It is no secret that the Ole Miss Rebels lost a lot of offense from last year. Seven of the top 10 hitters from last year either graduated or left early for the draft, including six starters. Luckily for Mike Bianco, the three returning players are a good trio to have. He has senior leader and cleanup hitter Sikes Orvis back after a career year, sophomore J.B. Woodman, an anchor in the outfield that should only improve on his outstanding freshman campaign, and electrifying shortstop and the No. 6 player on our countdown, Errol Robinson.
Robinson was a much-heralded prospect coming out of Boyds, Maryland. Despite hitting .405 his senior year, his calling card was as a defender. The righty shortstop had an unheard of .990 field percentage his senior year and a .987 mark for his high school career, numbers that are other-worldly for the position. That defensive prowess is what led Bianco to name Robinson the starter at shortstop as a true freshman, the first since Zack Cozart in 2006.
It took him some time to adjust to the college level as his fielding percentage dipped to .934 on the season, but the potential was always there. He flashed a wide range and got to a lot of balls many shortstops couldn’t dream of reaching. There is without a doubt going to be an improvement on his numbers in the field, and expect his “wow” plays to increase as well.
While the focus is on his defense, Robinson is no slouch at the plate either. The Freshman All-SEC member hit .294 last year with 63 hits, including seven doubles. Not only could he deliver a lot of base hits, he did a lot of the little, fundamental things well, too. Many singles hitters ground into a lot of double plays, but he only hit into four on the year, very low for someone with his game. Robinson was also fourth on the team with 24 walks, led everyone with 13 sacrifices and added five stolen bases.
It’s tough to find a good all-around shortstop that does all the fundamentals correctly, but Ole Miss has found one in Robinson. If he makes the jump the Rebels expect him to make then he could very well wind up All-SEC as a sophomore.
Recapping the list thus far:
18. Kyle Watson, INF
16. Wyatt Short, LHP
14. Connor Cloyd, OF
13. Holt Perdzock, C
6. Errol Robinson, SS
Michael Quirk is a HottyToddy.com staff reporter and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.