight innings while giving up just one run on two hits. During the start, 69 of Roberts’ 107 pitches (64.5%) went for strikes.
At 6’3” and 215 pounds, Roberts has a strong and athletic frame that offers little future projection. There’s some effort in Roberts’ up-tempo delivery, and he falls off the mound to the first base side. At times, this motion causes a lack of finish on his pitches, leading to below average command. While he worked in the 94-to-96 mph range as a reliever, Roberts has dialed his fastball back to the low-90s with sinking action as a starter. Roberts’ best pitch is a biting swing-and-miss slider, with two-plane break, that he’s able to locate better than his fastball. Roberts also has a seldomly used changeup that flashes average with arm-side fade.
Though Roberts is more than holding his own as a starter early this season, his future role likely remains in a bullpen, where his fastball/slider combination would play well in high leverage situations.