Friday, July 29, 2016

Getting to Know Astros/ValleyCats Catcher Chuckie Robinson

Speaking with Tri-City ValleyCats Catcher Chuckie Robinson last week was a simply delightful experience. Even after the "official" interview, we stopped to talk for a while about time spent in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, something that we had in common. He exudes genuineness and has an infectious smile that should serve to make him a fan favorite wherever he goes. Oh, and he's also a pretty danged good ballplayer.

Chuckie Robinson - July 2016
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Tri-City ValleyCats Pitching Coach Drew French said of Robinson, "Chuckie's a really, really good blocker and he's got a really, really good arm." And Manager Lamarr Rogers agreed with that assessment, "He's got an absolute gun. He's got a cannon for an arm."

Robinson, who was drafted by the Astros in the 21st round in 2016 out of the University of Mississippi, might not be as polished a receiver as Jake Rogers, his 'Cats teammate who was drafted in the third round, but he has been making good strides in that area. Lamarr Rogers said, "Game by game he's getting better with his receiving. That's the area of improvement that he needs to work on. He does a great job blocking. He's improving (in) working with the pitching staff on calling a game. A lot of things that he needs to improve on (are) going to come with maturity and continuing to play."

Rogers continued, "He has a very durable frame. He's a big kid, durable body. So I think he's very projectable from a standpoint of someone you could see going on and having a very bright future in this game. He's just got to put it all together, but he's a sharp, smart kid, works hard, hustles everywhere. For me he's been a positive figure in the clubhouse."

Robinson's bat has also opened some eyes. Through his first 17 games, he is hitting .355/.394/.516 with seven doubles and a home run. "I think Chuckie Robinson, from an offensive standpoint, has probably been our biggest surprise. He's a great personality so I couldn't be happier for him," said Rogers.

Thank you for your time, Chuckie, and best of luck as the season continues.

Other recent interviews:
Hector Perez and Randy Cesar
Carmen Benedetti
Jake Rogers
Ryan Hartman

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