Here are some final insights from Double-A Harrisburg pitching coach Michael Tejera about three top Nationals prospects he has coached or seen play over the last few seasons.
Center fielder Victor Robles is such an elite prospect he earned a spot on the Nationals’ postseason roster. He also was named the MVP at the Fall Stars Game in the Arizona Fall League.
Robles is mentioned in every trade discussion with the Nats. The club doesn’t want to give him up in a trade because of his tremendous value. Robles is now the No. 5 overall prospect according to Baseball America in its latest list of top 100 prospects.
Tejera, who was the pitching coach on Mesa Solar Sox of the AFL, agrees that Robles could be one of a kind.
“I think Victor Robles was the best player we had in the whole fall league,” Tejera said. “Him and the other kid (Atlanta’s Ronald) Acuna, those two guys. They are exciting players to watch. Those two players bring so much energy to the field that everybody feed off of that. (Robles) is a leader because of the energy that he brings to the field, to the dugout.
“We all know about his tools. He is going to be an impact player in the big leagues. Hopefully he will play for us for a long time and help us win a world championship.”
Outfielder Juan Soto is now the No. 56 prospect in this new list of top 100 prospects, according to Baseball America. Robles and Soto are now the only Nats listed in the latest top 100.
“He’s going to be a special guy, too,” Tejera said of Soto. “He’s a pure hitter. He can hit to all fields and with power. He’s still growing. He was only 17 (currently 19) when I had him and you can tell when the ball hit the bat it was special.”
Another outstanding talent is 17-year-old second baseman Luis Garcia who was with the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Nationals while Tejera was the pitching coach. He hit .302 in 49 games.
“I think Luis can play shortstop and second base,” Tejera noted. “He’s a very dynamic player. This kid, at his age, the IQ that he has for the game is unbelievable. I barely seen that from others (at that age) the years I have been coaching. The IQ and the knowledge this kid has for the game is way (above his level). He’s another guy that is fun to watch when he is on the field.”