Arizona Fall League player Robert Hassell III, Washington Nationals, learns from watching great left handers

Outfielder studies Freddie Freeman, Chipper Jones


James Mackey

Robert Hassell III was dealt to the Washington Nationals as part of the Juan Soto trade, and adjusted quickly.

James Mackey, Reporter

As part of the biggest trade of the 2022 Major League Baseball trade deadline, Robert Hassell III, an outfielder in the San Diego Padres organization, was shifted to the Washington Nationals as one of many trade pieces the Padres dealt.

Peoria Sports Complex plays home to Hassell and one of the top two teams in the Arizona Fall League, the Peoria Javelinas.

In an exclusive interview with Northeast Valley News, Hassell talked about what it was like becoming a National.

“A bunch of really cool interactions, it was a great transition,” Hassell said of the move.  “It was different getting to know everybody, and put names to faces, and faces to names… but that’s the biggest thing I would say.”

When it comes to his time in the Fall League, Hassell sees it as an opportunity for growth.

“My expectations are just to grow…there’s a lot of talented arms…I know I am not gonna play everyday, but especially on the days I don’t play, I wanna take advantage of watching these guys and learn something…take something from the pitchers,” Hassell said.

The young outfielder expects to watch and learn to grow his game.

Hassell, who bats lefty, told NEVN that he likes to learn from watching other left-handers like Freddie Freeman and Chipper Jones.

“Freeman.. but he’s bigger than me,” Hassell said.

“From the left side, Chipper (Jones). I always watched Chipper… I always loved when Chipper was hitting off the righties… I’d say I modeled my swing after him,” Hassell said. “His whole career, he was thinking about a 75% – 80 swing, so I take that, and still use that today.  I got a chance to hit with him…and he was just talking about being easy.”

Since Robert was traded mid-season, he was yet to get the chance to suit up in a Nationals uniform. When asked how it felt to don the curly ‘W’ for the first time, he replied with a grin.  “Awesome”

Hassell is one of the few players listed on the MLB Pipeline Top 100 list, sitting at No. 22, predicted to make his big league debut in 2023.

He will be a key piece of why the Nationals made the Juan Soto trade — a youthful future.