SURPRISE, Ariz. -- There are three Robinsons in Royals camp -- Robinson Tejeda, Clint Robinson and Derrick Robinson -- but only one is a Triple Crown winner. That's Clint, a big first baseman who topped the Texas League in the three essential categories with 29 home runs, 98 RBIs and a .335 average for Northwest Arkansas.
"It was kind of surprising," Robinson said. "We had Mike Moustakas with us for about 70 games, and his numbers would have been way past anything any of us would've done. So for me to just kind of keep pace and take up the slack when he left, that helped us get to the playoffs."
When Moustakas was promoted to Triple-A, Eric Hosmer was brought into Northwest Arkanas. The Naturals won the Texas League title and hit up a storm.
"Having Hosmer hitting in front of me helped me; we all kind of protected each other. The opposing pitchers had nowhere to go, because there was no break in that lineup," Robinson said. "So you just kind of beat up on 'em and beat up on 'em. So I'm sure that helped with as high as my numbers were."
Robinson batted fourth in the lineup all season.
"You get to hit behind two or three of the best prospects in baseball, and it's fun to watch," he said. "Even though these guys are three or four years younger than I am, I'm still learning as a player and developing my game. And to watch them succeed and to pick from their brains what they're doing, it definitely helps you out as a hitter. You're watching Hosmer and Moustakas tear these guys apart and you start to pick up on things. Look what he did -- maybe that'll work."
Robinson is competing at first with a strong cast of Billy Butler, Kila Ka'aihue and Hosmer.
"You've got two proven big leaguers and one of the top five prospects in baseball," he said. "It can't do anything but help me, whether I go to Omaha or go to the big leagues. At least I get to be out here and share the experience with them, learn and keep progressing, then go into the season and try to have the kind of year I had last year."
Robinson, 26, has banged 74 homers in his four Minor League seasons with 285 RBIs and a .307 average.
"He's a kid that's got some real interesting qualities about his game," manager Ned Yost said. "He can really hit and he can hit with power. We're a little log-jammed, and we'll just have to find him a position where we can utilize that offensive production at the big league level."
Robinson came into Spring Training early as he recovers from an elbow injury that popped up in his brief winter ball fling in Puerto Rico. At least he escaped a possible foot injury as a result of the Triple Crown.
"They gave me a big three-star trophy that weighed about 40 pounds -- and they didn't warn me -- and I almost dropped it on myself," he said.
Francis prospering at Royals camp
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Left-hander Jeff Francis, who came back with Colorado last year after missing 2009 because of shoulder surgery, is prospering in his first Kansas City camp.
"I was impressed with him from the minute he got here," manager Ned Yost said. "He's throwing the ball very well, commanding his pitches very well, keeping the ball down. It looks like he has a real effective changeup. We haven't been able to see him in action in terms of him being a teammate of ours, but we've seen it on the other side. We know he's a great competitor."
Francis was also happy after his first round of pitching batting practice.
"I liked the way I looked, too," Francis said. "I felt like I executed pretty well. It was the first time out. If I was terrible, I wouldn't be too worked up. If I was pretty good, I'm not getting too excited about it either. There's still a long way to go."
Former Braves coaches now with Royals
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Two long-time members of Bobby Cox's coaching staff in Atlanta are in their first Royals camp as staff members. Chino Cadahia, the Braves' bench coach for the last four years, is with the Royals as a special assistant in player development. Glenn Hubbard, the Braves' first-base coach for 12 years, is the Royals' Minor League infield instructor.
Cadahia, who was in the Atlanta organization for 15 years, worked with Royals general manager Dayton Moore and his assistant GM, J.J. Picollo, when they were in the Braves' front office.
He and Hubbard were let go by the Braves when Cox retired after last season.
Cadahia treasured his time with the legendary Cox.
"It was great," Cadahia said. "I was telling Dayton the other day that experience was second to none, to be close to somebody like that. He helped me tremendously. It was a pleasure to see him work and be a part of it."
Cadahia has come full cycle. In 1980, he was drafted by the Royals as a catcher and played in their system for five years.
Hubbard, an ex-Braves second baseman, was a coach for Cox when Royals manager Ned Yost also was on the staff. Yost told a story about Hubbard's dedication.
"Nobody in our organization thought Marcus Giles would get out of A-ball until they got to Hubby," Yost said. "And Hubby said, 'This kid's going to be a big-leaguer.' And we're all, 'That's a joke, this kid can't play.' Hubby helped that kid every single day on all phases of his game and, by himself, made that kid an All-Star."
Giles played seven years in the Majors and was an All-Star in 2003.
Manager Ned Yost was exceptionally happy about the way the pitchers performed in Thursday's workout. "Actually, it was a really, really good day," Yost said. "You could see our pitchers sharpen up, both in the 'pen and in BP. Command was really, really good. Pitch action was very, very good, so it was a good day in terms of that." ... The Royals will play two intrasquad games, Feb. 24 and 25, to get ready for the Cactus League season. "Most every pitcher will throw one inning," Yost said. The first Cactus game will be on Sunday, Feb. 27, against the Texas Rangers at Surprise Stadium. ... Friday is the official reporting day for infielders and outfielders, but almost all of them have already checked in. Third baseman Pedro Feliz arrived on Thursday. The first full-squad workout will be Saturday, but it won't begin until about 2 p.m. CT to allow ample time for physical examinations and a team meeting.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.