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#MLBPlayers411 | Robbie Ray

   06-13-2017

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Robbie Ray, today's #MLBPlayers411 subject, has earned his place in the D-Backs' rotation the hard way.

The 25-year-old left-hander worked his way up through the minor leagues as a 12th round draft pick and appears to be making it in a big way in his third year with his third organization. He's been one of the NL's top starters so far this season and seems targeted for his first trip to the All-Star Game.  Robbie has a 2.62 ERA, .184 opposing batting average and leads NL pitchers with a 3.2 WAR -- numbers that are making the baseball world take notice.

Robbie, now 7-3, has been especially hot in June, allowing just one run on six hits in his two starts. He shut down the Brewers in his most recent start (June 11), striking out 12 over 6.2 innings.

 “I'm just watching in amazement at what he can do,” D-Backs manager Torey Luvollo said following the 11-1 win over Milwaukee. “He's basically said, ‘Boys, get on my back and let's go to work.'”

“I'm just going out there and trying to put up zeroes,” said Robbie, whose repertoire consists mainly of a fastball that reaches the upper 90s and a hard slider. “I'm not really worried about the strikeouts, knowing that they're going to come. But it's great, to keep guys off the bases is huge.”

Yet the strikeouts are coming; his 107 total is fourth-best in the majors.

Born and raised in Brentwood, Tenn., Robbie was drafted by the Washington Nationals right out of high school in 2010. He rose as far as Double-A in the Nationals farm system before he was traded to the Detroit Tigers following the 2013 season.

Robbie began the 2014 season with Triple-A Toledo, but an injury to starter Aníbal Sánchez paved the way for his first-career win in his major league debut on May 6, allowing just one run on five hits while striking out five over 5.1 innings in the 11-4 victory over Houston. Robbie split time between Detroit and Toledo that season.

Robbie was on the move for the second consecutive year, as a three-team trade in December 2014 brought him to Arizona. This is the trade that sent shortstop Didi Gregorius from the Dbacks to the New York Yankees.  

Robbie had an up-and-down first two seasons with the Diamondbacks, going 5-12 with a 3.52 ERA in 23 starts in 2015 and going 8-15 with a 4.90 ERA over 32 starts last year.

“He's starting to come into his own a little bit; he's starting to figure it out,” fellow Diamondbacks pitcher Archie Bradley told the Arizona Republic. “But the signs have been there. I think we all can say that.

“It's a testament to him and the guys he's worked with. You look at this string of starts he's on, I know that for us, I know when Robbie walks into the clubhouse it's like, hey, we've got a chance to win today. We're going to do something good today.”

Check out some photos of Robbie here.

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