how about the "the team has a history of not being honest/competent (depending on viewpoint) in the past, but this time is somehow different" because that's what you're spouting
Seriously, check out other team's injuries. This stuff happens all the time.
But way to not answer the question. Note, I'm not complaining about the ideology of simply being "cautious", rather the outright rejection of any and all optimistic reports as being wrong.
It's one thing to say "Hmmm, the reports look good, but I won't get excited until so and so is actually on the field playing, we've had a history of bad luck" and quite another to say "Hmmm, the reports look good. He's obviously out for the season".
Rendon and Purke will be good points of comparison precisely because other teams passed for health reasons
Now you're just being naive. Teams draft high risk/high reward players all the time. Don't act like the Nationals are the only team who have drafted someone who has had health issues before.
Do SABR fans just despise empirical evidence?
Misleading empirical evidence maybe. Though, I'm not sure how SABR got into this...