March 07, 2012; Melbourne, FL, USA; Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon (6) at bat during the spring training game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Space Coast Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-US PRESSWIRE
2011 Washington Nationals' 1st Round pick Anthony Rendon was just two games and six plate appearances into his first pro season at Class-A Potomac, and he'd just doubled for the first time, when the Richmond, Texas-born, Rice-educated infielder suffered what was described by the Nats as a "partial fracture" of his left ankle while rounding third base and attempting to score from second. Widely considered the best hitting prospect in last year's draft, Rendon fell to no.6 overall where the Nationals selected him after a 2011 campaign in which he was limited by a shoulder injury but still managed to put up a .327/.520/.523 line with two doubles, six home runs and 27 RBI's in 63 games and 214 at bats to end his career after three seasons at Rice with a .371 AVG, 46 doubles, 52 HR's, 176 BB and 201 runs scored in 187 games. Rendon had previously suffered ligaments to his right ankle on two separate occasions, but the latest injury was to his left ankle.
As D.C. GM Mike Rizzo told the Washington Post's James Wagner in an article on the injury back on April 12th entitled, "Nationals prospect Rendon suffers partial ankle fracture, Goodwin pulls hamstring", the Nats believe their 2011 1st Round pick should be back on the field at some point this season. "'They tell me his season’s not in jeopardy,'" the WaPost's Mr. Wagner quoted the Nationals' general manager explaining at the time before Rizzo added that, "'Actually this slight fracture probably heals quicker and cleaner than a bad sprain.'"
ESPN.com's Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) sort-of-updated everyone on the soon-to-turn 22-year-old infielder's status on Twitter this morning:
Take II: Anthony Rendon's ankle injury was a small fracture. He's getting better, and the Nats expect he will play later this season.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) May 12, 2012
The "Take II" was because the ESPN writer described the injury as a bad sprain in an earlier tweet that conveyed the same info. Rendon's recovering and expected to return to the field at some point this season. The former Owls' infielder turns 22 this June. Upon drafting Rendon, D.C. GM Mike Rizzo described the right-handed hitting and throwing third baseman as a Gold Glove caliber defender, "... polished, accomplished college hitter," and, "... a consumate, professional hitter." How far the recent injury will set Rendon back is unclear, but missing most of his first professional season is another blow in the development of a player considered a quick-to-the-majors-type when he was drafted.