LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Davey Johnson was asked, half-jokingly, if infielder Anthony Rendon had a chance to make the Nationals' roster out of Spring Training.
The questions were understandable because Rendon was the sixth player taken overall in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, is ranked the organization's No. 1 prospect by MLB.com, and was batting .417 with a 1.250 OPS going into Friday's night's game against the Braves at Champion Stadium.
The manager's response was just as predictable, since Rendon is still only 22 years old and has played a total of just 43 games in the Minor Leagues.
"No. He needs the reps. He needs to go play. He only had five or six games [this spring]," Johnson said with a laugh, adding that nobody should overreact if he's still around on March 29 when the Nats come home to play their final exhibition against the Yankees. "You always need to carry a couple guys extra for those games."
In the 6-5 win over Atlanta, Rendon entered the game as a defensive replacement and went hitless in one official at-bat, but also walked and scored a run.