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Victor Robles ‘glides’ to a strong start in first big league spring training

Outfielder Victor Robles is the Nationals’ top prospect. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

JUPITER, Fla. — It didn’t take long for Victor Robles to make an impression in his first big league spring training. In Friday’s Grapefruit League opener, Robles, the Nationals’ top prospect, made a diving catch in the sixth inning and went 1 for 1 with a walk at the plate. He then went 1 for 3 in his first start on Saturday against the Marlins.

“He’s impressive. Good kid. Wants to learn,” Nationals Manager Dave Martinez said. “Been talking to him a lot about just doing the little things. But he gets it. He’s going to be fun to watch. He really is. He does it all. I was watching when they were fielding in the outfield, and it’s almost like he glides out there. He’s going to be a good one.”

Robles, 20, was the youngest player to play in a major league game last season when he was called up in September. He appeared in 13 games before being put on the postseason roster. This year, he’s projected to begin the season with Class AAA Syracuse.

“For me it’s easy because I always come with the mentality of doing what I’ve been doing,” Robles said. “I never think about making the team and all that. I want to make the team, of course; I never think about that. I just think about the job I need to do and that’s it.”

Bryan Harper made his first appearance since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2016. The 28-year-old left-hander allowed a run on two hits.

“I was really pumped to be back out there,” Harper said. “Obviously, not the results I wanted. I probably want a 1-2-3 and shoot-for-the-moon type stuff. But, no, it was good, man. It was really good to be out there.”

Max Scherzer will make his spring debut Sunday when the Nationals host the Braves at Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Shawn Kelley and Austin Adams are among five others scheduled to pitch.

As for the position players, every healthy starter, including Bryce Harper, will be in the lineup. That includes Ryan Zimmerman, who will lead off so he can accumulate as many at-bats as possible.

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