Sean Roby, Third Baseman
BATS: R / THROWS: R
ACQUIRED: Drafted 2018, 12th Round
LAST LEVEL: High-A
GiantFutures 2022 Ranks: #3 Third Baseman
Performance: One of the players who lost a lot of momentum thanks to the lost 2020 season was Sean Roby. Roby was making noise in spring training in March of the year with his power and his hustle, but then the year disappeared into a pandemic. Coming out in 2021 for what would’ve been his first full season, it ended up a mixed bag.
Roby has always had power hidden in his profile, but in 2021 it came out in the games he played. Roby’s 19 home runs were tied for the Emeralds team lead with Tyler Fitzgerald and was tied for second overall in High-A West League. However, that was paired with some strikeout issues, with 132 in 373 at-bats, and a batting average of just .241. He’d last hit .288 in 2019, which included a .338 average in 37 games at Short-A, but just a .187 average in 19 games at Low-A Augusta.
His season ended up buoyed by a streak in the final six weeks of the year, after he’d hit under .200 for both June and July (with just six home runs), he hit .320 with 10 home runs in August and the final two weeks of the season in September.
Defensively, Roby split time, primarily at third base (54 games), but also spent a significant amount of time at first base (32 games). While he doesn’t have ideal range, he hand soft hands and generally handled the balls he got with, with just four errors at third and one at first.
Strengths and Weaknesses: Power, power, power. Roby won the 2019 home run derby between the Northwest and Pioneer leagues, and reportedly hit a 500+ foot home run in the 2020 instructional league, but he’d only hit five home runs in each of his first two half-seasons. 2021 was a success for him being able to unlock that power in games. As one would expect, the power comes with a strikeout tradeoff, as he struck out once every 2.8 at-bats. The key will be for Roby to balance his power with his contact hitting.
Defensively, Roby is an average third baseman. He doesn’t have great range at third, but he has soft hands and a decent arm. He handles first base well as well as well.
2022 Outlook: Roby’s next stop is Double-A in the “Eastern League” currently known as Double-A Northeast, which has buried the hopes of many a Single-A power hitter. He’ll need to prove exactly whether he was the hitter that went on a run late in the year, or the one that struggled over the summer.
Future Profile: Roby’s got the pull-hitting power that could fit the profile of the kind of third baseman many teams want. But the power will have to be Roby’s carrying tool, and he needs to balance out his batting average to be able to get there. He more likely projects as a corner infielder swingman and power bat off the bench.