Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper has 43 career home runs and two All-Star appearances at 21 years old. But to utility infielder Kevin Frandsen, Washington's best young player is 23-year-old infielder Anthony Rendon.
In an interview on 106.7 The Fan in Washington on Wednesday, Frandsen, who is in his first season with the Nationals, was asked which player on the team has impressed him most.
“Rendon,” Frandsen answered. “Without a doubt.
“He is as impressive as any young player; in all honesty, he’s the best young guy we have. By far. I don’t think there’s anyone in the same sentence as him, as far as young guys.”
Both hosts followed up by asking Frandsen if his statement included Harper.
“Absolutely,” Frandsen said, adding that Rendon has the quickest set of hands he's seen since Barry Bonds, who Frandsen played with in San Francisco. “I would say that, because, this is a personal opinion, and watching it, and Tony, ah man, that is one of the coolest swings I’ve seen. And especially for, what is he, 23, 24-years-old?
“To be that consistent, to stay inside the baseball as consistently as he can, and to have that much pop. I don’t know how much the outside knows, but he hits balls farther than most people on the team. But he is so good, as far as staying inside and staying within himself, that just impresses me.
“And then moving from second to third, third back to second, second back to third, unbelievable. And his attitude, whether it’s a four-hit game, or 0-for-4, which rarely happens, it’s the same; it’s consistent; it’s just someone that you just enjoy watching all the time.”
Rendon is hitting .295 with 10 doubles, three triples, five homers and 23 RBIs in 34 games this season with an .849 OPS.
Harper, who has been out since April 25 with a torn ligament in his left thumb, is hitting a career-high .289 with four doubles, one triple, a home run and nine RBIs in 22 games, with a career-low .773 OPS.
In 98 games last season, Rendon hit .265/.329/.396, while Harper hit .274/.368/.486 in 118 games. SI WIRE: Report: Pirates prospect Gregory Polanco turned down 10-year contract