Rizzo expects Victor Robles to rejoin Nationals 'in the near future'

Chris Lingebach
March 21, 2018 - 12:15 pm

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

After optioning him to Triple-A Syracuse on Tuesday, Mike Rizzo expects top outfield prospect Victor Robles to rejoin the big-league club "in the near future."

"He's as advertised. He's gonna be a really good impact player for us, in the near future," the Nationals GM and President of Baseball Operations told The Junkies on Wednesday. "He's extremely young and needs to get his reps in. It's all about preparation for the big leagues. They say getting to the big leagues is difficult, but staying in the big leagues is the most difficult part. I think when he comes to the big leagues, he probably stays there for a long time."

In 51 plate appearances this spring, Robles slashed .188/.216/.313 with one homer, three doubles and six RBI. Ranked the sixth-best prospect in all of baseball by MLB Pipeline, it's clear 20-year-old Robles has a future with the Nationals. It's a matter of when. If the Nationals are unable to re-sign Bryce Harper, Robles -- a rare, five-tool prospect -- is his presumed heir-apparent.

Robles made his Major League debut last September. Averaging .250 at the plate with a .308 on-base percentage in his first 13 games, Washington felt confident enough in how far he'd come along to include him on its postseason roster, using him as a pinch-runner and hitter in limited appearances during the division series against the Cubs.

"He's just a stud athlete," Junkies host Jason Bishop suggested of Robles.

"He's a great athlete. He's got great tools," Rizzo agreed. "But he's also got instincts and playability. He's got a good baseball clock in his head and he really gets after it."

"The thing that kind of separates him from a lot of 19- and 20-year-old big-leaguers that I've had in the past," Rizzo added, "is this kid is a beautiful person. He's humble, but very, very confident, and that's a great balance to have. He's a humble, confident player at a very, very early age."

Follow @ChrisLingebach and @1067TheFan on Twitter