{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

{"event":["draft_central" ,"prospect" ] }

Twins Minor Leaguer Roberts on the comeback trail

Outfielder dominated Arizona Fall League in 2012, back producing after surgery

|
Twins Minor Leaguer Roberts on the comeback trail

Nate Roberts is on the comeback trail.

Roberts, who notched the second-highest batting average in Arizona Fall League history in 2012, has endured two right knee surgeries and a year-and-a-half on the sidelines, but now he's healthy again and batting .538 through his first four games for Class A Fort Myers in Minnesota's farm system.

Roberts, a 25-year-old outfielder, went 4-for-5 with three doubles and two RBIs in his third game of the season on Monday and 3-for-4 with a double and two more RBIs in his fourth on Wednesday. He finally feels like the player who batted .446 for the Peoria Javelinas during the 2012 AFL campaign. And that's a bit of sweet redemption for Roberts, who has endured a lot of pain to get back on track.

"It's been so long since I've been able to play in a real game and actually feel good with my body," Roberts told MILB.com after the latest four-hit game of his Minor League career. "It's been fun playing baseball again, and to have a game like that, it makes it even more fun."

Roberts, a fifth-round selection in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, is a career .309 hitter in the Minor Leagues, and the 2012 season was shaping up to be his calling card. Roberts batted .299 with 25 extra-base hits for Class A Beloit in 2012 before heading to his star turn in the AFL.

But that's where his career took a detour. Months after winning the AFL batting title, Roberts injured his knee in a preseason workout, and he re-injured his knee in his first competitive game of the season. Roberts played just one game all year last year before undergoing season-ending surgery.

From there, Roberts underwent 13 months of recovery and rehabilitation, and he tested the durability of his knee with 30 games in extended Spring Training. Roberts stepped back into the lineup for Fort Myers on June 19, and he's hoping to firmly put all his injury troubles behind him for good.

"It took me a while since I hadn't played," Roberts told MILB.com of regaining his confidence in his ability. "I hadn't even run in eight or nine months before I started running a little in February. It took me a while to actually get to playing, get the muscles used to running."

Roberts has never played above Class A, but he's experienced success at every level of the low Minors. He started out his career by batting .336 at rookie-level Elizabethton, and the next season, he batted .302 for Class A Beloit. Now, if he keeps hitting, he's hoping to climb the organizational ladder.

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"event":["draft_central" ,"prospect" ] }
{"event":["draft_central" ,"prospect" ] }
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español