There’s potential for a wide range of outcomes when an owner picks up a prospect. Recent breakout performances from Mike Trout, Bryce Harper and Matt Harvey have caused fantasy owners to take notice whenever a top prospect gets a shot. But few prospects get off to blazing starts, and owners are more likely stuck with a guy like Kevin Gausman, who still has loads of potential, but struggled in his first taste of the majors. The Nationals boast one prospect who got started slowly, but has racketed things up a notch lately, and another non-prospect who is expected to make his major-league debut soon. Both Anthony Rendon and Taylor Jordan could end up playing a role on fantasy teams this season, but are they worth a pickup right now?
Anthony Rendon 3B/2B 75% owned in CBSSports.com leagues
Rendon is already owned in a fair share of leagues, but he deserves a higher ownership rate. The 23-year-old wasn’t excellent right off the bat, putting up average numbers through his first eight major-league games before returning to the minors. But things have clicked during his second call-up. Rendon hasn’t just hit good enough to stave off Danny Espinosa, he’s emerged as one of the team’s best offensive threats recently. In the 18 games he’s played since his second call-up, Rendon has collected at least one hit in all but two. Rendon seems to be more comfortable this time around, and is utilizing the whole field to his advantage. At Nationals Park, Rendon has only pulled four hits. The majority of his hits have come either up the middle or to the opposite field. The only area where fantasy owners can complain is his surprising lack of power. Rendon only has one home run in 107 plate-appearances. He’s still managed to post a solid .485 slugging percentage due to his 10 doubles. He’s already earned a spot at the top of the team’s lineup, and could post some Matt Carpenter-lite numbers moving forward if the power doesn’t develop this year. Injuries are the only major concern with Rendon.
Taylor Jordan SP 10% owned in CBSSports.com leagues
Jordan isn’t a must-add yet, even in NL-only leagues, but he does deserve some attention in fantasy leagues. His numbers in Double-A have been eye-popping. Jordan has a 0.83 ERA through 8 starts at the level. He was almost as good in High A, posting a 1.24 ERA through 36.1 innings. After undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2011, Jordan struggled in 2012. He’s been able to rebound this year, and is posting an excellent 4.3% walk rate in the minors. His performance earned him a spot in the 2013 Futures Game. Jordan is rumored to receive his major-league debut Friday against the Mets. The Mets have the 27th ranked offense according to wOBA, so there’s a decent change Jordan will get off to a good start. The main issue with Jordan is that he’s old for his league. At age-24, Jordan should probably be in Triple-A. Instead, he began in the low levels of the minors. Jordan is known for having a good sinker, that has reportedly hit 94 mph. Dan Haren allegedly has a slight tear in his labrum, and that never bodes well for continued success, so there’s a chance Jordan gets an extended look in the team’s rotation if he performs well.