WATCH: Joe Robbins Entering Final Season With Ragin’ Cajuns
Joe Robbins was one of the best stories of the 2016 Ragin' Cajuns Baseball season, but he's trying to finish off his career with an even better final chapter.
It's been a long journey for Robbins. After having to sit out the 2014 season with an injury, Robbins played in 57 games in 2015, and he really put things together last year. Robbins started in 61 games and was really the heartbeat of the infield, leading the team in home runs and making incredible plays at third base.
This is Robbins final season with Louisiana, and he's trying to make the most of it. As one of the elder statesmen on the squad, he's trying to show the younger players how to work.
"I look at myself as one of the leaders, I hope everyone else on the team looks at me the same way," Robbins said humbly. "I just go about my business every single day as hard as I can, during practice, while we're lifting weights, and I try to set an example for the younger guys."
Spending five years with Head Coach Tony Robichaux will teach anybody a lot about the game of baseball, and Robbins is still trying to learn and improve every day.
Last season was Robbins' best season as a member of the Cajuns, but he wants to build off his success and go a step farther.
His main mission this season was to tighten his mental approach. He's an emotional player, but he's trying to handle his passion for the game better this year.
"My attitude was one of the big things I worked on," Robbins admitted. "Sometimes, I get a negative attitude, maybe a bad at bat or I make an error in the field, so it was more or less not bringing down the team's morale with my own bad attitude."
Baseball is such a mental game. Robbins is trying to keep things more even keel as a senior, to set a better example for the younger players on the team.
Robbins is impressed with the young talent on the team, and he thinks Cajun fans will be pleasantly surprised with some of the new additions. He said Handsome Monica, Todd Lott and others are going to help the team, big time.
Last season, Robbins spent time at centerfield, shortstop and third base. This year, he thinks there's a chance he could stay stationary at the hot corner.
"We have a few new outfielders that came in that are really stepping up, really hitting the ball well, so I see them playing center field over me, and hopefully I get to say at third base," Robbins said.
He is one of the best defensive third basemen in the entire Sun Belt Conference, so Tony Robichaux probably hopes he can keep Robbins at third base too.
As one of the leaders on the team, Robbins has his finger on the pulse of the team. A lot of people think the pitching staff will be the strength of the team this year, and Robbins is certainly enjoying their presence at practice.
"It's definitely fun to face, especially during intersquads," Robbins said with a grin. "It's a lot of relief on a lot of our arms. We have a lot of people that can go in and fill roles that we weren't able to fill last year, so I think that's great for our pitching staff, and for our hitters, we get to see good arms every day."
Facing pitchers like Gunner Leger, Nick Lee and Dylan Moore will test even the best hitters, and Robbins is just happy he gets to sharpen his bat's blade against rock solid arms.
Robbins wants to make it all the way to Omaha in his final year on campus. Can this team do what only one Cajun squad has done before?