With the trade of four top prospects, the Nationals still have Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon at the top of their list of the best offensive talent in the organization.
Harper proved he could hit and hold his own defensively in his debut season with Single-A Hagerstown, Double-A Harrisburg and a second consecutive stint in the Arizona Fall League.
Rendon, the team’s first-round pick in the June draft, comes to the Nationals with impressive credentials and was considered for a long period of time as the top prospect on the draft board before injuries hurt his status and dropped him to the sixth overall pick.
At Rice, Rendon was nothing short of amazing. He was the 2010 Dick Howser National Player of the Year and hit .371 with 52 homers and 194 RBIs in three seasons over 187 games.
The Nationals wanted Rendon to buildup strength in the offseason and he has been on a training program as he prepares for his first spring training in the system.
His hand and bat speed are some of the best that scouts have seen in years. It is very likely that the talented, 6-foot,190-lb. third baseman will begin his professional career with Single-A Potomac Nationals, according to a club source.
The source said the Nationals believe Rendon’s bat is so advanced offensively that he his ready for the challenge to begin his career in Potomac, instead of low Single-A Hagerstown, where Harper debuted.
If shortstop Rick Hague can recover as expected from the shoulder injury suffered early last season, the P-Nats could boast an all-Rice left side of the infield with Rendon at third. Hague and Rendon shared the same infield with the Owls in 2009 and 2010.