The Washington Nationals recalled their top prospect, Victor Robles, on Tuesday. How can he impact Bryce Harper and the team’s future?
The Washington Nationals recalled their top prospect, Victor Robles, on Tuesday as a part of their September call-ups. With the Nationals nearing the end of a disappointing season, we will likely see Robles receive a chunk of the playing time down the stretch as the club will likely prepare for a post-Bryce Harper era in 2019. The emergence of Juan Soto and the presence of a top prospect like Robles should ease this transition if Harper decides to leave Washington through Free Agency.
Robles, who made his Major League Debut in 2017, missed a large portion of 2018 due to a hyper-extended elbow. If the athletic youngest would have been healthier earlier on in the season, it is likely that he would have gotten the call over Juan Soto, who is still only 19 years old.
When you analyze the 21-year-old outfielder’s abilities, it is clear that he has the five tools to become a star. Robles has a good hit tool and solid power, along with plus speed, impressive fielding abilities and a cannon for an arm. The righty also has a compact swing and an impressive ability to shoot the ball to all fields. Robles’ tools and plus athleticism has had scouts and fans salivating since he signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2013.
While Robles has yet to hit over ten home runs in a minor league season, the youngster still flashes plenty of power potential. While his overall production dipped in 2018, likely because of his injured elbow, his 2017 season serves as a very good depiction of his abilities and potential.
In time split between Single/Double-A, the speedy outfielder recorded 55 extra base hits consisting of 37 doubles, 8 triples, and 10 home runs. Over Robles’ development, those doubles and triples will likely start leaving the park as he will only continue to get bigger and stronger.
Baseball Reference says that Robles stands at 6 feet tall and weighs in at 190 pounds. The youngster is only 21-years-old, his body will continue to develop especially as he gets more games and a Major League regimen under his belt.
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It is hard to picture Robles hitting 30+ home runs, but I believe that he should definitely be able to hit at least 15-20+ home runs throughout his career.
While Bryce Harper is undoubtedly a once in a generation type talent, the Washington Nationals seem primed to internally replace their star if he does wind up signing elsewhere. The club could then reinvest a portion of the $400 million plus that Harper would command to bolster other aspects of their roster.
Even if Robles needs to start the year at Triple-A, he does not seem far from being able to make a significant impact at the Major League Level. A healthy Adam Eaton, Michael A. Taylor, and Juan Soto will be able to hold down the fort for the Nationals for the time being. Add those players together with Ryan Zimmerman, Anthony Rendon, and Trea Turner and you have the beginnings of another solid core of Natitude.
The Washington Nationals are a club that will likely look to sign some relief help, a starter, and a second baseman in the offseason, but in the end, they are still a team with a very talented roster. I would expect the Washington Nationals to be a competitive team in the immediate future as players like Victor Robles are ready to contribute.