Apr 29, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Washington Nationals left fielder Kevin Frandsen (19) is congratulated after scoring a run during the third inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Kevin Frandsen has been a pivotal player for the Washington Nationals this year, as his ability to play all over the field has been crucial in minimizing the losses of several key players so far this season.
A journeyman for most of his career, Frandsen owns a lifetime .260 average in parts of eight seasons in the bigs. He has never received more than 296 plate appearances, and he has never hit more than five home runs in a season. He’s the definition of a utility man—a quality one, at that.
Your typical utility infielder doesn’t get much time in the spotlight. He comes off the bench and plays a couple of times per week, usually holding his own in the field and at the plate.
The spotlight was on Frandsen on Wednesday, however, for comments made about the young talent of the Nats. He joined the Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan on Wednesday for an interview, and when asked who the best young player on the team was, Frandsen gave a surprising response:
"[Anthony] Rendon. Without a doubt. He is as impressive as any young player; in all honesty, he’s the best young guy we have, by far. … I don’t think there’s anyone in the same sentence as him, as far as young guys, and he might be one of the best ones in the league."
Okay, that’s fair…I guess. Rendon is scorching the ball right now, evidenced by his .295/.331/.518 line, but the Nats also have that guy named Bryce Harper. When the Sports Junkies brought his name into the discussion, Frandsen defended his response:
"Absolutely. Tony, ah man, that is one of the coolest swings I’ve seen. And especially for, what is he, 23, 24 years old? To be that consistent, to stay inside the baseball as consistently as he can, and to have that much pop. I don’t know how much the outside knows, but he hits balls farther than most people on the team. But he is so good, as far as staying inside and staying within himself, that just impresses me."
Rendon does have a lightning-quick swing that is oh-so-easy on the eyes, but he’s not Harper. Harper has loads of untapped potential that could easily make him one of the top players in the bigs when he hones it all in. Rendon just seems to have clicked first.
Naturally, Frandsen received flack for his comments. The most outlandish statements came from ESPN’s Keith Law in his weekly SportsNation chat. The question: “Why are some people apparently offended by the idea that Rendon may be (or may end up being) a better player than Harper?” Here was Law’s response:
"Well, he’s not, first of all, although that’s no slam on Rendon. But more importantly, Frandsen should know better than to say something that stupid. There were better ways to handle the question, and Frandsen talked like a little kid who had never been interviewed by the media before. I’m a little disappointed the Nats didn’t just DFA him on the spot – you don’t need MORE controversy in that clubhouse, certainly not from a disposable player like him."
Talk about a ridiculous statement. Speaking of knowing better, Law should have known better than to make such insulting claims about a player. Calling Frandsen “disposable” couldn’t be any further from the truth considering his importance to the team in 2014.
Frandsen wouldn’t let Law have the last word, however. He took to Twitter shortly after the chat to indirectly address Law’s comments:
Frandsen probably could have been a little more in-depth as to what he meant by his comments regarding Rendon and Harper, but Law was completely out of line here.
Bias aside, if you choose to side with someone, side with Frandsen.