Washington Nationals: Predicting the fate of 5 roster hopefuls

WEST PALM BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 22: Victor Robles /
2 of 6

Victor Robles

Despite being just 20 years old, Victor Robles has a legitimate shot at making the Opening Day roster. The Nats’ top prospect debuted last September, playing well enough to earn a spot on the postseason roster.

Now, Robles is hoping to make the major league Opening Day roster for the first time in his career.

Entering the spring, Robles seemed like a long-shot to begin the year in the bigs. However, after a strong showing, it is now plausible.

Appearing in 15 games, Robles has hit .222 with a homer, three doubles, and two stolen bases. Beyond the stats, he has proven to be a true five-tool player.

Obviously, Robles is solid offensively. After all, his first major league hit was an RBI double (which would have been a triple, had he not slid past third base). He also possesses above average speed, which was evident when he stole 27 bases in a partial minor league season last year.

In addition to raking at the plate, Robles is a Gold Glove-caliber defender. He has impressed with highlight-reel catches, but has shown off his cannon as well. In a recent game against the Cardinals, he threw a runner out at the plate by a few feet.

Unfortunately for Robles, there is not a clear spot for him in the majors. The Nats have said that he will be an everyday player, regardless of level, so he would have to start with the Nats.

However, a starting role may have recently opened up for Robles.

Michael Taylor has only played in five games this spring due to an injury to his side. The center fielder suffered a similar injury last year, which forced him to miss over a month.

If Taylor is not ready for Opening Day, which is plausible considering he hasn’t played since March 5, Robles will likely begin the season as the center fielder.

For Taylor’s sake, he must return to action as quickly as possible. If Robles is on the Opening Day roster and plays to his potential, Taylor could be out of a job.

Robles appeared to be on the outside looking in entering spring, but now has a real chance to begin the season with the Nats.