Good things are on the horizon for Victor Robles as MLB.com declares the Washington Nationals minor-leaguer the No. 2 outfield prospect in baseball.
The Potomac Nationals star ranks behind Andrew Benintendi of the Boston Red Sox. Robles projects to crack the Washington roster in 2018 and could replace Jayson Werth in left if Werth leaves after this season.
There is a reason Robles’ name came up regularly during the Winter Meetings as he is a full five-tool player. MLB.com scouts him on a 20-80 scale this way. As a hitter, a 60. With Hagerstown last year in the South Atlantic League, he hit .305 while slashing six triples in 64 games.
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His power ranks at 50. In 421 at-bats on three levels last year, Robles smashed nine homers. Although it does not project into a 30-homer hitter, with his speed, pitchers will need to think twice laying a fastball down the middle.
Where Robles shines is his speed. His 70 speed is well-above-average. Not only can he leg doubles into triples, but he swiped 37 bags last year. Walking him is a dangerous proposition. Joining a future lineup with Adam Eaton and Trea Turner gives the Nats an arsenal of speed not seen in the division since the St. Louis Cardinals of the 1980s.
The more pitchers become distracted by a runner dancing off first, the better the chance the power hitters get to crush a mistake pitch. Although there is still speed in the modern game, it used to be a huge factor. One of the many reasons the Cardinals won three division titles, and the 1982 World Series, over a six-year stretch.
Robles has a cannon of an arm, grading to a 65. If in one of the corner spots, runners on third will be weary of getting thrown out at the plate on anything but a warning track ball. His glove and overall score is a 60. Above average in every way.
Regardless of what happens with Bryce Harper, the combination of Robles and Eaton roaming the Nationals Park outfield bodes well for the future. Not 20 until May, MLB.com says the Nats love his passion and leadership.
It will be interesting to see where he starts the season. When he makes it to Double-A Harrisburg in the Eastern League, watch his stats. The better he produces, the higher the chance he earns the call from Washington.
A major boost to Robles, along with high expectations.