Jun 7, 2011, 12:22 AM EDT
Updated at 11:09 p.m.
At the mercy of five other clubs lined up in front of them after holding the No. 1 pick in each of the last two drafts, the Nationals tonight may have managed to get the best player of the entire class anyways.
Washington selected Anthony Rendon with the sixth overall pick, surprised and elated the Rice third baseman was passed over by five franchises clearly concerned about the state of his right shoulder.
“We were pleasantly surprised, yes, that he got to us at 6,” general manager Mike Rizzo said during a conference call minutes after making the selection. “He was projected to be the No. 1 pick, the best college hitter in the game. And throughout the college season and draft season, he held onto that status. As late as about 24 hours ago, he was supposedly going 1 or 2 in the draft. So we’re pleasantly surprised.”
Owners of two more first-round picks as compensation for losing Adam Dunn to free agency, the Nationals selected 6-foot-9 Kentucky right-hander Alex Meyer with the 23rd pick. They later took Brian Goodwin, an outfielder from Miami Dade College, with the 34th pick.
The 6-foot, 190-pound Rendon, who happens to turn 21 today, entered his junior season at Rice widely considered the best amateur player in the country. But a shoulder injury — the details of which were
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