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Top 100 Countdown: Number 18 Anthony Rendon (Rice)

AnthonyRendonHeadshot The CBB continues our countdown for the 2010 College Baseball season by checking in on the Top 100 Players in the country. We will be providing one player per day until we reach number 1.

We continue the list today with number 18 in our countdown with sophomore Anthony Rendon from Rice. He is from Houston TX and attended Lamar High School. His senior season saw him hit .570 with eight homers, 17 doubles, 56 RBI, 56 runs scored and 13 steals. He picked up several honors including First team 5A all-state shortstop, All-Greater Houston selection by the Houston Chronicle, and a starter in the Texas high school all-star game. He was also named all-state as a junior when he led the Houston area with 14 homers.


Rendon stepped right into the Rice program starting all 61 games last season with a .388 average while hitting 20 homers and 72 RBI. He also picked up nine steals inRendonAction 12 attempts. His .388 batting average, .702 slugging percentage, and 20 homers all lead Conference-USA last season. He was the first freshman in Conference USA to ever win Freshman of the Year and Player of the Year awards. He picked up several national awards including being named Second Team All-American by Baseball America and NCBWA, 2009 National Freshman of the Year by Collegiate Baseball, and a member of the 2009 NCBWA Freshman All-American team.

The biggest question mark with Rendon is his defense as he made 12 errors last year for a fielding percentage of .945. He ended up having ankle surgery which according to multiple sources he has fully recovered from. We will see if and how it affects him during the 2010 season.

You can check out the rest of our Top 100 by clicking here

  • waltgreenberg

    Brian, you are a total joke. The biggest question with Rendon is his defense? Have you ever seen him play? The guy is an absolute vaccuum at 3B, with incredible range (given he was a high school SS)….and if you bothered to speak to any coach about his defense they would all tell you the exact same thing. Almost all of Rendon’s 12 errors were of the throwing kind, and were at least partly attributable to his playing with a sore shoulder for the majority of the season. Amazing how the only two players so far in which you couldn’t resist but to make a negative quip on at the end are both Rice guys– Hague and Rendon. And you claim you’re not biased? PLEASE.

    So tell me, how do you rationalize ranking a DH (Dean) ahead of Rendon when one (Dean) is a defensive liability and not a particularly good baserunner, while the other is a 5-tool guy….who, BTW, out hit Dean his Freshman season?

    Given Aaron Fitt of BA and several others perceive Rendon to be either the #1 or #2 (Behind Colon) returning position player in the country, I can’t wait to see the 17 players you have ranked ahead of Anthony.

    • Now your going to quote Aaron Fitt, but when I bring up Jesse Hahn being ranked high by them, you dismiss it!

      You just use things to make your case better when it is in your favor.

      I have questions over many guys especially some in the Top 20.

      FYI, Collegiate Baseball has TWO third basemen listed ahead of him as Rendon was only a third team All-American with Jake Smith of Alabama, Phil Wunderlich of Louisville, and Bo Reeder of East Tennessee State. Both Tony Thompson of Kansas and Joey Bergman who was 47th on the countdown.

  • Pedro

    I think I have to agree with Walt here. Having watched most of Rendon’s games in person, his defense is far (far far) from a question mark. Only someone who has seen him play much would utter such. I think one would be hard-pressed to find many better defensive players at 3B (with the combination of range, reaction, and arm). I do not claim to know about all of college baseball, but I do know that Rendon is no question mark at 3B!

  • BKMHOXX (Aman Reaka)

    12 errors is still 12 errors. And thats too many to just call a guy an elite defender.
    Now on the other side of things, i do know that Rendon has the ability to play some stellar defense.
    He is easily one of the top pro prospects (as of now) in all the land BUT he was only a freshman and like Walt says, he has done nothing to earn being ranked higher. Rendon wont be on my list because he isnt eligible until next year in which i would bet him to be a top 5 pick.

  • 6-4-3


    When Dallas Gallant came up on the list, you didn’t cut him any slack for playing with an injury most of the year. Why would Rendon get slack for playing with a sore shoulder?

  • texan


    I completely agree with 6-4-3. Workman pitched the middle half of last season with back problems. The scouts and anyone close to the Texas program knew this. Twelve errors is 12 errors! Can’t make 12 errors and be considered an elite defensive player. However, Rendon is the real deal!

  • waltgreenberg

    1. LOL..Brian, do you actually think your credibility goes up by going by Collegiate Baseball? Please tell me you’re kidding? BTW, Collegiate Baseball invariably gives the nod to upperclassmen in both it’s preseason and final all-american listings, even if the numbers would suggest otherwise. Again, Hahn ranks high as a prospect; not as a college player. I don’t recall Fitt and BA ever putting Hahn on an all-american listing, and I’ll bet you anything he doesn’t land on any of their preseason all-american lists.

    2. 12 errors may be 12 errors, but I don’t think Brian is going to question Colon’s defense, and he had 11 errors last season. The reality is that anyone who has seen Rendon play 3B for multiple games– coaches, opposing players, fans alike– marvel at his defense. No third baseman in the country (and I’ll include Mendoca of Fresno State, even though he’s now pro) fields the bunt the way Rendon does, or has the range that he has…and last year was his first year ever at the position (having played SS his whole life previously).

    3. Since LSU’s Dean and ECU’s Roller have yet to be named in Brian’s list, one has to presume they’ll both be ranked above Rendon….but based on what exactly? Not only did Rendon out hit each of them offensively last season, despite playinbg in a much more pitcher friendly home park than either The Box or the bandbox in Greenville (and playing to a much more difficult SoS than ECU), but Rendon is a 5-tool guy who excels on the bases and in the field; whereas both Dean and Roller have spent their entire college careers at DH, and both are relative slow afoot.

    Again, Brian, I’ll admit to being biased towards Rice, but I’d love to understand your logic here.

  • Rice Fan

    Having seen most of Rendon’s games last season, I can attest to his defensive superiority. 12 errors are 12 errors, but if stats were kept on unexpected putouts by making an exceptional play, Rendon would likely lead the league, more than making up for the 12 errors by at least 3X.

  • Walt, are you reading comprehension retarded? Are you looking for anything to bitch about in everything written by Brian? Do you hold some personal vendetta to attempt and use your already joke of a name to try and drag Brian down?

    By saying his only question mark was defense due to his 12 errors, Brian implied that if Rendon cut down his 12 errors, he would be higher on the list. There is a reason why you stick to message boards and comments and don’t have the balls to write anything or attempt a list like Brian has done.

    In reading your assessment, Rendon is a vacuum at 3rd, yet he can’t make the throw. Awesome, maybe they should put him at DH.

    Calling Brian biased towards Rice is just asinine. Everyone knows the bias is towards you.

  • waltgreenberg


    Sorry but I disagree. Had Brian bothered to watch Rendon play, or asked opposing coaches or the scouting community, no one would “question” Rendon’s defense. Not one. Yet he singled out Rendon in such a matter, despite not doing so for many position players on his list already who had considerably more errors than Rendon (and are nowhere near the defensive player Rendon is). Yes, Rendon had 12 errors– as a true Freshman adjusting to D-I action at a position he had never played previously– but he also made dozen of plays on balls that 95% of college 3B would have never gotten to. I very much doubt any 3B in the country last year started more double plays or successfully handled more bunt plays, and few if any have the range of Anthony. Furthermore, for those of us that had the priviledge of watching most of Rice’s games, we recognize that many of the throwing errors Anthony made were on balls that most other 3B would have never come close to getting to. If Rendon would be ranked higher if not for his defense, then I can’t wait for Brian’s explanation of why/how LSU’s Dean or ECU’s Roller is ranked ahead of them…as Rendon not only outhit each of them last season (despite playing in a far more pitcher-friendly home park), but those two guys have been DHs their entire college careers up to this point, and don’t run the bases as well as Rendon.

    As for my perception that Brian has a bias against Rice– ever since this site went live Brian has made off-handed negative comments about the Owls; talking about how unimpressed he was watching them. With regards to this listing, he singled out Rendon for “questionable” defense, which aside from being patently ridiculous, represented the lone time Brian has called somewhat out for defense so far on his countdown. Secondly, I suggest you reread his writeup on Rick Hage (#23), where he could not help himself but to take a parting shot at the end of his writeup…after mentioning that Hague led TeamUSA with a .371 AVG (along with 3 HRs and 18 RBIs) and played nearly flawless 3B (despite have never played that position prior to this Summer), he had to end his piece with this– “I was unimpressed with Hague in the two games I saw this Summer, when he went 0-6, and his only time getting on base was via a walk.” Sorry, but such a comment was not only uncalled for and, quite honestly irresponsible, but he had made no such negative comment about any of the 77 players that were written up before Hague.

    No bias?

    • Walt,

      Everytime I have seen these Rice players over the last few years, I have been far from impressed by them. Could they just be a little overrated or just bad luck that I see them on bad nights? I think it is a combo of both.

      Yes, you can hit .388 but lets see him do that day in and day out in the summer against elite pitching before calling him the greatest player in the history of college baseball.

      • fr9785

        Have you watched AR?

  • Scott

    I understand your Rice love. But do you know how many teams there are in college baseball? Do you know how much it would cost to go to numerous games to watch numerous players play? Do you know that you can only be in one place at one time?

    Yes, eyes help. Yes, numbers help. The comment Brian made about Hage was not a parting shot. It was an opinion. Just as your opinion that if you have Rice on your jersey, you should be on an All-American team comes through. If you want to chat about the players, chat. If you want to be a harping banshee, please go to TMZ or Deadspin or some of those places. The personal attacks are ridiculous. IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE SITE, DON’T VISIT IT! (Brian, don’t mean to mess up your web traffic)

  • 6-4-3

    I love the site, and Walt, me thinks thou doest complain too much.

  • D-Jaxx

    Rendon can flat out play D. He closed out C-USA Championship Game with a great play at 3rd. Blake Dean will be rated high because of the body of work he has done in College Baseball, Not sure about Roller, He is a power hitter. Over 6ft 200 plus lb. that seem to help, That one tool can get you Drafted.

  • waltgreenberg

    Scott, the comment on Hague was most definately a “parting shot”. Yes, it was an opinion, but Brian in his previous 77 player profiles had not once make such a crack about a player. And, again, to single out Rendon for “questionable defense” is simply laughable.

    Brian, I don’t understand your comment about “you can hit .388, but let’s see him do it day in day out in the Summer against elite pitching”? Say what? Let’s see, last year Rendon did it against Ruffin…do it against Jungmann and Green…did it against Coleman. Are you trying to imply that Cape Cod League numbers are more telling than D-I regular season stats for teams that play to a Top 20 SoS? And you can’t be implying TeamUSA, cause Hague did hit .371 day in day out all Summer long this past summer. With regards to Hague, no question he is a streaky hitter, as many quality hitters are. If I recall correctly, he hit over .500 the first 2+ weeks this past Summer then, essentially, went 0 for the Japanese trip, before catching fire again for the final two tournaments in Europe.

  • Walt,

    If you are telling me playing against the Prince George Axemen, Germany, Bahamas, and British Columbia is high level competition then you really have lost me.

    The only decent international team that USA Baseball played last summer was Japan.

  • jko68

    I cannot stand Rice, mostly due to the whippings they’ve laid on Tulane since they joined CUSA. I’ve seen a fair amount of college baseball over the last 6 years, and Rendon is the best pure hitter I’ve seen live in that time (in the Deep South – haven’t seen too much ball on either coast).

    I have no idea if the writer is biased, but it is hard to believe that there are 17 players in this country better than him. Neither Roller nor Dean is even close. While Hague is a very nice player, he’s not in Rendon’s class, as the similar rankings suggest.

  • waltgreenberg

    And once again, you avoided my question and request for clarification re. you comment on Rendon. What did you mean exactly when you said, “you can hit .388, but let’s see him do it day in and day out in the Summer against elite pitching”? Brian, I know you love the Cape League and it is the best Summer league out there, but I’m at a loss how it is superior, with more elite pitching, than a top 20 ranked SoS schedule.

    • Here are Rendon stats against some of the best pitchers in 2009.

      0-4 against Texas AM…Alex Wilson pitched in the game
      1-2 with a three run homer off of Fritisch (not one of the elite pitchers on the Baylor staff)
      0-4 against Washington State against Matt Way
      1-4 with a homer off of USD Kyle Blair
      0-4 off of USD’s Matt Thomson and AJ Griffin
      1-3 against Texas on March 17th. zero hits off of Jungmann and Wood
      0-4 in Game 1 against USM facing Ballinger and Cargill
      USM didn’t throw an “elite pitcher in Game 2
      1-4 in Game 3 against USM facing McInnis
      1-2 against Texas for the second time with the only hit coming off of Kendall Carrillo.
      1-4 against USM with a two run homer off of McInnis in the C-USA Championship
      1-5 against AJ Morris and K-State
      3-4 against Renaudo and LSU in Game 1
      0-1 against Coleman in Game 2 when he got injured.

      I think those are all the elite pitchers he faced last season.

  • Toby Ziegler

    Small sample size.

  • waltgreenberg

    Brian– only you could go into the box scores and select the handful of games i which Rendon had one hit or less (though I applaud you– seriously– for your level of detail)…and as you very well know, you cannot tell from the stat line whether Rendon hit the ball hard (but straight at people) or not in those games. Since when are Ballinger, Cargill and Way elite pitchers? You picked the lone game of the regional in which he didn’t excel (yes, it was against Morris), failed to mention any of the games in the C-USA tourney (including the championship game against USM) or any of the three games at ECU. There is not a college hitter out there with whom you can not pick a sample such as the one you did for Rendon….and I’ll bet you that every single one of them padded their stats against the lesser pitchers and the lesser teams on their schedules and had somewhat inferior stats against the elite pitchers. And, BTW, that’s true in major league baseball, as well.

  • Rob

    U guys entertain me – keep it up !

  • Evan

    Brian I appreciate all the hard work and research you have done in an attempt to inform us. Walt brings up some good points, and you have good reasons for your stance. I like how you have remained calm and informative even though Walt is obviously unappreciative of your work. Well I enjoy your opinion. It may differ from mine at some points, but thats ok. Your bias is minimal at best, so I’m not sure where his Rice-bashing claim is coming from. As for Rendon, I’ve only seen him take a few swings, but there is something about him that tells me he is not overrated at all. He looks like a great pure hitter, and his numbers reflect that.
    Maybe next year you can do a Top 10 D. 2 players countdown!

  • waltgreenberg

    I thought this was pretty comical from Jim Callis of Baseball America on his weekly prospects questionairre. You can submit question and Callis gives the answer.

    Derek (Houston, TX)
    Is Anthony Rendon one of the top 5 sophmores in the country?

    Jim Callis (2:18 PM)
    Let’s give him a little more credit than that. He’s the No. 1 college player in the country.

    Yes, just one man’s opinion (shared by Aaron Fitt of BA), but a guy who makes his living evaluating the pro projectability of college players.

  • Mike

    Completely agree with Jim Callis. Although I am a bit bias on Rendon, he is my cousin.

  • Russell

    So, I’m assuming Anthony will be a bit higher than #18 to start next year, right?

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