|Anthony Rendon has a.417 batting average|
When Rice University's Junior third basemen Anthony Rendon took the field last Friday against Stanford, he was not only starting a new season, he was playing in his first game since July 2010 when he brutally shattered his right ankle. As expected, Rendon struggled in his return debut going 0-4 in a 5-3 loss to the Cardinal. In his second game, he went 1-4 with a run scored. In his third game, he went 2-4. Now, with six games in the books on this young season, Anthony Rendon has reclaimed his top spot on the Owl's hitting chart with a .417 batting average while also hitting his first home run last night against USC. In order to maintain his status as Top Prospect in the 2011 MLB Draft, he has to show he can stay healthy while continuing to be extremely productive.
His current .417 batting average may hold up as the season wears on as he hit .394 last year as a sophomore. However, he has been dealing with minor shoulder issues which have kept him as the DH in the lineup. His health has to be somewhat of a red flag for Pirates' management and if Rendon's problems continue to linger on during his junior season, the Pirates may end up taking either TCU pitcher Matt Purke or UCLA pitcher Gerrit Cole. Purke threw 4 shutout innings against Kansas before being lifted after the Horned Frogs got out to an 8-0 lead. Gerrit Cole threw a complete game shutout allowing only 4 hits and striking out 11 batters. All three players are competing for the number 1 pick and with all three being represented by money shark Scott Boras, signability is no longer an excuse for our Buccos.
Drafting and signing Rendon would be the most logical choice for the Pirates. Although you can never have too much pitching, with the money Cole and Purke would command along with last year's signing of Jameson Taillon, the Pirates would be taking a financial risk, spending upwards of 25 million dollars on two players whose position is more fragile and erratic during the developmental stages than position players. Also, with Rendon being a position player and a defensive stud at third base, you would have someone to move Pedro Alvarez over to first. As for now, let us sit back and watch this kid tear up Division 1 College Baseball. As Rendon continues to heat up, his numbers will go through the roof, making his arrival to Pittsburgh closer each step of the way.