Victor Robles, who worked his way up from High-A Potomac to Double-A Harrisburg and eventually the majors this past season, went to the Arizona Fall League after he made the postseason roster for the Washington Nationals’ NLDS loss to the Chicago Cubs.
Robles, 20, is 10 for 41 (.244/.389/.488), with a double, three home runs, 10 walks, nine Ks, and seven stolen bases in 13 games in the so-called “finishing school” for MLB’s top prospects.
This afternoon, at 3:00 PM EST, Robles and some of the Nationals’ other top prospects lead the Mesa Solar Sox into the AFL Championship Game against the Peoria Javelinas, in a game which is being broadcast on the MLB Network, giving us an opportunity to watch some of the organization’s top young players in action against prospects from the Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners, and Toronto Blue Jays.
Robles is joined on the Solar Sox’ roster by fellow Nats’ prospects Dakota Bacus (RHP), Jimmy Cordero (RHP), Kyle McGowin (RHP), Austen Williams (RHP), Taylor Gushue (C), Kelvin Gutierrez (OF), and Daniel Johnson (OF), and prospects from the Cubs, Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros, and Oakland A’s organizations.
Johnson, 22, was named the Nationals’ Minor League Player of the Year after putting up a combined .298/.356/.505 line with 29 doubles and 22 home runs over 130 games between Low-A Hagerstown (88 games) and High-A Potomac (42 games) in the second season in the system for the 2016 5th Round pick.
Johnson’s 15 for 69 (.217/.270/.290) with three doubles and a triple in 13 games in the AFL.
Gutierrez, who turned 23 in August, played 58 of 68 total games this season at High-A Potomac, putting up a .288/.347/.414 line with 10 doubles, six triples and two homers for the P-Nats.
In 13 games in Arizona, the corner infielder is 14 for 40 (.350/.438/.475), with a triple and a home run.
Gushue, a 23-year-old catcher acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates in return for Chris Bostick in 2016, put up a combined .236/.321/.424 line in 91 games with Potomac and four with Harrisburg this past season.
In a total of 13 games this Fall, the backstop is 7 for 49 (.143/.176/.265) with two home runs.
Robles (CF) and Gutierrez (1B) are in the starting lineup for the Solar Sox today...
Lineup change for PEO in today Champ game:— Arizona Fall League (@MLBazFallLeague) November 18, 2017
Naylor for De La Guerra pic.twitter.com/OWkd3RHmJV
As for the pitchers:
Dakota Bacus, 26, put up a combined 1.80 ERA in 40 IP in 2017, with 12 appearances at Potomac and 11 at Harrisburg. He’s given up 10 hits and seven runs, six earned in 10 1⁄3 IP in the AFL, walking two and striking out 14.
Jimmy Cordero, 26, posted a 6.84 ERA in 41 games and 51 1⁄3 IP at Double-A in 2017 and he’s given up 11 hits and two earned runs in 12 IP in Arizona, walking two and striking out 13.
Kyle McGowin, 25, is one of two pitchers acquired from the LA Angels (along with Austin Adams) for Danny Espinosa in December of 2016. He put up a combined 6.70 ERA in 19 starts and 98 1⁄3 IP between Potomac, Harrisburg, and Syracuse in his first season in the Nats’ system. McGowin is (3-1) with a 4.79 ERA, no walks, and 27 Ks in six starts and 20 2⁄3 IP in Arizona.
Austen Williams, 24, is a 2014 Nationals’ 6th Round pick, who posted a 5.52 ERA in 91 1⁄3 IP between High-A and Double-A in the Nats’ system this season, and has struggled in the AFL, giving up 23 hits and 17 earned runs in nine starts and 14 1⁄3 IP over which he’s walked three and struck out 13.
WATCH: The AFL Championship Game is being broadcast on the MLB Network at 3:00 PM EST this afternoon. Tune in for another good look at Robles and the rest of the Nationals’ prospects.