Finally, we reach the No. 1 Nationals prospect in Baseball America’s latest top 10: center fielder Victor Robles, who was also the publication’s No. 1 prospect in 2018. Robles suffered an arm injury to begin the season and that slowed what was likely be an ascension similar to what rookie Juan Soto demonstrated in his first full year as a major league player.
Baseball America national writer Carlos Collazo said Robles still has the best collection of all-around tools of any Nats prospect. Plus, this year is likely more than ever Robles’ best opportunity to stick with the Nats, especially with the question of where Bryce Harper will play in 2019 still up in the air.
“I think last year when we wrote him up, he was the No. 1 (Nats) prospect for out 2018 handbook,” Collazo said. “The expectation was that at some point during the 2018 season, he would become a regular outfielder. The injury obviously delayed that. He only got some time in September this year. But it was extremely impressive what he did with the major league team in his brief stint.
“I think he started 12 or 13 games at the end of the season this year, but, yes, I think Robles might be a guy, because of that injury, might be a little under the radar now because people tend to move on quickly in the prospect world. But he is tooled out and pretty much every single tool you can think of. He’s going to be an impressive defensive center fielder, and a guy you can plug into the top of a lineup and expect productivity from him with the bat, on the bases and in the field.
“If the Nationals do end up having to move on from Bryce Harper, it’s pretty impressive to have Robles and Juan Soto as two guys, as fixtures in your outfield, no doubt.”
Robles also has not been able to show off his amazing defensive skills for 162 games yet at the top level. But his combination of hitting and defense will be a welcome addition to the Nats outfield, two facets the club would love to improve on in order to get back to the postseason in 2019.