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Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Victor Robles headed for Dominican Winter League

September 19, 2018 - 3:35 pm

By Ben Krimmel

The Washington Nationals top prospect Victor Robles will spend the offseason playing in the Dominican Winter League.

Appearing on The Junkies, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said the franchise's top prospect will head to his native Dominican Republic to knock off some of the rust that accumulated during his extended absence this season, after a hyperextended elbow injury in April saw him sidelined for nearly three months.

"I've seen a little rust on him," Rizzo said, sponsored by Burke & Herbert Bank. "He went almost four months without playing the game, after the elbow injury, but what it looks like is his strength is regained in his left elbow and he's starting to get some at-bats under his belt in Triple-A, and we brought him to the big leagues because we wanted him to be around the big league club and to regain some of those at-bats.

"I think this offseason, this winter, will be important for him to play winter ball in the Dominican," Rizzo said. "He's going to recoup some of those at-bats this winter and report to spring training happy, healthy and ready to take his next step."

"I think this is a good impetus for him to push himself and to really work hard this offseason and kinda make an impact, he's the next wave of our talented young guys and I think he takes pride in that," Rizzo said.

Robles hit his first big-league home run, a 427-foot shot to left field, Monday night in Miami. In 11 games with the Nats this season, Robles has manged just five hits and a .208/.310/.333 slash line.

"His tools are off the charts everyone can see that: The athleticism, speed, arm, defensive abilities, power, a feel at the plate," Rizzo said. "This guy has got a chance to be a really good, special player for us and we're looking forward to seeing his development and next step in his career."

While some players participate in all or partial Winter League seasons, Robles will report soon after the Major League season ends, Rizzo says.