Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon told Dejean Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that agent Scott Boras will act as his adviser. Of course, Boras must be called an “adviser” for now because Rendon is still an amateur.
It shouldn’t be a surprise to see Boras involved with the highly-regarded Rendon. The 20-year-old underwent ankle surgery during the offseason, but he is widely considered the early favorite to be selected No. 1 overall in June’s draft, a pick which just happens to belong to the Pirates.
As indicated by Kovacevic’s tweet, there’s some history between the Pirates and Boras dating back to when Pedro Alvarez was selected No. 2 overall in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft. Boras demanded that the Pirates renegotiate Alvarez’s contract after he claimed that the contract was submitted to MLB after the August 15 deadline. The Pirates placed Alvarez on the restricted list and Boras eventually got his wish.
It’s impossible to know whether history will get in the way of a potential deal with Rendon now that Boras is on board, but the Pirates could also consider University of Connecticut outfielder George Springer or UCLA right-hander Gerrit Cole with the No. 1 pick.
The Giants placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list with a right thumb sprain, per an official announcement on Friday. Pence initially sustained the injury during the club’s home opener on April 3, when he dove to intercept a line drive double from Robinson Cano and jammed his thumb. Weeks of playing through the pain hasn’t worked, so he’ll take a breather while the Giants give outfielder Mac Williamson a chance to start in left after getting called up from Triple-A Fresno.
Pence, 35, wouldn’t pin his recent struggles on his injury, but it’s clear that he’s having difficulty finding his footing this year. He slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 through 61 plate appearances in 2018, collecting just one extra-base hit and two walks during the Giants’ dismal 7-11 stretch. While it’s far too early in the season to make any final judgments, it doesn’t look like the veteran outfielder will be replicating the .275+ average, 4.0+ fWAR totals of years past (at least, not anytime soon).
Williamson, meanwhile, has gotten off to a hot start in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up this weekend, the 27-year-old batted an incredible .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs and a 1.626 OPS through his first 50 PA. A hot Triple-A bat doesn’t always survive the transition to the majors, but the Giants will use all the help they can get — especially as they take on the AL West-leading Angels this weekend.