Shortstop Kramer Robertson wasn’t always the man, but now not only is he a fourth round draft pick, but the LSU Tigers are riding him through Omaha.
Kramer Robertson looks to be a pretty decent pick for the Cardinals in the 2017 draft. But his journey to become the starting short stop for the LSU Tigers hasn’t always been easy. Let’s see how he finally got there, and what being in Omaha really means to him.
Just last night, the LSU Tigers knocked off the Oregon St. Beavers en route to their 7th College World Series Finals appearance. OSU was coming off a historically great 54-4 regular season record. After cruising through the first two games of the CWS, which included a 13-1 victory against LSU, the Tigers were able to win two straight, thanks to great pitching and stellar defense, on their way to a chance at the title.
Robertson, with his newly dyed “playoff” blonde hair, went 3-3 in the Saturday’s clinching game. On the season, the short stop from from McGregor, Texas hit .314 with 8 home runs, 43 RBI, and an OPS over .900. This followed a 2016 season in which Robertson batted .324, and was named to the All-American Second Team, and was awarded First Team All SEC honors. Kramer, then finishing his Junior year season, was drafted by Cleveland in the 32nd round, but opted to return to Baton Rouge for his Senior Year.
Athletically, Robertson stands at 5’ 10”, 170. He is described as “athletic and competitive,” coming from a family of successful athletes. Kramer has quickly developed over the past to years from a struggling athlete who, he himself admitted, felt “out of place” at such a storied program as LSU, to now one of the better shortstops in college baseball. Despite maybe not having all of the quintessential tools of a Major League baseball player, Robertson is a gritty player, that has always had to climb upwards to reach success.
The desire for excellence
In 2015, Robertson’s Sophomore season, head coach Paul Manieri, with LSU having punched another ticket to Omaha, made the decision to leave the developing shortstop off of the College World Series roster. Robertson had hit just .232 in 2015, and was injured in the six weeks leading up to the World Series.
This move created doubt in Robertson’s mind. Even he, the confident son of Baylor Lady Bears head coach Kim Mulkey, couldn’t help but wonder if he was good enough. But it seemed that there was never such doubt in Coach Manieri’s mind, making it clear in an interview with NCAA that his end goal was to challenge Robertson, and bring out the true ability he knew was there.
Two years later, Robertson is back in Omaha at last, and now as the starting shortstop, and Senior leader of the ball club. In his immediate family, Kramer is the only one to not have won a national title. His mother has two as with Baylor. In the 2012 title, Kramer’s sister, Makenzie Marie, was a back-up guard in her then Sophomore season. Robertson’s father, Randy, even has an NCAA Football championship with Louisiana Tech on his resume.
In 2015, when Kramer was left of the Omaha roster, it seemed to him like he would forever be the lone soul without an NCAA title. His chance had passed. But now, in 2017, not only has he made it to the College Baseball World Series, but he is two wins away from raising a championship trophy of his own.
As for Robertson’s future, things are definitively unclear. But, of course, when dealing with baseball, that speaks for 99% of the players coming out of the draft. However, as I mentioned Robertson is not necessarily a can’t miss prospect with all the tools, despite his impressive last two years. As well, the Cardinals seem to have a middle infield that, if all goes according to plan, could be in place for quite some time.
However, if one thing is clear about Kramer Robertson, it’s that he’s not afraid to put himself out there, and leave everything he has out on the field. Which gives him a chance, whether, in the end, it’s with the Cardinals, or some other ball club. It’ll be interesting to see how things pan out for this kid, but I wish him nothing but the best.