Top Minor League Hitters in Milwaukee Brewers History: #6 Billy Jo Robidoux, 1985 El Paso
William Joseph Robidoux was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 6th round of the 1982 MLB June Amateur Draft out of Ware (MA) High School. Billy Jo reported to Pikeville in the rookie Appalachian League that summer, slashing .287/.389/.359 in 54 games but showing little power.
The next season at Beloit (Class A Midwest), Robidoux showed more pop, banging out 30 doubles and ten home runs in a .317/.424/.460 season.
In 1984, Robidoux played at Class A California League entry Stockton. There he had a solid season, hitting .279/.387/.384 in 401 plate appearances. It is not known for sure, but seems possible the lefty swinger missed parts of two months due to a knee injury.
That set up his 1985 season at El Paso, where Robidoux had the sixth-best minor league hitting season in Milwaukee Brewers history.
#6 Billy Jo Robidoux, 1985 El Paso (AA)
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Robidoux (pronounced ‘Roe-ba-dough’) had a monster season at El Paso, helped out by the hitter-friendly atmosphere at Dudley Field. The 21-year-old was almost 2 1/2 years younger than league average and earned bonus points for that, but lost several points for playing at one of the top hitting parks in the minor leagues.
Billy Jo played in 133 of 136 games and smacked out league-leading totals in several categories: runs scored (111), hits (176), doubles (46), RBI (132), batting average (.342), and total bases (297). He earned runner-up status with 23 home runs, 97 walks, and a 1.020 OPS.
Not surprisingly, he earned the Texas League Most Valuable Player award. The Diablos had the best overall record (86-50), but lost to the Jackson Mets in the championship series.
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The Brewers called up Robidoux afterwards and he made his major league debut on September 11, 1985, pinch-hitting for Charlie Moore in the 8th inning against the New York Yankees’ Rich Bordi. The result wasn’t so good, as Billy Jo popped up to second baseman Rex Hudler.
Robidoux would go on to play 18 games that season for Milwaukee, hitting .176/.333/.392 in 63 trips to the plate.
The burly (6-1, 200) first baseman began the ’86 campaign with Milwaukee and had a great start, going 21-for-63 in April, hitting .333/.456/.460. He played for two more weeks, starting the first 30 games at first base and then disappeared from the big league roster for the next month.
He split the season between Milwaukee and the minors, playing 56 games for the Brewers (.227/.344/.287) and 37 games with Beloit and El Paso.
Robidoux spent time playing at Milwaukee and in the minors for the next two seasons before getting released by Milwaukee after the 1988 season. He was quickly scooped up by the Chicago White Sox two weeks later. He had a decent season in 1989 at Class AAA Vancouver (.317/.404/.545 in 73 games) but played in only 16 contests for the White Sox, once again earning his release.
The Boston Red Sox picked him up after the ’89 season and although he split his time between AAA Pawtucket and Boston, he was released and retired from baseball.
In six major league seasons, Robidoux played in 173 games and made 547 plate appearances, hitting .209/.313/.286. He was a good line drive hitter with good patience (71 walks) but could never translate his minor league success to the major league level, much due to a lingering knee injury.
These days, Robidoux umpires high school baseball games in Massachusetts.