Top Nats hitting prospect Anthony Rendon had to be helped off the field last night in Class A Potomac after he hurt himself rounding third in just his second minor league game. Apparently, it was not a pleasant scene.
Bill Ladson of MLB.com is reporting this morning that the injury was to Rendon’s left ankle. The slugging infielder had previously hurt his right ankle severely both during a stint with Team USA in 2010, and during the NCAA super regionals in his sophomore year at Rice.
There has been no official word from the Nationals about the severity of the injury, or how much time Rendon will be forced to miss, if any.
I am certainly no doctor, but being an athlete my entire life I have dealt with, and observed, my fair share of ankle injuries in my day. Here are my thoughts:
- When we were in Spring Training last year, we watched Bryce Harper hurt his ankle during practice. He fell to the ground, rolled around in pain, and had to be carted off the field. From just looking at him, my first impression was that he would be out for at least a month, if not half a season. He was back in practice by the end of the week.
- It’s hard to tell the severity of an ankle injury by the way the athlete reacts. I’ve seen guys roll around in agony only to come back and finish a game 20 minutes later, and I’ve seen some guys finish a game and then be sidelined for six weeks.
- Once you severely injure an ankle once, it becomes way easier to tweak it over and over again. You can rehab it, strengthen it, run on it fine for six months with no incident, but every time you tweak or bend it the wrong way you are just a degree or two from another bad strain.
- I was extremely impressed by Rendon’s swing this spring. I honestly believe his talent is a lot closer to Bryce Harper’s than many think. He could very realistically be the best hitter on the Nationals in five years.
- This injury will undoubtedly bring up questions about Rendon’s durability. He slipped from being the consensus No. 1 overall pick to the Nats at No. 6 because of a shoulder injury that bothered him throughout his junior season. Now with three ankle injuries, some will begin to wonder whether or not he’ll stay healthy enough to reach his potential.