Kevin Frandsen started a bit of a minor firestorm (is there such a thing as a minor firestorm?) with his comments about Anthony Rendon and Bryce Harper yesterday on 106.7 the FAN in D.C.'s The Sports Junkies. Asked which of the young players with the Nationals has impressed him most since he joined the organization on a 1-year/$900K deal in late March, Frandsen answered quickly.
"[Anthony] Rendon," he said, "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."
"So that's over Bryce?" he was asked.
"Absolutely," Frandsen said. "I would say that. This is a personal opinion and watching it... Tony is -- oh, man, that is one of the coolest swings I've seen. 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. And then moving from second to third, third back to second, second back to third, unbelievable. And his attitude whether it's a four-hit game or an 0-for-4, which rarely happens, it's the same, it's consistent, it's someone that you just enjoy watching, all the time."
Of course, this was, somehow, (mis?)-interpreted as a shot at Harper, which it doesn't really appear to be, honestly, and personally I think the funniest thing Frandsen said in the whole interview came immediately after the comments quoted above when one of the Junkies prefaced a question about Rendon's hand speed by saying that he, himself, personally stunk at baseball in high school and couldn't hit at all, prompting Frandsen to say, "So you're talking about it now, which is perfect." C'mon that's funny.
Frandsen lamented on Twitter today that he was bothered by the fact that his comments about Rendon were seen as a shot at Harper (a quick search on Twitter will probably make you angry, but click here to see the response to his comments):
Anthony Rendon deserves praise without qualification. I praised him not to slight anyone else but to give him some much-deserved recognition— Kevin Frandsen (@KevinFrandsen) May 8, 2014
It's frustrating to see a compliment to one teammate be misinterpreted as a slight to another. Thanks #gonats— Kevin Frandsen (@KevinFrandsen) May 8, 2014
• Check out the entire interview Kevin Frandsen did with 106.7 the FAN in D.C.'s The Sports Junkies HERE.
In an interview with CSNWashington.com's Chase Hughes and ESPN980's Tim Murray today on their "Baseball in the District" show, we talked about Frandsen's comments and more. My quick and decidedly not hot take on Harper vs Rendon? You're talking about the top-ranked hitters in consecutive draft classes and Rendon played three years in college at Rice while Harper went from high school to junior college and after a year-plus in the minors, right to the major leagues, so would it be a surprise if, as talented as Bryce Harper clearly is, someone saw Rendon as a more developed and consistent major league hitter right now? Discuss...
And check out the quick interview I did with Mr.'s Hughes and Murray below. There's also good stuff with Jason Bennetti, who does the Syracuse Chief's play-by-play in the latest episode: