TRENTON, NJ – The trade of David Carpenter brought the Trenton Thunder a player fans ought to like a lot.
Tony Renda, who entered the 2015 season as the Washington Nationals’ No. 12 prospect according to Baseball America, was obtained by the Yankees Thursday in exchange for right-handed reliever David Carpenter, who never fit in The Bronx.
Renda, 24, was hitting .267 (55-for-206) with 23 RBIs and 13 stolen bases. Tough to strike out, he has fanned just 15 times in 228 total plate appearances. He’s coming off a 2014 seasion in which he won the Carolina League batting title with a .307 mark and led Potomac to the that Class A League’s championship.
He doesn’t have a lot of power, is a bit undersized at 5-foot-8, 180 pounds, but he kind of plays like a 1995 Thunder star – David Eckstein – who certainly had a solid major-league career. Whether Renda, a native of Santa Rosa, Calif., matches what Eckstein did is up to debate and uncertainty, but he is fun to watch.
He plays solid defense, has terrific plate-management skills, has a bat that is developing into one with gap power, runs the hit-and-run well and has a dirtbag mentality. That was Eckstein’s makeup, and several scouts give Renda a shot at being an everyday major-league second baseman.
A good clubhouse guy who gives it all he has – he just played for Harrisburg, Washington;s Double-A club, in Trenton last weekend and displayed excellent base-running skills. He fits the 2015 Thunder (35-25) which defeated Erie (20-37) 6-0 Thursday night before 5,437 Arm&Hammer Park fans to move to within a half-game of first-place New Britain in the Eastern League East. Trenton has won 10 of its last 11.
Jake Cave, who had his fifth multi-hit game in his last six,, Aaron Judge, Greg Bird, Eric Jagielo and Francisco Arcia, who hit his first home run of the season, each had a pair of hits to back Kyle Haynes (1-3), who threw five innings of one-hit ball to win his first start since bring added to the Thunder rotation. Given the arrival of Matt Tracy and Joel De La Cruz from Scranton Thursday, it will be interesting to see how that rotation is affected.
The Thunder visit Harrisburg for a weekend series before returning home to host Reading in a three-game series Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.