Former star returns to Hillsboro Hops after 3 years away from game

Kristian Robinson is in his second stint with the Hops. The speedy, sweet-stroking 22-year-old outfielder last had a blast with Hillsboro in 2019.
Published: Jul. 23, 2023 at 6:47 PM PDT
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HILLSBORO Ore. (KPTV) - The Hillsboro Hops have three homestands left during this Northwest League Regular Season and one of their new players who joined last week is soaking up every opportunity on his road to the Big Leagues.

Kristian Robinson was once a promising teenage star from the Bahamas and is now working his way back with the Diamondbacks’ A-Affiliate after three years away from the game, while carrying a mistake along his journey to the Majors.

“Realistically, I just want to pick up where I left off,” Robinson says.

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K-Rob is in his second stint with the Hops. The speedy, sweet-stroking 22-year-old outfielder last had a blast with Hillsboro in 2019.

“Just the aspect of competing, I appreciate it,” he says. “I crave it.”

Robinson was once thought by many as the most riveting prospect in all of the Arizona Diamondbacks’ farm system.

“Back then, I feel like it was so goal-oriented,” Robinson says. “I’m not saying that I’m not in that same place now, but I try to appreciate the game itself every night. I am trying to win a game for the Hops.”

Legal and Visa issues kept the married father of a young son out of Minor League Baseball the past three seasons.

“As best as anyone knows, I myself have come to find out that time is all we have, right? So, when you miss that precious time ln the field, you have more of an appreciation for being out there.”

Robinson pled guilty to an assault charge on a public safety officer during on-going mental health struggles in the early stages of the pandemic in April of 2020. He was found walking along traffic on Interstate 10 and was sentenced to counseling, community service and 18 months’ probation for a misdemeanor in the state of Arizona.

“I just try to control what I can control,” Robinson says. “Just making sure I am healthy mentally, making sure I am healthy physically, and I think over time, that confidence I will need or that I hope to have will be there when it needs to be.”

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A $2.5 million signing bonus in 2017 meant the Diamondbacks believed in Robinson back then and they still do - putting him on their 40-man roster to avoid losing his potential in the Rule 5 draft.

“I just hope I can show my appreciation by showing up every day, showing that I care enough about what I am doing and sort of giving them what they expected when they saw me back in the Bahamas.”

Robinson’s joy for the game has perhaps never meant more and his smile has never beamed brighter.

“I want us all to feel that good feeling inside, that feeling of joy that baseball can bring. I have people around me. I have a support system, I have family. I have people who don’t - and this sounds cliché – but [they] don’t care about what I am doing performance-wise. They just want to know that I am ok and that I can still smile, you know?”