Nats prospect Rendon will play 2B at AAA

Nats prospect Rendon will play 2B at AAA
June 1, 2013, 12:45 pm
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ATLANTA — The Nationals promoted Anthony Rendon to Class AAA Syracuse late last night and plan to give their top prospect an extended look at second base, the likely final step toward his permanent arrival in the big leagues.

Rendon had appeared in five games at second base for Class AA Harrisburg but still spent the majority of his time at his natural third base position. In Syracuse, though, he'll work extensively with manager Tony Beasley (a former second baseman himself) on mastering the middle infield, which would prepare him for another promotion to Washington to possibly take over as the Nationals' everyday second baseman, according to sources familiar with the organization's plan.

Having received a paltry offensive performance from their second basemen this season — the group's .539 OPS ranks dead-last in MLB — the Nationals could benefit from adding Rendon's bat to their lineup. The 22-year-old hit .319 with six homers, 24 RBI and a 1.064 OPS at Harrisburg and owns a .952 OPS in 76 total minor-league games over the last two seasons.

The Nationals would want Rendon to master his footwork at second base before promoting him back to the majors — he appeared in eight games with Washington earlier this season, all at third base, hitting .240 — but he might not need more than a couple of weeks of regular play to accomplish it.

Rendon's potential addition to the Nationals' lineup could coincide with Danny Espinosa landing on the disabled list to address a right wrist injury that has plagued him this season. Currently hitting .164 with 45 strikeouts and four walks, Espinosa returned to the lineup the last three nights after missing five straight games to rest his wrist. He's gone 2-for-11 with five strikeouts since.