Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon, once thought to be a lock for the No. 1 overall pick, slid all the way to the Washington Nationals pick at No. 6 overall yesterday. Rendon led the NCAA with 80 walks this season, proving that teams were still scared of him despite the shoulder issues that kept him from playing the field much or generating the same power that he did in his sophomore season.
Baseball America argues that Nationals fans should be thrilled with the pick and compares him to current Washington third baseman Ryan Zimmerman:
When healthy, Rendon is a gifted third baseman with above-average range and arm strength. He has drawn comparisons to Evan Longoria and Ryan Zimmerman, though he bears a closer physical resemblance to David Wright. Rendon tore ligaments in his right ankle in the 2009 NCAA regionals and broke the same ankle on a slide with Team USA last summer, but he has been running and moving as well as ever this spring. He has average speed and runs the bases well. Both ankle injuries came on fluke plays, so scouts don't consider him injury-prone.
Scouts are torn on his ability to play second base, with it likely coming down to his range in the field. He has the physical tools, but he definitely profiles better as a third baseman. It should be interesting to see what the Nationals do in the near future if Rendon can't handle second base and is knocking on the door at AAA. He would likely make one heck of a trade chip if they decided to stick with Zimmerman.