The Nationals have promoted third baseman Anthony Rendon and moved Ryan Zimmerman to the disabled list, the Washington Times' Amanda Comak reports. Rendon was fairly widely considered the top talent in the 2011 amateur draft, but he fell to the Nats at No. 6 due to concerns about his health. Those concerns have proven to be well-founded, as injuries have limited Rendon to fewer than 200 minor-league at bats since being drafted. Still, only four 2011 first-round draft picks (Trevor Bauer, Dylan Bundy, Jose Fernandez and Jackie Bradley, Jr.) beat Rendon to the majors.
With Rendon's promotion in mind, which top-ten pick from the 2011 draft do you think will have the most success in the majors? (The Marlins took Fernandez with the No. 14 overall pick, so he isn't an option here.) The 2011 top ten has so far been a mixed bag, combining some stellar performances with plenty of questions.
1. Gerrit Cole, Pirates. Cole has stayed healthy with the Bucs, and is now in Triple-A Indianapolis after pitching 132 innings at three levels in 2012, striking out around a batter per inning. His minor-league numbers have been good but not overwhelming, although his 100-MPH fastball and plus slider give him plenty of upside.
2. Danny Hultzen, Mariners. Hultzen struggled at the Triple-A level in 2012, with 7.95 BB/9 in 48 2/3 innings, but he seems to have taken a step forward in 2013 (albeit in a small sample, as is the case for all 2013 performances mentioned here), walking just six in 22 2/3 innings so far. Hultzen appears to be on track to become a rotation mainstay in Seattle, although he probably still lacks the ceiling of Cole, Bundy or Archie Bradley.
3. Trevor Bauer, Diamondbacks. Bauer shot through the minor leagues soon after being drafted, but the Diamondbacks quickly gave up on him, shipping him to Cleveland in the Shin-Soo Choo trade and grumbling about his attitude. Bauer had one wobbly start for the Indians this year, but has pitched well so far for Triple-A Columbus.
4. Dylan Bundy, Orioles. Bundy made it all the way to the big leagues as a 19-year-old in 2012, after a stunning pro debut that included a ridiculous 40:2 K:BB ratio at Class A Delmarva and a strong performance for Double-A Bowie. He has yet to pitch in 2013, however, after being shut down in March with elbow and forearm tightness.
5. Bubba Starling, Royals. The first hitter chosen in the 2011 draft was raw when selected, and the Royals have moved slowly with Starling, sending him to short-season Burlington in 2012. He hit .275/.371/.485 there, but he's off to a slow start in 2013 for Class A Lexington, hitting .143/.213/.250 so far.
6. Anthony Rendon, Nationals.
7. Archie Bradley, Diamondbacks. Bradley posted good strikeout numbers in Class A South Bend as a 19-year-old in 2012, but walked 5.56 BB/9 in 136 innings there. In his first three 2013 starts with Class A+ Visalia, he's shown improved control, and the results thus far have been spectacular, with 27 whiffs and six walks in his first 17 innings.
8. Francisco Lindor, Indians. The young shortstop hit well for an 18-year-old last season at Class A Lake County, batting .257/.352/.355, and also earned praise for his defense. He's off to a great start so far at Class A+ Carolina, hitting .348/.423/.522 in his first 46 at bats.
9. Javier Baez, Cubs. Baez was terrific in 2012 for Class A Peoria, but struggled a bit in Class A+ Daytona and hasn't hit much so far this year after the Cubs sent him back there.That's not necessarily a warning sign for a very young shortstop who has mostly won glowing reviews for his work in the Cubs system so far, however.
10. Cory Spangenberg, Padres. Spangenberg is the only 2011 top-ten pick who doesn't yet have a strong, age-appropriate pro performance to his credit. He hit very well in short-season Eugene after being drafted, but that's to be expected from a college hitter selected in the first round. Since then, the second baseman has struggled at the plate, mostly at Class A+ Lake Elsinore.