Rendon’s ankle at “full strength”

Nationals infield prospect Anthony Rendon checked in from the Arizona Fall League, where he is playing for the Salt River Rafters.

He is batting .231 in 11 games so far for the Rafters, with four doubles and five RBIs. He has seven walks and eight strikeouts.

Rendon has played third base exclusively for the Rafters and said that he feels 100 percent healthy following recovery from a fractured left ankle suffered in April with the high Single-A Potomac Nationals.

“It is back to full strength,” Rendon said. “That is what the rehab process was for, to get my strength back and my mobility back. Now it is just maintenance, keeping my strength, the mobility, I have to stretch it every day, doing little calf raises here and there to keep the strength awake.”

Rendon was able to describe in detail the play in which he hurt his left ankle in a game at Lynchburg, Va., for the P-Nats in April.

“I was on second,” Rendon remembered. “It was a base hit to center field and I was rounding third, (and) the coach put up the stop sign. I stopped and went back but the field at Lynchburg is actually slanted down on the left field line in that area. So, I stopped.

“My foot slid against the dirt. As I was turning around to go back, my ankle hit the grass, which stopped my ankle but my body kept going. I eventually sat on it, pretty much.”

Rendon said it was the first time he had ever injured his left ankle and felt it was just a “freak accident” and not an example of a recurring problem.

“I grew up playing basketball - more basketball than baseball growing up. As a kid, I was running around doing a lot more crazier, stupid stuff,” he said.

Rendon believes an ankle injury could have happened playing any of those other lateral sports, too, and that it just happened to occur when he was playing baseball. He said it is not indicative of a chronic problem.

Rendon is enjoying playing with a lot of the top prospects in the Nationals organization and those of other teams on the Rafters, a lot of guys he played against growing up in Houston.

“There are a lot of good players out here - shoot it’s the fall league - pretty much some of the best of the best,” Rendon said. “It is good to get some at-bats against them, the cream of the crop.”

Rendon said he has sped up his approach at the plate a bit in getting ready for pitches because of the talent level he has seen in Arizona.

“I have definitely changed and (am getting) acclimated to pro ball,” Rendon said. “You got to get started earlier. People know how to pitch you out here. A lot of these pitchers throw harder and they know what they are doing with ball.

“I actually got to get ready to hit a little bit sooner so I won’t be too late on pitches and won’t get fooled. It is a process but I am getting there. I am feeling more comfortable every day.”

Coming up: In a Monday entry, Rendon will look at how he is working on his defense and what others thought of his play at third base while at Rice.

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