The Washington Nationals recalled top prospect Victor Robles from Triple-A Syracuse on Tuesday. But so far, he’s yet to start, but that needs to change soon
The Washington Nationals are clearly playing for the 2019 season at this point in time. With this in mind, it’s time to start giving Victor Robles, the team’s top prospect, a lot more playing time in September.
Robles has been one of the most hyped prospects in baseball for the last few years. In his five minor league season, he posses a .300/.392/.457 slash line, as well as 28 home runs and 129 stolen bases.
Let’s not forget, Robles was actually ranked higher on prospect lists than Juan Soto coming into this season. While nobody could’ve imagined Soto being this good, this fast, it made call-up of Robles just that more tantalizing.
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The young outfielder’s best tool is clearly his speed, and he’s put that on show in his brief appearances so far this year. We’ve already seen him go first to home on a soft Adam Eaton base hit, beat out a double play that not many could, and flash that speed in the outfield.
You could argue that he’s actually faster than Trea Turner, and after watching the speedy shortstop for several years, that seems near-impossible. But that’s the case, although Robles doesn’t quite have the refined base stealing skills of Turner just yet.
That unrefined approach to stealing is part of the reason that the stud prospect needs to be starting more games down the stretch. The more he plays, the more helpful it will be to his development by seeing more pitches and working to time up his base stealing routine.
Barring injury, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where Soto and Robles aren’t playing the majority of games in the outfield for the Nats in 2019. Those two are the future of the position, while the team’s plans for the final outfield spot is unclear. Depending on whether Bryce Harper re-signs or not, it could be Harper, Eaton or maybe someone not on the roster yet.
But with the two prodigies both locked in, the team needs to get them as prepared as possible. Soto has seen plenty of major league pitching this year and could be in line for some days off this month, but he still needs to play alongside Robles to get comfortable with him patrolling center.
However, Robles needs to be playing practically every single game possible in September to get ready for 2019. The future is now, and even if he comes with lumps in the short-term it will benefit the team significantly in the long-term.
The Washington Nationals have been blessed with great outfield prospects in recent seasons. Victor Robles is the latest on the pipeline, and he needs to be getting as much exposure to big league pitching as possible.