Double-A Harrisburg's Anthony Rendon played second base yesterday, and will play third base, his natural position, tonight. The switching of infield positions serves an intended purpose.
According to a club source, the Nationals are playing Rendon each week in a "4-2-1" rotation, with four games at third base, two games at second base and one game at shortstop. The rotation is not "set in stone," according to the source, and is not considered permanent, but provides Rendon with some valuable experience from three unique spots on the infield.
So far, Rendon has played 3B, 3B, DH, 3B, 3B, 2B and is scheduled for third base tonight.
The rotation between infield positions will help Rendon's versatility, a common theme with highly touted prospects in the system. Tyler Moore played infield and outfield before his call-up last season. Matt Skole has worked at third base and first base.
The team has several players work games between the outfield and infield positions to gain valuable experience. It also opens up more opportunities for each prospect to be promoted when a position becomes available, even if it isn't their natural spot.
Rendon had a very good spring, and is hitting .190 in six Double-A games, with four hits and six walks in 21 at-bats. Listed as the top prospect in the system, having Rendon play three different positions each week will be a nice test to his overall versatility and ultimately fine-tune his defense at each position.
The No. 6 pick in the 2011 draft is currently ranked 30th in the list of top 100 prospects according to Baseball America. Rendon hit .375 with four doubles, four homers and 11 RBIs in 13 spring training games.