Braves' rival DFAs former top prospect who could be interesting replacement for Acuña

Victor Robles once had the prospect pedigree that rivaled Ronald Acuña Jr. and Juan Soto. Now, he's on the waiver wire.

Seattle Mariners v Washington Nationals
Seattle Mariners v Washington Nationals / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

In 2017, the Washington Nationals had a top outfield prospect who was ranked in MLB Pipeline's Top 10. That prospect was not Juan Soto, who debuted the following year, but Victor Robles.

Robles never lived up to the prospect hype and on Monday afternoon, the Nationals announced they had designated Victor Robles for assignment, ending a disappointing eight-season tenure with the Atlanta Braves division rival.

This season, Robles has played 14 games and slashed .120/.281/.120. However, the 27-year-old righty could be an option for the Atlanta Braves, who are scrambling to replace Ronald Acuña Jr. after he went down for the season with a torn ACL in his left knee.

Could Victor Robles be an option for the Atlanta Braves?

Victor Robles and Ronald Acuña Jr.'s careers have diverged greatly since their time atop MLB's top 100 prospects going into the 2018 season. As Robles, the fifth-ranked prospect at the time, never realized his potential, Acuña Jr. became one of the best players in the league.

In 2024, both players' careers have again taken a turn. Acuña Jr. just tore his left ACL, leaving his future uncertain, while Robles leaves the organization he's been with since he was 16.

Through the first fifty games of the season, the Braves had platooned Jarred Kelenic and Adam Duvall. Kelenic only had four plate appearances against lefties all season before Sunday's game against the Pirates.

Now, with Acuña Jr. out for the season, Kelenic will get a chance against lefties. However, if the team wanted to go back to a platoon with Kelenic, the options are limited.

J.P. Martinez, the outfielder who was called up from Triple-A Gwinnett on Monday, is a left-handed hitter. Forrest Wall, the other outfielder on the 40-man roster also bats lefty.

Gwinnett's outfield currently has righty Eli White and switch-hitters Leury Garcia and Skye Bolt, but if the team wanted an outside option for a right-handed hitting outfielder, Robles could be an option.

The righty has hit lefties better in his career, with a 101 wRC+ against lefties, compared to a 72 wRC+ against righties. Robles has shown plus defense in his career, with a 29 career OAA. Although the past two seasons, he's only been worth a -3 OAA.

Robles has struggled this season at the plate, with a 35 wRC+ in limited action, but he did show a glimmer of promise last season in 36 games, where he had a 112 wRC+.

The 27-year-old is making $2.6 million this season, although the Braves would only pay the remainder of his contract if they trade for him, or the league minimum if he is released and the team signs him.

Although Robles certainly wouldn't replace Ronald Acuña Jr.'s offense, he could be an option if the Braves want to have a righty outfielder with decent speed and offensive potential.

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