Nationals prospect Anthony Rendon has notched at least a base hit and an RBI in four straight games for the Gulf Coast League Nationals and continues to play deeper into games as the franchise slowly brings him back from his fractured left ankle.
Rendon is hitting .444 (4-for-9) in his last four games with a double, two homers and nine RBIs. He has had home runs in back-to-back games.
Rendon walked in the top of the eighth Tuesday and then was promptly replaced by a pinch runner. But he managed four at-bats again, with two walks, and the first inning homer.
He has not played a full game yet with GCL Nats, but is getting time in at third base and certainly is showing his hands and bat speed are in mid-season form.
Update: According to a club source, Rendon has been moved to short-season Single-A Auburn and will debut with the Doubledays on Thursday. Rendon is expected to rehab with Auburn for about one week.
If Rendon is deemed healthy and strong enough, I would expect him to get at least a month with high Single-A Potomac in August. Then, if everything goes as planned, instructional league and Arizona Fall League. The Nationals want to ramp him up so he is ready for 2013, but also don't want to push Rendon. There is no hurry, even if Rendon is the best infield prospect on a team that would love to add depth to the position.
What if the Nationals need an infielder from Triple-A Syracuse right now with the injury to Ian Desmond? My source in Syracuse says Carlos Rivero and Mark Teahan would be top choices if that move was necessary. Rivero has played 511 minor league games at shortstop and 214 at third base. Teahan has 447 games at third base in the majors and three at second base.
At Double-A Harrisburg, it is not about the numbers early on for center fielder Brian Goodwin, but the golden opportunity for the top outfield prospect to get his look at Double-A pitching, a significant jump from what he saw at low Single-A Hagerstown.
After going 1-for-19 in his first five games, Goodwin exploded for a 2-for-5 with his first Double-A home run Tuesday. Goodwin has 10 homers and 41 RBIs with a .304 average in 64 games this season.
In Syracuse, right-hander Josh Wilkie is back in the states and is eligible to return from his 50-game suspension this week. He is awaiting word from the Nationals as to what his next step is. During the suspension, Wilkie worked out and pitched in Venezuela to maintain his strength and rhythm.