Rendon and Meyer highlight 2011 MLB Draft

Anthony Rendon, 3B, Rice University

Audio from the conference call with Rendon: Anthony Rendon

In a first round dominated by pitchers, Anthony Rendon stands out. The Rice University third baseman was taken with the sixth overall pick in this year’s First-Year Player Draft by the Nationals.

Rendon hit .371 with 52 homers and 194 RBI in 187 games during his time at Rice. He posted an on-base percentage of .505 during his career. Given those stats, it should come as no surprise that he’s a semifinalist for both this year’s Howser Trophy and Golden Spikes Award. Rendon won the Howser Trophy last year after hitting .394 with 26 home runs and 85 RBI as a sophomore. He was rated the top position player in this year’s draft by Baseball America.

Rendon was previously drafted out of high school by the Atlanta Braves in the 27th round, but turned that down in order to attend Rice.

What’s curious about Rendon is his position—third base. With Gold Glove and Silver Slugger-recipient Ryan Zimmerman at the hot corner for the foreseeable future, it’s hard to imagine anyone else taking over that position. As soon as he was drafted, there was immediate speculation that Rendon would be shifted to second base—but with Danny Espinosa providing solid defense so far and some pop in his bat, do Nationals fans really want to lose him?

Regardless of his position, it’s obvious that Rendon will succeed both offensively and defensively. During his sophomore year at Rice he made only four errors for an astounding .978 fielding percentage and scouts have made it clear in their reports that he’ll be able to hit Major League pitching. Rendon will hopefully develop into the kind of impact player that Washington needs as they strive to become a contender.

 

Alex Meyer, RHP, University of Kentucky

 Audio from the conference call with Meyer: Alex Meyer

Adding to a farm system already rich with strong arms, the Nationals selected right-handed pitcher Alex Meyer 23rd overall. The University of Kentucky pitcher was Washington’s second draft pick after power-hitting third baseman Anthony Rendon was taken sixth overall. Many had speculated that the Nationals would take Meyer with that No. 6 pick. Seventeen picks later, they got their man.

With a fastball clocked in the upper 90s, Meyer garnered interest from scouts this past college season when he struck out 110 batters in 101 innings while posting a 2.94 ERA. In 10 starts against his conference competition this season, he won five decisions and pitched three complete games. Meyer is an intimidating figure on the mound, standing at 6-foot-9—but if he makes the Majors with the Nationals, he’d still only be the third-tallest pitcher in Nats/Expos franchise history (behind Jon Rauch and Randy Johnson, who both stood at 6-10). Aside from his scorching fastball, he also has a plus slider and changeup.

Meyer was first drafted out of high school by the Red Sox in the 20th round in 2008, but he opted to go to college instead.

NATIONALS’ SELECTIONS IN 2011 MLB FIRST-YEAR PLAYER DRAFT

RD  PICK     PLAYER                          POS      B/T       HT       WT        DOB         SCHOOL

  1        6     Anthony Rendon              3B       R/R       6-0      190       6/6/90           Rice Univ. (TX)

  1      23     Alex Meyer                      RHP     R/R       6-9      220       1/3/90           Univ. of Kentucky

  S      34     Brian Goodwin                 OF       L/L        6-1      195      11/2/90        Miami Dade College (FL)

  3      96     Matt Purke                       LHP      L/L        6-3      175      7/17/90          Texas Christian Univ.

  4     127     Kylin Turnbull                 LHP      L/L        6-5      200      9/12/89          Santa Barbara CC (CA)

  5     157     Matt Skole                        3B       L/R       6-3      230      7/30/89          Georgia Tech Univ.

  6     187     Taylor Hill                      RHP     R/R       6-3      225      3/12/89          Vanderbilt Univ. (TN)

  7     217     Brian Dupra                    RHP     R/R       6-3      205     12/15/88         Notre Dame Univ. (IN)

  8     247     Greg Holt                        RHP     R/R       6-2      200      6/19/89          Univ. of North Carolina

  9     277     Dixon Anderson              RHP     R/R       6-6      225       7/2/89        Univ. of California-Berkley

10     307     Manny Rodriguez            RHP     R/R       6-2      225      1/12/89          Barry Univ. (FL)

11     337     Caleb Ramsey                  OF       L/R       6-3      210      10/7/88          Univ. of Houston (TX)

12     367     Blake Monar                    LHP      L/L        6-2      205      6/16/89          Indiana Univ.

13     397     Blake Kalenkosky             1B       R/R       6-0      204     10/28/89         Texas State Univ.

14     427     Cody Stubbs                    OF       L/R       6-3      215      1/14/91          Walters State CC (TN)

15     457     Zach Houchins                 SS       R/R       6-3      185      9/16/92          Louisburg JC (NC)

16     487     Deion Williams                 SS       R/R       6-3      185     11/11/92         Redan HS (GA)

17     517     Esteban Guzman             RHP     R/R       6-4      220      2/15/90       San Jose State Univ. (CA)

18     547     Nicholas Lee                   LHP      L/L        6-1      190      1/31/91       Weatherford College (TX)

19     577     Hawtin Buchannan          RHP      L/R       6-8      245      4/29/93          Biloxi HS (MS)

20     607     Josh Laxer                      RHP     R/R       6-1      190       6/7/93        Madison Central HS (MS)

21     637     Todd Simko                    LHP      L/L        6-4      225      12/5/88       Texas A&M Univ.-C.C.

22     667     Travis Henke                  RHP     R/R       6-6      250       7/9/88    Univ. of Arkansas-Little Rock

23     697     Khayyan Norfork              2B       R/R      5-10      190      1/19/89          Univ. of Tennessee

24     727     Kyle Ottoson                   LHP      L/L        6-2      165      7/11/90          Arizona State Univ.

25     757     Erick Fernandez                C       R/R      5-11      190     11/30/88         Georgetown Univ. (DC)

26     787     Shawn Pleffner                 OF       L/R       6-5      225      8/17/89          Univ. of Tampa (FL)

27     817     Bobby Lucas                    LHP      L/L        6-4      220      8/12/87      George Washington (DC)

28     847     Kenneth Ferrer                RHP     R/R       6-1      220     12/13/89         Elon Univ. (NC)

29     877     Sean Cotton                      C       R/R       6-2      210     11/15/88         Tusculum College (TN)

30     907     Bryan Harper                   LHP      L/L        6-6      210     12/29/89         Univ. of South Carolina

31     937     Josh Tobias                     SS       S/R       5-9      200     11/23/92     Southeast Guilford HS (NC)

32     967     Billy Burns                       OF      R/R       5-9      170      8/30/89          Mercer Univ. (GA)

33     997     Trey Karlen                      2B       R/R      5-11      195      4/23/88     Univ. of Tennessee-Martin

34   1027     Calvin Drummond           RHP     R/R       6-3      200      9/22/89          Univ. of San Diego (CA)

35   1057     Alex Kreis                       RHP     R/R       6-1      210       1/1/89         Jamestown College (ND)

36   1087     Ben Hawkins                   LHP      L/L        6-0      180      11/4/89          Univ. of West Florida

37   1117     Derrick Bleeker               RHP     R/R       6-5      220      3/11/91          Howard College (TX)

38   1147     Brett Mooneyham            LHP      L/L        6-5      245      1/24/90          Stanford Univ. (CA)

39   1177     Peter Verdin                     OF      R/R       6-0      205      3/19/90          Univ. of Georgia

40   1207     Stephen Collum               OF      R/R       6-3      185       3/7/92           Cartersville HS (GA)

41   1237     Bryce Ortega                    3B       R/R      5-10      165      9/22/88          Univ. of Arizona

42   1267     David Kerian                    SS       S/R       6-2      185       2/9/93           Bishop Heelan HS (IA)

43   1297     Mitchell Morales               SS       L/R      5-10      150       3/3/93    Wellington Community HS

44   1327     Matt Snyder                      1B       L/R       6-6      210      6/17/90          Univ. of Mississippi

45   1357     Ritchie Mirowski             RHP     R/R       6-2      190      4/30/89          Oklahoma Baptist Univ.

46   1387     Tyler Thompson              OF       L/R       6-1      185       8/4/89           Univ. of Florida

47   1417     Timothy Montgomery       LHP      R/L       6-5      195      3/13/93          Rockmart HS (GA)

48   1447     Michael Bisenius              OF       L/R       6-3      215     10/29/88      Wayne State College (NE)

49   1477     Hunter Cole                     OF      R/R       6-1      185      10/3/92          Dorman HS (SC)

50   1507     Anthony Nix                     OF      R/R      5-10      185     2/3/1989    Univ. of California-Riverside

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