Washington Nationals handling top prospect Victor Robles perfectly

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 10: Victor Robles /

The way the Washington Nationals are slowly preparing top prospect Victor Robles for a permanent stay in MLB is perfect.

Many times there is a debate over when a top prospect is ready for his MLB debut. Last year, the Washington Nationals allowed outfielder Victor Robles to leap through the minor leagues and eventually reach the show.

It was an unexpectedly quick climb through the farm in 2017, eventually landing Robles on the Nationals’ playoff roster in the NLDS.

Robles won’t continue where he started in 2018. The Nationals have already made it known that Robles will begin the season with the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs. It’s probably the best way to handle him since Robles looked unlikely to get many at-bats with the Nationals anyway.

Next year’s stint in the minor leagues may not last very long. Robles has already shown that he can handle the MLB. To ensure he begins the year with as many opportunities as possible to play, the Nationals have wisely put the brakes on this young future star.

This case isn’t reminiscent of the Kris Bryant or George Springer controversies. The Nationals are only making Robles hungrier to get back to MLB. The day when he no longer needs to ride a bus from city-to-city is nearing.

Surely, Robles is smart enough to know that the better he plays in April 2018, the quicker he can upgrade to a first-class seat with the rest of the Nationals.

Giving Robles a small taste in 2017 was perfect. His confidence is high, and he’ll have a chance to fight early to return to the spotlight.

Finding Room for Victor Robles in 2018

Unless someone gets hurt, the Washington Nationals will have a tough time providing Robles with ample playing time. Taking away at-bats from an outfield consisting of Adam Eaton, Michael Taylor, and Bryce Harper is hard to do.

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Only sitting Taylor against tough righties makes any sense. Since Robles also bats right-handed, he’s not the best match to platoon with MAT.

If last season was any indication, injuries would arise. When they happen, expect Robles to see a fair share of innings at any of the three outfield positions.

The Nationals are far from setting their Opening Day roster. Along with a backup catcher, the bench will include Matt Adams, Wilmer Difo, and Brian Goodwin.

The final spot will include a battle between all of the infielders and outfielders.

Since Adams is primarily a first baseman with the potential to play a little in the corner outfield, the Nationals must remain flexible with the roster.

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Robles should still see an opportunity to play regularly ahead of guys like Andrew Stevenson and Rafael Bautista. Even if one of them begins the year in MLB, Robles is ahead of them on the depth chart if Washington needs someone to suit up Monday through Sunday.