I was gonna write about Jurickson Profar and his possible call-up here, but Grey ran with that yesterday and my take wasn’t offering different advice. Add him in keepers if he’s not already owned, but don’t waste much energy on him in re-draft formats as playing time will be spotty and he’s still five-or-so years away from peaking. Anyway, just one name to dig into this week:
Prior to the 2012 season, Nationals execs would’ve been very pleased at the idea of Anthony Rendon reaching Double-A in his first year of pro baseball. In April, though, those hopes and expectations were put on hold after the 2011 1st round pick broke his left ankle on the basepaths. Injuries happen. Clubs are well versed in coping with injured prospects, with not allowing time spent rehabbing to impact player development. In Rendon’s case, however, a lengthy history of heal problems — right ankle in 2009 & 2010, right shoulder in 2011 — made this most recent setback particularly concerning.
Washington drafted Rendon 6th overall out of Rice and ended up locking up the 3rd baseman with a spot on the 40-man and a signing bonus worth $6 million. Based on scouting reports coupled with All-American production at Rice, the huge bonus seemed justifiable. Rendon has all the tools at the plate — I’ve seen best-case projections that have him hitting in the neighborhood of .300/.400/.500 at the big league level. With a strong arm and outstanding glovework, he profiles as a plus defender at third too. By all accounts, he was primed for a quick ascent through the Washington farm system. Proneness to injury seemed to be the only concern, and in retrospect, perhaps more should’ve been made of it.
Or, perhaps not. Rendon returned to action last month, and the Nats have been surprisingly aggressive with promoting the 22-year-old after he missed more than three months of the season. As of yesterday, he’s entrenched at 3B for Double-A Harrisburg in the Eastern League, exactly where folks anticipated he might be given an injury-free season. It’s clear that this promotion was driven by a front office that was determined to not to allow time missed to slow down development. We’ll have to wait and see how prepared Rendon is for the high minors — in just 78 pro PA beneath Double-A he’s batted .308/.423/.615 with 11 XBH (3 HR). Still, he’s on track for arrival late next year if he can stay on the field. And while he’ll be falling quite a ways down prospect rankings this winter, do remember to keep him in mind. His ceiling remains huge, and all of a sudden, he’s not very far from the bigs.