2011 MLB Draft – picks 6-10: Anthony Rendon slips to Nationals at No. 6

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Nationals picked Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon sixth in the draft.

Rendon didn’t slip too far after all. There are concerns that he might need shoulder surgery and he’s battled ankle injuries, but he had the most polished bat in the draft. He’s an interesting fit with the Nationals, who already have Ryan Zimmerman at third. It’s possible he’ll move to second. Rendon hit .327/.520/.523 for Rice this year. His power production was down, but the hope is that he’ll be a 20- or 25-homer per year guy down the line.

Diamondbacks selected high school right-hander Archie Bradley seventh overall.

Bradley is a quarterback prospect headed to Oklahoma, so it’s a bit of an interesting choice for the Diamondbacks here. Since this the compensation pick for them not signing Barrett Loux last year, they won’t get another selection next year if they fail to get Bradley signed. On talent, Bradley deserved to go somewhere in this neighborhood. He has a great build at 6’4″, 225 pounds, and he throws 93-96 mph with a strong curve.

Indians selected high school infielder Francisco Lindor with the eighth pick in the draft.

There was speculation that Lindor might go to the Mariners second overall, but it’s Cleveland instead. The 17-year-old is a legitimate shortstop with good speed. Whether he’ll develop much in the way of power remains to be seen. The Indians would likely be happy if he just turns out to be a nice .280-batting, top-of-the-order hitter. Don’t expect to see him in the majors for five years or so.

The Cubs took high school infielder Javier Baez ninth.

It’s hard not to wonder if the Cubs were disappointed to see Lindor go one pick earlier. Baez may have at least as much upside, but he’s more of a project with his subpar plate discipline. He should have the power to play third if he’s never able to push Starlin Castro off shortstop. The Cubs, though, surely will develop him at short for now.

Padres took juco infielder Cory Spangenberg with the 10th pick.

Spangenberger can put his bat on just about anything, and he should be good for plenty of singles and doubles as he climbs through the San Diego system. His power is something of a question mark, and it’s doubtful he’ll be strong enough to hit many balls out of Petco. The bigger issue is his lack of a position. The Padres will try him at either second or third, but he might end up in an outfield corner.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.