In Case You Were Wondering…
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.