Top Washington Nationals’ prospect Victor Robles, as GM Mike Rizzo explained it, earned his call to the majors late last season, then forced his way onto the Nats’ Postseason roster, and will be given an opportunity to force his way onto the big league roster when he gets to Spring Training. But he’s going to play every day somewhere at the start of the 2018 campaign.
“He’s got to get consistent everyday at bats,” Rizzo said, “and he’s going to be a force for us in the very near future.”
ESPN.com’s Keith Law, in ranking Robles 4th overall on his list of the Top 100 prospects in baseball for 2018, wrote that the 20-year-old outfielder, who signed for $225,000 out of the Dominican Republic in 2013 and is now the top outfield prospect in the Nationals’ system, the second-highest ranked outfielder in all of baseball on Law’s list, and third-highest on Baseball America’s Top 100, wrote that the outfielder, “... could easily step in to the Nats’ outfield right now and provide value with his glove.”
But since he’s played just 50 games above High-A ball so far, (37 at Double-A and 13 in the majors), “Robles might benefit from more reps facing high-minors pitching before he comes to the majors for good,” in Law’s view.
Juan Soto, 19, and ranked 42nd on Law’s list (and 56th on BA’s Top 100), is not quite as advanced as Robles, and he was set back by a rash of injuries in 2017, with Law noting that after an ankle injury early in the second, he broke his hamate bone and then hurt his hamstring.
Soto ended up playing 32 games total, putting up a combined .351/.415/.505 line with six doubles, a triple, and three home runs in 123 plate appearances between the Nats’ Low-A affiliate in Hagerstown and the Gulf Coast League Nationals.
When healthy, Law wrote, Soto, “... has good bat speed and exceptional bat control for his age along with an advanced approach way beyond what most 18-year-olds show.”
If he continues to hit and show the power he did before the injuries, Law suggests, Soto could end up being a Top 20 prospect in the future.
Robles and Soto were the only Nationals’ prospects on either Law or BA’s Top 100 this winter.
Check out Law’s entire Top 100 and his scouting reports of the two Nats prospects on the list through the link below (INSIDERS ONLY, SORRY):