Why Rendon could land with the Cubs

Updated: March 18, 2011, 3:52 PM ET
By Jason A. Churchill

The new bat, some cold weather, an injury or two and a few mechanical defects in the swing of a power hitter equals a crop of college bats with mixed returns after a full month of the season. Even the pre-season No. 1 prospect has shown flaws for concern.

"Like every draft," said an area scout of a National League club, "it never goes the way we think it should, or hope it will. But that's the beauty of it, too. Over the winter it seemed like the first (round) was going to be nothing but college kids, outside a particular handful. All of our guys were talking about the college ranks more than anything. Now I'm not so sure they'll outnumber some of these shakers in high school. I think we're worried a little bit that the new bats have changed the way some of these hitters are preparing for each at-bat."

Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon remains the top college bat in the class, followed by Connecticut's George Springer, LSU's Mikie Mahtook, South Carolina's Jackie Bradley, Jr. and North Carolina shortstop Levi Michael, in some order. Despite slow starts, Vanderbilt's Jason Esposito and Alex Dickerson from Indiana, among others, are on the radar. Rendon's shoulder injury and ordinary start to the season have many questioning whether he's 1A, 1B or even No. 2.