In Case You Were Wondering…

JH · April 21, 2010 at 12:08 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

The fine people of Baltimore may not appreciate it now, but the Mariners are currently helping the Orioles move into a frontrunner position for baseball’s great consolation prize: the number one pick in the 2011 MLB draft.*

Many who read the site will have heard his name by now, but for those who haven’t the light at the end of the tunnel for this year’s most pathetic squad comes in the form of Rice University 3B Anthony Rendon. Rendon is a slick fielding power-hitting third baseman in the Evan Longoria-Ryan Zimmerman mold. Only thing is, he’s light years ahead of where Longoria and Zimmerman were at the same age, with far more patience and power than either player showed at the collegiate level.

After winning the national freshman of the year award last year, Rendon is in the middle of a .369/.541/.723 sophomore campaign with 48 walks and only 15 strikeouts in 130 at-bats. He skipped the summer leagues last year, so scouts have not seen him face advanced competition with wood bats yet, but that is the only scouting blip on record, and it really isn’t a big one.

A lot can happen in a year, and there are a couple of college arms who could take next year’s top spot from Rendon if he slips a bit, but right now he is looking like next year’s runaway best player available.

At 2-13, Baltimore has taken an early 3-game lead in the Anthony Rendon Sweepstakes. If you know any O’s fans, pass the news along. As we all remember from the great Strasburg sweepstakes of 2008, these vague glimmers of hope for the future can really help fans get through some tough times.

*Note: unfortunately for the O’s, it is tough for me to see them as a real contender in the consolation bracket. There’s too much young talent there, and you have to think it will carry them out of the cellar at some point.


16 Responses to “In Case You Were Wondering…”

  1. joser on April 21st, 2010 12:47 pm

    Unless Bryce Harper slips to next year because of bonus demands / signability issues, I guess.

    Thanks for the info: Rendon hadn’t really hit my radar yet.

  2. mlathrop3 on April 21st, 2010 12:53 pm

    Bryce Harper better take care of that chicken wing leg-kick thing he does before demanding anything. No room for that when you are facing a generic mid-90’s fastball.

  3. PatLagreid on April 21st, 2010 1:14 pm

    The Seattle Mariners – family friendly and always willing to help our fellow franchises move up in the draft order, even if it’s at our own expense. (See 2008 season.)

  4. NBarnes on April 21st, 2010 1:42 pm

    How does Rendon compare to Longoria’s most valuable attribute as a player; willingness to sign absurdly team-friendly long-term contracts?

  5. Paul B on April 21st, 2010 1:57 pm

    We already sent the O’s a whole package of talent, and they still can’t win?

    Hope the two minor leaguers they got for George Sherrill turn out to be something.

  6. TomTuttle on April 21st, 2010 2:00 pm

    You forget one thing about the Oreos, JH:

    Peter Angelos is their owner.

    Who cares who they draft even if they are #1?

  7. scott19 on April 21st, 2010 2:21 pm

    Yeah…those home-and-home interleague series this year between the O’s and the Nats ought to be just some rip-roarin’, clash-of-the-titans baseball excitement, for sure!

  8. scott19 on April 21st, 2010 2:26 pm

    Hope the two minor leaguers they got for George Sherrill turn out to be something.

    At least GS-52 got paroled, I mean, traded to the Dodgers — a team he could actually help.

  9. scott19 on April 21st, 2010 2:42 pm

    To be fair, it’s not as if the O’s are so devoid of talent that they couldn’t realistically climb out of the cellar sometime within the next couple of seasons, but unfortunately: 1) Angelos does seem to be a master of squadering the talent he has; & 2) they’ll still be looking a long ways up at the Yanks, Saux and Rays in that division, anyway.

    Which, of course, doesn’t mean you should give up if you’re them…but you probably shouldn’t expect miracles, either.

  10. Evan on April 21st, 2010 2:48 pm

    Remember that Angelos has no incentive to improve his team. The deal he struck with MLB for giving up the DC territory so they could put the Expos there guarantees him a minimum annual revenue and a minimum franchise value.

  11. daveblev on April 21st, 2010 3:47 pm

    I live in Norfolk, VA so I get to see their Triple-A farm team Norfolk Tides. I’m not a Mets fan but I kinda miss them being affiliated with the Norfolk Tides and seeing the likes of Lenny Dykstra, Greg Jeffries, Daryl Strawberry and Gary Carter on a Rehab assignment, Jose Reyese, David Wright, DJ Dozier, pass through here. Let’s see since the Orioles took over in 2008, only Matt Wieters and ex M’s prospect Chris Tillamn have proven noteworthy.

  12. mgbetsch on April 21st, 2010 5:20 pm

    As someone who has seen both Rendon and Harper play this year, I can say I’d rather have Rendon over Harper any day. This kid is going to be better than Longoria talent wise. He works the count, doesn’t strike out a ton, has tremendous power to the opposite field and a howitzer for an arm

  13. Casey M on April 21st, 2010 5:22 pm

    As a student at Rice — only two days of classes left — I can say with affirmation that Rendon is the real deal. I’m not sure of Longoria projection, but he sets Reckling Field alive when he comes to plate. As JH mentioned, his 48 walks are the only preventative tactic to slowing him, and he has an absolute cannon from third.

    He went down in the Supers against LSU last year with a busted ankle courtesy of the bullpen mound, but he’s at full health in the 2010 tilt.

  14. philosofool on April 21st, 2010 10:15 pm

    I think you guys not taking Harper are nuts. He’s destroyed his junior college league with 17 HR in 142 AB using a wood bat that hits 450 foot home runs.

  15. mgbetsch on April 21st, 2010 10:45 pm

    All I’m saying is that I take Rendon over Harper anyday. Rendon is facing better competition and albeit using a metal bat, the kid still has some serious power. But that’s just me

  16. JH on April 21st, 2010 11:49 pm

    Philosopfool: you know that Harper and Rendon are eligible for different drafts, right? Only one commenter has suggested he’d take Rendon over Harper. Several talent evaluators agree with him, though. Unless Harper decides he can leverage himself into a better position than being the #1 pick this year, though, no team will ever have to make that call.

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