It's been something of a lost season for Anthony Rendon. But Monday's game was a reminder of what he has to offer to the Washington Nationals.
The Nationals' top prospect slugged his first Double-A homer as Harrisburg bested Reading, 5-2.
Rendon took the second pitch of his at-bat against Austin Hyatt in the sixth inning and sent it over the left-field wall for a solo homer. Rendon's blast was preceded by longballs from Brian Goodwin and Sean Nicol.
"It felt pretty good, especially being my first one here," said the sixth overall pick in the 2011 Draft. "[Going back-to-back-to-back] was in the back of my mind, but I just wanted to put the barrel on the ball."
Rendon, who finished 1-for-3, missed most of the season after spraining his ankle in April. He has played in 29 games this season between the Gulf Coast League, the New York-Penn League, the Carolina League and the Eastern League. Although Rendon has homered three other times this season, he was excited to collect his first in seven games with the Senators.
"I'm happy with any homer," the Texas native said with a laugh. "The first one at Double-A, to get that out of the way is pretty good. I'm pretty happy."
The 2010 College Player of the Year for Rice University expressed disappointment with the way his debut season has gone, but is trying to keep an even temperament about it.
"It's been really frustrating," Rendon said. "I think the key with any prolonged injury is to not let it get to you. I keep my mind pretty straight on the goal, which is to stay healthy and play some baseball.
"I'm just trying to get some hits and get comfortable and feel back to normal like I did before. That's the goal to finish the season."
While rosters for the Arizona Fall League have yet to be announced, Rendon is hoping to get a chance to extend his season by playing for the Salt River Rafters.
"I need to get as many at-bats in as possible," said MLB.com's No. 20 prospect. "Any opportunity to play baseball, I'm going to feel good about it."
Nicol drove in a pair of runs and Jhonatan Solano hit a solo homer for the Senators.
Ryan Tatusko struck out six and allowed three hits over 3 2/3 innings of relief to improve to 3-5 for Harrisburg. Hector Nelo fanned the final batter of the game to earn his 16th save.