The Nationals promoted top infield prospect Anthony Rendon to Class AA Harrisburg this morning, ending a short stay at Class A Potomac for Rendon following his return from a fractured ankle that robbed him of the majority of his first professional season.
Rendon, 22, fractured his ankle in the second game of the season at Potomac and did not return to a Nationals affiliate until he rehabbed at rookie ball in Auburn for eight games. Rendon appeared in only seven games with Potomac before the Nationals bumped him right to Harrisburg. He went 7 for 23 with a double, two triples and three walks.
The Nationals’ quick promotion is a nod to Rendon’s advanced ability. In spring training, he wowed Nationals evaluators and coaches with his effortless, powerful swing. Some officials believe he may have reached the majors this season if not for his broken ankle, which he suffered April 7 as he rounded third base.
The Nationals may have been motivated to move Rendon with an eye on the Arizona Fall League. Teams send seven players to the elite development league that takes place each October. Only one of them may be at a level below Class AA. The Nationals, if they so choose, can now send both Rendon and a prospect of their choice from Potomac – say, top pitching prospect Alex Meyer – to the fall league.
The Nationals drafted Rendon with the sixth overall choice in 2011 out of Rice and later signed him to a major league contract worth $7.2 million.
Because Rendon signed a major league contract out of the draft and is on the Nationals’ 40-man roster, he would be eligible to be called up in September. That seems highly unlikely, though, even with the promotion.
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