Robbie Erlin #92 – 2013 Top 100
San Diego Padres
Date of Birth: October 8th, 1990 (Age 22)
Origin: 3rd Round Pick(#93 overall) in 2009 out of Scotts Valley HS (CA)
JD Sussman: I believe I’m on the record saying that I would support Erlin’s cause after he dominated Double-A, but I’m going to cop out a little. That isn’t to say I do not support Erlin, because I do. It’s just that he’s a player who has a high probability of becoming back to mid rotation Major League starter, nothing more. That’s still a valuable asset, and I’d love to have Erlin on my team, but he won’t dominate the Major Leagues has he has the minors.
Let’s be fair, though: Erlin’s career minor league statistics are staggering. After facing over 1300 batters, Erlin has posted a 7.36 K/BB rate and 2.64 ERA, it’s hard to ask for more from him. But, Erlin’s statistical profile is greater than the sum of his tools. Erlin utilizes a high three quarter delivery throw high 80s fastballs with superb control, a changeup moderate arm side fade, and a curveball that he can shape and throw for strikes. Due to his fly ball tendency, PETCO is the perfect home for Erlin as it should obfuscate his true talent level to the casual observer.
Michael Schwartze: There is nothing flashy about Erlin’s game and, as JD talked about above, he is solid across the board. That makes him in to what should be a valuable asset to the Padres. He has a smooth and simple delivery that he repeats well and this really helps him command all of his pitches very well. I am a fan of his changeup and love the big velocity difference it has compared to his fastball. It has more than 10 MPH of separation from his fastball and is has good drop and fade. I prefer it to his curve, and think it could become a plus pitch. Erlin isn’t going to blow pitches by batters and dominate them but he should develop into a solid back of the rotation arm.
Stephen Kuperman: Despite losing a good chunk of 2012 to injury, I’m still pretty solid on Robbie Erlin. The lost time didn’t quite affect Erlin as adversely as it would many other arms simply because he is already so far along in his development. You know what you’re going to get from this kid – deception, strong command and passable velocity out of the fastball, strikes out of the curveball, and promising flashes of a premium change.
His approach is aggressive but well-composed, so while he’ll get hit hard at times, he rarely hemorrhages runs and keeps his team in the game even on his not-so-good days. While he is polished, I would still expect some growing pains out of him in the major leagues as he learns what he can and cannot do against that level of competition, and works to improve his changeup. I would be wary of overly subjective prognostications along the lines of “stuff of a mid-rotation starter with the makeup to pitch beyond that”.
His ceiling, like that of most any other pitcher, is going to be defined by the quality and consistency of his repertoire, and it’s a good repertoire with the potential to be an excellent one. He’s got enough as is to be a respectable major league starter, and let us wait on the rest.
Fantasy Outlook by JD Sussman:
Erlin should be owned in all deep formats and especially in NL-Only leagues. In mixed leagues it would be wise to consider him a streamer option when he’s pitching at PETCO. On the road his homerun rate could be scary, but that shouldn’t be a concern at home below sea level.