When Anthony Rendon joins the Washington Nationals in New York, he'll have a couple of high-profile supporters.
"I'll be his biggest fan," third baseman Ryan Zimmerman told the Washington Post.
With Zimmmerman going on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring, the Nationals recalled Rendon from Double-A Harrisburg and announced that their top prospect will play third base in Sunday's series finale against the Mets.
"I don't like to bring a youngster up and have him sit," Nationals manager Davey Johnson told the newspaper. "He's been swinging the bat pretty good down there."
"That's awesome," said reigning National League Rookie of the Year Bryce Harper. "It [stinks] that Zim is going on the DL, but I'm excited for Rendon to get up here. I think he's a special talent and it's exciting to have a guy like that. It's going to be fun to watch him play."
Rendon was hitting .292 with two homers and 14 RBIs in 14 games with the Senators. He boasts a .462 on-base percentage, thanks to an Eastern League-leading 14 walks, and .500 slugging percentage. He posted back-to-back multi-hit games earlier this week, going 4-for-4 with a pair of doubles and two RBIs on Sunday at Altoona and 2-for-4 with a solo homer and two runs scored on Monday at Reading.
Rendon was in the midst of his second Double-A stint before the promotion. He wrapped up his first pro season by batting .162 with three homers and three RBIs in 21 games with Harrisburg last summer. Selected sixth overall in the 2011 Draft, he missed much of last season with a fractured ankle. The Rice University product ended up hitting .233 with six homers and 12 RBIs in stints with the Rookie-level Gulf Coast Nationals, short-season Auburn, Class A Hagerstown and Harrisburg.
"We need him to come up and do as well as he can to help us win," Zimmerman said. "This is one of the first speed bumps we've had and hopefully, Anthony can come up -- I know he can come up -- and do fine."
Rendon, who turns 23 in June, impressed the Nationals at Spring Training. In 13 Grapefruit League games, he led the team with a 1.287 OPS, hit .375, shared the team lead with four homers and drove in 11 runs.