Ryan Wood and I’s fifth installment of ‘Feeling a Draft’ will profile our second offensive prospect, Anthony Rendon. Rendon is the first underclassman to win Baseball America’s Collegiate Player of the Year award in a decade. Rendon has been called one of the best natural hitters to come along in a long time and possibly the best natural hitter in this years draft. Just the fact that being an underclassman he won player of the yaer puts him with elite company with the likes of Robin Ventura, John Olerud, and Mark Texeira. Rendon doesn’t only do it with the bat though, he quite often makes plays with the glove. He only made 5 errors in the past year and according to his coach at Rice Unversity he made some sensational plays in the field.
While pitching is one of the biggest commodoties in baseball, the Royals could use another hitting prospect. With Hosmer already up and performing, Moustakas shrugging off his slow start, and Will Myers being injured, the Royals don’t have any other elite hitting prospects in the minors at the moment. Players like Clint Robinson, David Lough, Rey Navarro, and Ryan Stovall are hitting well, but none of them are considered elite major league hitting prospects. It would make sense for the Royals to have another to-level bat in the system that bring up with the rest of the pitching prospects.
Here is the scouting report on Rendon:
Bat Speed: Rendon’s greatest strength in his hitting is his bat speed. Rendon starts his barrel earlier than most and that allows his bat to have more speed before making contact. This allows him to catch up to nearly any fastball and and reach max velocity quicker and more efficiently than most.
Motion Transfer: Rendon has devised a way with his unique batting style to gather all of his weight on his back leg but still transfer momentum through the swing to the front of his strength.
Defense: While he doesn’t have great running ability or quickness, an above average glove and a plus arem will make him a solid option at 3rd base. His infield experience and plus arm make him a reliable candidate if Moustakas doesn’t work out or Colon doesn’t work out at 2nd. His solid arm would also mean that he could probably move to the outfield if necessary.
Footwork: Rendon has two toe taps in his swing motion that might cocern some at the major league level but the thinking is that Rendon has such a special talent, and can compensate with his bat swing that this shouldn’t be a major problem at the next level.
Ego: Apparently Rendon has a slight ego that he will need to check at the door on his way into any major league clubhouse. Most certainly his first level at failure at any given level will help cure any ego concerns.
Unfortunately the best comparison to Rendon would have to be everybody’s favorite failed experiment, Alex Gordon. Rendon even plays the same position. There were a few more noticeable holes in Gordon’s swing at the time he was drafted but he projected to superstar level nonetheless. Having some concerns about defense was something that Gordon didn’t have as much of initially, but grew into. I think Rendon is a long shot but I do feel any time you can infuse an electric bat like his into an organization it will only help things.