Sem Robberse

From BR Bullpen

Sem Robberse

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 1", Weight 185 lb.

BR Minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

Pitcher Sem Robberse was born and raised in the Netherlands, sharing his birth city of Zeist with Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven (who left the country as a child) but growing up in nearby Woudenberg, Utrecht. He lived next to a baseball field, which sparked his interest in the sport from a young age. The fact that his father had also played the game as a teenager until an unrelated injury ended his dreams of making it a career helped him along and he grew a passion for the sport. He attended a sports academy in addition to his regular high school studies and trained with the Dutch U18 national team, taking long train rides to and from his home in order to join up with other talented baseball players.

He debuted for the Hoofdklasse team HCAW in 2018, going 1-3 with a 1.80 ERA in six games (three starts) to win the Roel de Mon award. In 2019, he moved to Quick Amersfoort, going 6-3 with a 1.83 ERA, .92 WHIP and 62 K to 9 BB in 64 IP. He was 6th in ERA (between Jim Ploeger and Misja Harcksen), 8th in opponent average (.205, between Ploeger and Kevin Heijstek), 10th in K (between Heijstek and Yuto Onodera) and tied for 6th in wins (with Heijstek, Nick Veale and the legendary Rob Cordemans). He was signed to a contract by the Toronto Blue Jays on July 24, 2019, thanks to the Jays having obtained a windfall of international bonus pool money through unrelated trades that they needed to spend quickly on players who had "slipped through the cracks" (the signing of Yosver Zulueta was also a result of that process). In Sem's case, he had been overlooked because his numbers on the radar gun were not outstanding, but Toronto liked his mechanics and scout Andrew Tinnish signed him for a bonus of $125,000. He was immediately assigned to the GCL Blue Jays, going 2-0, 0.87 in 5 games. He then had to wait over a year to take the field again, as the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the 2020 minor league season. In 2021, he split his time between the Dunedin Blue Jays and Vancouver Canadians, going 5-7, 4.36 in 21 games mainly as a starter, and logging 88 2/3 innings. In 2022, he went 4-4, 3.12 in 17 starts for Vancouver before being promoted to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats of the Eastern League where he was 0-3, 3.65 in 5 starts. That gave him an overall record of 4-7, 3.23, with 97 strikeouts in 111 1/3 innings.

He broke into top prospect ranks in 2023 after going 3-5, 4.06 in his first 18 starts for New Hampshire. He was named to the 2023 Futures Game, in part because more high-profile prospects in the Jays' system, including Zulueta, were unavailable due to injuries, and shortly thereafter, on July 30th, he was one of two players acquired by the St. Louis Cardinals from the Blue Jays in return for hard-throwing reliever Jordan Hicks (the other was Adam Kloffenstein). He was immediately promoted to the AAA Memphis Redbirds, where he finished the year by going 2-1, 4.84 in 8 games. He pitched a personal high 124 innings that season, allowing 110 hits and 57 walks, and striking out 130 batters.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Shi Davidi: "Strong Gut Feeling: Overlooked by most MLB teams, Dutch right-hander Sem Robberse caught the Blue Jays’ attention through a rare blend of mechanics and maturity",, 2023. [1]
  • Daniel Guerrero: "How Sem Robberse's upbringing in the Netherlands made a midseason trade an easier transition", St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 1, 2024. [2]

Related Sites[edit]