The top prospect in the Nationals system, according to Baseball America, comes as no surprise to anyone, and that is center fielder Victor Robles. He was so good that he made the Nats’ postseason roster even though he had only a handful of major league games under his belt before the Nats faced the Cubs in the National League Division Series.
One part of his game that maybe is not touched on enough in making him a complete player is his defense. While with high Single-A Potomac, Robles made several throws that many players are not capable of making.
No. 1 OF Victor Robles
Hearing stories of Robles’ defensive ability “is not surprising at all,” said Baseball America national writer Carlos Collazo. “I heard one of the biggest areas of improvement this year was just his throwing accuracy and decision-making. He has the arm strength, he has got plus arm strength. Plus defender, plus arm, plus hit tool, he is a plus-plus runner. He has got pluses all over the board.”
Robles played for the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League was named to the All-Prospect Team and garnered MVP honors at the AFL All-Star Game
“I have no question he is going to jump into center field right away and be an elite level or plus defender there in center field, which is huge on its own,” Collazo said. “That is very valuable. But when you talk about his offensive potential, as well, as a plus hitter with that kind of speed, his ability to impact the game on the bases, and he’s shown a little bit of pop as well in the fall league.”
Collazo said Robles is the total package, and what might be the most amazing is how advanced the player is for his age.
“Currently, we have him as an average power hitter down the line in the future,” Collazo said. “He has a chance to be an impact player, a perennial All-Star, if everything goes to according to plan. And he is 20 years old, which is insane.”
With Jayson Werth not returning and questions about outfield depth for the Nats, could Robles make the 25-man roster if he has an amazing spring training?
“Definitely. They have the confidence to put him on their postseason roster,” Collazo said. “I think that speaks to their confidence in Robles as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if they just start him out in the minors just to get more at-bats. He has kind of flown through the system. So if they wanted to start him out there I don’t think it means he’s not really ready, but instead they just don’t want to rush him when you talk about a guy who is this good.”
The bottom line, though, is Collazo believes Robles is good to go whenever the Nats want to put him on the big league roster for good.
“The last thing you want to do is put him over his head somewhere, but at the same time, I think he is ready right now,” Collazo said. “I think he would be fine if you threw him in there. As long as he plays every day, I think he will succeed wherever he is.”