Washington Nationals: Victor Robles rising up top prospect lists
By Ricky Keeler
As Victor Robles gets set to play in the Futures Game, the Washington Nationals top prospect is rising up the rankings
After the Washington Nationals end their first half later today against the Braves, the All-Star festivities will kick off in Miami with the Futures Game (4 p.m ET, MLB Network). The lone Nats prospect that will be playing in this game for Team World is outfielder Victor Robles.
Robles will be a part of a star-studded corps of outfielders that includes Alex Verdugo (Dodgers), Eloy Jimenez (Cubs), Ronald Acuna (Braves), and Estevan Florial (Yankees). It is unknown whether he will start the game, but Robles should see a good share of playing time.
After the Nats only sent Reynaldo Lopez to last year’s Futures Game, Robles is the first position player to play in this game for Washington since Trea Turner back in 2015. On that afternoon in Cincinnati, Turner had a pair of doubles for Team USA in their blowout win.
This week, Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus both unveiled their midseason prospect rankings list. On Baseball America’s list, Robles moved up from ninth to eighth. As for Baseball Prospectus, he is fourth on their list and the top ranked outfielder.
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In his second year with High-A Potomac, the 20-year-old has stayed relatively healthy and it has paid off big time. In 67 games, he has a slash line of .302/.388/.524 with seven home runs, 31 RBI’s, and 14 stolen bases in 21 chances.
During his last 29 games dating back to June 1, Robles is hitting .300 with 14 doubles and three triples. This season, his 23 doubles are the fourth most in the Carolina League and he is tied for third in the league in triples (Kelvin Gutierrez also has six). With his speed, he can stretch any single into a double.
Last month chance, I had the chance to talk to Potomac Nationals play-by-play announcer Mike Weisman about what has been the main difference in Robles’s play from last season. Here is what he said about the Washington Nationals outfielder:
"“Last year, he used his raw ability to get to balls defensively. This year, he’s getting to them with plenty of time to spare. Outside of about a 2-3 week injury, he is one of the more consistent hitters in the league.”"
It is no surprise that many teams will be asking the Washington Nationals about Victor Robles between now and July 31. However, it’s tough to see the team trading someone who could be one of the key pieces of their future.
When Robles does come back from the Futures Game, it shouldn’t surprise anyone if there is a promotion to Double-A Harrisburg in his near future. He is still far away from the major leagues, but making it to an advanced level will be another step in his development.
Next: Iglesias definite trade target
If you haven’t seen Robles play, I highly recommend you watch the Futures Game tonight and you will see why the Washington Nationals see him as a big part of their future.