Baseball America announced their Top 100 Prospects on Monday. Washington Nationals prospects Victor Robles and Juan Soto made the list. But who was snubbed?
On Monday, Baseball America published their Top 100 Prospects. This list included just two Washington Nationals prospects, Victor Robles checked in at a lofty Number 5, and Juan Soto appeared at Number 56.
We’ll take a quick look at these guys and what makes them so well regarded. Also, some potential snubs from the list.
Victor Robles, OF
The most well-recognized prospect throughout the Nationals minor league system, Robles has been highly sought after by other teams in trade discussions the last two off-seasons.
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Robles flashed his unique skill set in his brief major league debut in September. An elite defender, with top-notch speed, which earned him a spot on the postseason roster, and a bat that’s still developing at a high rate.
There’s plenty for Nats fans to get excited about here. Which is a big bonus when you consider Bryce Harper‘s impending free agency opening up a starting OF spot.
Juan Soto, OF
A slightly less well-regarded prospect, but one that Nats fans are getting more familiar with, is Soto. His hitting has long been considered his calling card, with MLB.com commenting “Soto possesses natural hitting ability that belies his age.”.
Back in April last year, we actually took a closer look at Soto and what he could be bringing to the Nats in due course.
Since that article, he hit .351 and had an OPS of .919, split between Single-A Gulf Coast Nats and Hagerstown Suns. However, this was only in 32 games as he spent a couple months on the disabled list with an ankle injury.
At only 19, he’s still a couple years away from making an impact at the big league level. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him traded away at the deadline if the right player became available given the surplus of OF talent that the Nats have.
Prospects Snubbed from the Top 100?
Carter Kieboom, SS/3B
The youngest of the Kieboom Brothers, Carter Kieboom, certainly has the draft pedigree to be considered in the Top 100 prospects in the game. Drafted 28th overall in 2016, he hit .297 in his first full professional season.
As MLB.com explains about Carter “Kieboom has a knack for barreling the baseball, a product of his plus bat speed, hand-eye coordination and mature approach.”.
His raw skill set could have similarities drawn to an Anthony Rendon-lite at this point. It’s been speculated that Kieboom may have to move to from shortstop to get to the majors, with a Trea Turner-sized block in the way.
Carlos Collazo, in a recent MASN article, mentions “Defensively is where you are going to get into your questions with Carter.” Collazo elaborates that “There are some guys that think he’s going to be pushed off. His defense is fringe average, 45 to 50 at this point.” And, if the Nats don’t extend Rendon, may fit in nicely as a replacement when the time comes.
Daniel Johnson, OF
Another testament to the depth of outfield prospects the Nats have is Johnson lighting up Single-A and High-A last year.
This one is more of a reach than the other two snubs above, who have been acknowledged on Top Prospect lists previously. But when a player hits 22 home runs in a minor league season, you take notice.
Johnson himself said via the Washington Post “I think just repetition helped. Getting comfortable with my swing. Not trying to do too much.” Hopefully, he can continue to flash his power at the plate this year, then prospect lists really will take notice.