Former Billies pitcher set for minor league career
All around the globe, and especially in the Hill Country, playing professional baseball is a goal millions of kids dream about growing up.
Effort, hard work and patience have to go into that goal.
Nobody understands that more than one local southpaw who has spent countless hours trying to reach his dream.
Former Fredericksburg High School baseball player Trey Robledo received a call from Milwaukee Brewers on the third day of the draft for a minor league free agent contract to the organization he said.
“It was a true blessing and part of a dream come true,” Robledo said.
Switch of positions
Even though Robledo went to the Brewers’ farm system as a pitcher, that wasn’t always his primary position.
Robledo played outfield for most of his FHS career and didn’t take the mound until his senior year.
He even earned a spot in an all-area all-star game for both positions.
Current FHS head baseball coach Derrick Dietrich was an assistant coach when Robledo played for the Billies and still has high praise for him.
“Trey is the epitome of what every coach wants on their team,” he said. “He worked as hard, and probably harder, than any kid I have coached in 20-plus years.”
Dietrich referred to Robledo as the definition of “never giving up” and sees him as an example for young ball players.
Long and winding road
Following his high school career, Robledo got the opportunity to play at Schreiner University, just down the road in Kerrville. While there, he found himself unhappy playing for the Mountaineers.
“I sat in the head coach’s office at a fall exit meeting being told that (NCAA) Division III collegiate baseball would be the highest level I’d reach,” he said. “But that was taken as a grain of salt because it wasn’t the first time I had been told that.”
Robledo says that being laughed at and doubted by some at that school only fueled him more to get to his next destination.
“I started going to the gym twice a day, once in the morning and once at night,” he said.
After a while, he decided to make a change in his career.
“I called and old buddy of mine for advice and he helped me find a junior college to go to,” he said.
Robledo eventually ended up at Richland Junior College in Dallas.
During his first season there, he admitted that he struggled with control issues on the mound.
However, Robledo took the guidance and tips he received from his pitching coach at Richland and took it to the heart.
“He told me that everyone around you can believe in you, but it comes down to how much you believe in yourself out there between those white lines, at that very moment on that one single pitch at hand,” he said.
“You have to believe in your process and trust it. I soon began to find that belief and ran with it.”
Heading to Louisiana
After leaving Richland JC, Robledo traveled to play for an Ohio summer league team, playing all over the country.
However, he didn’t find any place there that interested him enough for his next college. He had been receiving calls from multiple different programs, leading him to a conversation with Louisiana State University-Shreveport coach Brent Lavallee, who was an assistant at the time but is now the head coach of the Pilots, a NAIA program baseball in Shreveport, Louisiana.
“We talked for a good hour or so. When I finished speaking with him, I knew in my heart that (LSUS) was the place for me,” he said. “Given their record of success, it was an easy choice to make and I had found my home for the next step.
LSUS’ baseball program has an average of winning around 40 games a year, while consistently making it to the regional round of the NAIA baseball tournament.
They’ve also succeeded in sending multiple players into professional organizations.
“Brent gave me a foundation and allowed me to build,” Robledo said. “We laid down stepping stones as to what it would take to get to the pros and the rest fell upon myself to put the extra work in.”
Coach Lavallee was the one who scouted Robledo and was very pleased to see him succeed.
“It’s wonderful to see that Trey is going to get the chance to pitch professionally,” Lavallee said. “He is very unique on the mound and I think there could be a good chance that he climbs the minor league ladder quickly.”
Coach Lavallee also mentioned that he views Robledo as one of the most consistent student-athletes to go through LSUS.
Starting in the minors
Robledo was sent to Arizona to join the Brewers’ minor league program almost immediately.
He is currently going through physical therapy after an MRI on his elbow and has been shut down for the 2017 season. This is just another adversity added to the list of many that encourage him.
Robledo is ready to come back next season 100 percent and ready to compete.
“To be a professional player, you have to be okay to be up at four or five in the morning to get to the field at six for a 10-hour day,” he said. “You have to be committed to putting in the work effort on the field, in the classroom, in the community and also the well-being of your own body.”
Coming from a small town such as Fredericksburg, Robledo knows what it’s like to be youth going from little league to the big time.
“If you’re aspiring to take a scary step in your life, go for it. Do not settle for what you see as average in your eyes,” he said. “If you want to be a doctor, lawyer, teacher or even a professional athlete, then go do it. It’s only impossible if you believe it to be.”
“You’re going to stress, get upset, or even shed tears at the situation at times. But, never lose faith in God and fight every day for what you believe in. Failures are going to happen, that’s just what makes it so much sweeter when you get to where you’re going.”
Robledo tells himself that the process is nowhere close to being finished and he is just getting started.
“I just want to represent my family and our last name in the right and best way I can,” he said.