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Nats top prospect Robles wastes no time in AFL debut

MLB.com

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Victor Robles debuted in the Arizona Fall League on Monday night, and he didn't waste much time in proving how dynamic he is.

The center fielder, No. 2 on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list and the Nationals' No. 1, most recently was seen scoring a run as a pinch-hitter on a Bryce Harper home run in the National League Division Series.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Victor Robles debuted in the Arizona Fall League on Monday night, and he didn't waste much time in proving how dynamic he is.

The center fielder, No. 2 on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list and the Nationals' No. 1, most recently was seen scoring a run as a pinch-hitter on a Bryce Harper home run in the National League Division Series.

On Monday, he was all over the basepaths at Scottsdale Stadium in his first Fall League game as his Mesa Solar Sox beat the home Scottsdale Scorpions, 5-2.

Gameday

Robles led off the game and flashed his speed, legging out an infield single on what looked like a routine ground ball to third base. Two batters later, he took third base on a single by Kody Eaves (Tigers). He then scored with two outs on a wild pitch by Justus Sheffield, the Scottsdale starter and the Yankees' No. 4 prospect (79th overall).

"What can I say about him?" said Mesa manager Omar Lopez. "I think right now our team is going to have a lot of speed on the field and he's going to be very impressive every single night that he steps out onto the field.

"We talked to him before the game about the plan for him, and I think he showed up tonight and proved it."

Robles wasn't done, either. In the top of the fifth, with his team leading, 2-1, he again was a catalyst, singling on hard line drive, stealing second base, and scoring an insurance run on a single by A.J. Simcox (Tigers).

"It's a good league, I'm going to develop here," Robles said through interpreter Jacob Cruz. "It's a good opportunity that I want to take advantage of."

Robles should know considering he's only 20 and he's already played in the best league on the planet.

The Dominican Republic native went 6-for-24 (.250) with a double, two triples and four RBIs in 13 games during the regular season for Washington, showcasing his elite speed, which got him on the postseason roster. He entered as a pinch-runner and scored on Harper's game-tying home run in the eighth inning of the Nationals' Game 2 win over the Cubs.

Video: CHC@WSH Gm2: Harper's two-run homer ties game

The phenom batted .289 with seven home runs and 33 RBIs in 77 games for Class A Advanced Potomac before hitting .324 with three homers and 14 RBIs in 37 games for Harrisburg upon a promotion to Double-A.

In 2013, Robles was named a midseason All-Star in the South Atlantic League, and he competed in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game in 2017.

That Major League stint delayed his addition to the AFL roster for a few weeks, but Robles will take those memories with him as he tries to keep improving in the desert.

"All baseball players want to reach the big leagues, to be there," Robles said. "It was an unbelievable and unforgettable experience. And it felt really good that the team gave me the opportunity."

Other standouts in Monday's game included Sheffield, who went 4 2/3 innings and gave up three runs on five hits while striking out six, and Mesa starter Alec Mills (Cubs No. 20), who gave up one run on five hits in four innings and struck out six.

Cam Gibson (Tigers) chipped in with an RBI single for Mesa and Charcer Burks (Cubs' No. 22) doubled for the Solar Sox.

David Thompson (Mets' No. 24) tripled and scored a run for Scottsdale, which also got an RBI double from catcher Tomas Nido (Mets' No. 9) and an RBI single from shortstop Kyle Holder (Yankees). Solar Sox designated hitter Kyle Tucker, the Astros' top-rated prospect and MLBPipeline.com's No. 7 overall prospect, went 0-for-3 with a walk.

Mets No. 11 prospect Luis Guillorme made the defensive play of the night, robbing Jason Vosler (Cubs) of a single in the second inning with a diving stop of a ground ball and throw to first.

Tweet from @MLBPipeline: Luis Guillorme, the @Mets' No. 11 prospect, flashed the leather with this robbery at second in the AFL. Gameday:��https://t.co/FUwbHYObm8 pic.twitter.com/zD5zXx5ER6

Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB.

Washington Nationals