George County held its baseball tryouts Wednesday evening. To the surprise of no one, the hulking Walker Robbins was a shoo-in.
Hours before, the senior Rebel, surrounded by family and teammates, signed his national letter of intent to play baseball at Mississippi State.
A dual-threat on the diamond, Robbins isn't sure exactly how he fits into the Bulldogs' plans, but he's excited to find out.
"It's a great feeling to have that one college you know you're going to play at," Robbins said. "At first I was unsure, but once I (visited) to Mississippi State it just felt like home. It's a great environment up there and I had a great bond with them.
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"State stood out more than any other school that was talking with."
The 6-foot-3, 215-pound southpaw added he'll likely play first base and pitch for MSU as a freshman and then go from there.
Robbins, the third of three boys in his family to stand out on the diamond, said he drew interest from Ole Miss, LSU and Florida before pulling the trigger on MSU prior to his junior season.
Mason Robbins recently graduated from Southern Miss and is currently playing in the minors. Logan Robbins is on the mend from having Tommy John surgery at Jones County Junior College and expects to play this spring.
Walker said being around his two older brothers helped his development immensely.
"When I was little, seeing Mason go through all of it and how crazy it was, it helped me out a lot to be around it," the youngest brother said. "I learned what to say and what not to say to certain people and how to handle yourself on and off the field.
"They were both really good role models and showed me how to stay humble."
In leading GCHS to the Class 5A state championship series as a junior, Robbins raked at the plate. The Sun Herald All-South Mississippi performer hit .348 with four homers and 28 RBIs, good enough for a .440 on-base percentage and a .608 slugging percentage. On the mound he was just as dominant. With a fastball that works around 88 to 92 miles-per-hour and peaked at 93 this summer, the left-hander posted an 8-2 record with a 1.47 ERA, striking out 82 against 22 walks in 57 innings.
Robbins has a 10 grade from Perfect Game USA, meaning he's a potential very high draft pick and an elite college prospect. The scouting service also ranks Robbins as the top prep Mississippian in the 2016 draft and 21st overall nationally. PG only rates two first basemen higher than Robbins in the country.
"Strong well proportioned athletic build. 6.80 (second) runner, very athletic and smooth around the first base bag, quick feet with soft hands, can make accurate throws on the run, stood out on defense," reads his Perfect Game scouting report. "Plenty of speed and athleticism to play the outfield as well. Left handed hitter, open stance with a nice shift into contact, quick and short swing with some separation and extension out front, smooth and fluid swing, ball comes off the barrel hard, very sound swing mechanics. Two-way prospect on the mound, high 3/4's arm slot with lots of downhill plane, bit cross body on release, fastball to 91 mph, gets good tailing action and is thrown for strikes.
"Big and tight curveball spin with big 11/7 shape at times, really bites hard at times, nice feel for a firm change up. Potential is pretty equal on both sides of the ball."
Ranking as high as he does, Robbins is a virtual lock to be a high selection in the 2016 MLB draft. Even so, Robbins said he's only focusing on making another run with the Rebels -- can't say that after graduation -- this spring.
"It's always in the back of my mind but I guess that's really going be determined by how I do this year," he said. "If I show out this year it may help bump me up in the rankings.
"That's still a pretty good ways away."
Robbins is the second Coast standout in as many seasons to sign with Mississippi State. East Central's Konnor Pilkington inked with the Bulldogs a year ago.