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Kevin Frandsen says Anthony Rendon, not Bryce Harper, is Nats’ best young player

(Photo by Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)

Nationals utility player Kevin Frandsen joined the Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan on Wednesday and, while his interview wasn’t as eventful as his manager’s earlier in the day, he shared some interesting wisdom about his first month in Washington.

Frandsen, who signed with the Nationals in late March after spending spring training with the Phillies, was asked which of his new teammates has impressed him the most this season.

“Rendon,” Frandsen said, not skipping a beat. “Without a doubt. He is as impressive as any young player; in all honesty, he’s the best young guy we have, by far. … I don’t think there’s anyone in the same sentence as him, as far as young guys, and he might be one of the best ones in the league.”

At this point, Eric Bickel and Jason Bishop interjected to ask if Frandsen was including Bryce Harper in his evaluation.

“Absolutely,” said Frandsen, who later said he agreed with Matt Williams’s decision to bench Harper for not hustling. “Tony, ah man, that is one of the coolest swings I’ve seen. And especially for, what is he, 23, 24 years old? To be that consistent, to stay inside the baseball as consistently as he can, and to have that much pop. I don’t know how much the outside knows, but he hits balls farther than most people on the team. But he is so good, as far as staying inside and staying within himself, that just impresses me.”

Frandsen, who has played six positions in his career, also praised Rendon’s versatility in the field, attitude and ridiculously quick hands.

“I was fortunate enough, in ’06 and ’07, to play with [Barry] Bonds, and I grew up obviously watching him,” said Frandsen, who’s from Northern California. “Tony is not in that league, okay. No one’s in that league. But, those are some of the quickest hands I’ve seen and played with since Bonds. Based off the fact that he is always in the same slot, he’s always hitting out of the same spot every time, and it’s so quick — it’s just like boom – it’s so relaxed, so relaxed, and then it’s all hell breaks loose on that baseball, and it’s pretty cool.”

That’s high praise for Rendon from a guy with his own wine cork topper.

The Lehigh Valley IronPigs are giving these out on Mother’s Day in honor of Frandsen, who spent most of the 2011 and 2012 seasons with the team. Frandsen’s family established the “19 For Life” nonprofit foundation in honor of his brother, DJ Frandsen, who died of cancer in 2004. One of the foundation’s top fundraising events is a wine tasting festival in San Jose.

(Thanks to Chris Lingebach for sharing.)

Scott Allen writes about all things D.C. sports. Follow him on Twitter @ScottSAllen or e-mail him if you’ve got a tip to share.
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