Injuries have plagued prospect's first season

No matter what happens the rest of the season, Anthony Rendon's first professional campaign will not live up to its full billing.

That's because the 22-year-old third baseman, selected by the Nationals No. 6 overall in last year's Major League Baseball draft and considered the best hitter available, has just now made it back from a nasty ankle injury suffered in a game in April while playing for Single-A Potomac.

Rendon endured a partial fracture of his right ankle in just his second minor league contest while tearing around third base trying to score a run in a game against Lynchburg. He had previously torn ligaments in that ankle while playing college baseball at Rice in 2009 and also suffered a serious right ankle sprain in 2010. Those injuries, along with a shoulder injury that kept him from playing much defense in his final year at Rice, are what caused Rendon drop to Washington in the first place. He was expected to go higher in the 2011 draft.

After months of rehabilitation, Rendon played five games of rookie ball in Viera, Fla., with the Gulf Coast League Nationals and eight more with short-season Single-A Auburn. He then made a nine games pit stop at Potomac last week and on Tuesday was promoted to Double-A Harrisburg. It's not exactly the way he thought he'd climb within two steps of the big leagues. In all, Rendon has had just 78 plate appearances in 2012 and though the numbers -- .308 batting average, three home runs, three triples, five doubles -- are good, that is small consolation.

Rendon is on the 40-man roster and a September call-up to the big leagues is an outside possibility. He could also try to make up for those lost at-bats during instructional league in September when the organization's top prospects gather again in Viera and then with a stint in the prestigious Arizona Fall League starting in October. Rendon will also have the remaining 21 games at Harrisburg, which began on Tuesday against Akron.