No. 1: CF Victor Robles
Robles played two months for low Single-A Hagerstown before being promoted to high Single-A Potomac on June 27. He hit .305 for the Suns and .262 for the P-Nats. He got hit by a pitch on his hand a few times, which caused him to miss a few games due to injury.
Baseball America had Robles ranked as the top Nationals prospect in their 2017 list. Baseball America national writer Teddy Cahill said the reason Robles ranked as the top Nationals prospect in their 2017 list was his all-around talent level.
“You are looking at a true five-tool potential player,” Cahill said. “He’s an exciting athlete. He’s a really dynamic player. He’s playing well above his age at this point. He’s goes out and he’s hit everywhere they’ve sent him. He hit under .300 finally. He was very young for that level and he was banged up a little bit, too. Nothing to be concerned about.
“He has done pretty much anything you could ask for him to do. You are talking about a guy playing a premium position in center field and playing it really, really well. One of the best defenders in the system. Probably one of the best defenders in the minor leagues. A well above average runner. He has a good feel for the game overall.”
Could he play in the major leagues in 2018?
“That would be aggressive,” Cahill said. “But they’ve been aggressive with him so far and if he has another good year, I’d imagine he’d go back to Potomac to start next year. If he starts well, he will get promoted to Double-A by the end of the year.
“I don’t know that he would start the year in 2018. It’s entirely feasible that he could work his way up by then. Certainly by 2019 be in contention for that kind of spot. At that point, Adam Eaton will be a little bit older and a little bit easier to slide over to a corner (position) probably.”
It is a testament to Robles’ value and the Nationals’ desire to maintain their outfield depth for the near future that they did not allow the Dominican star to be dealt in December. He has tremendous ability, and it will be interesting to see how he starts out the 2017 season for the P-Nats and where that can lead him.