Anthony Rendon: Making a Case for Minneapolis
Anthony Rendon was the 6th overall pick by the Nationals in the 2011 MLB First Year Player Draft. Despite being injured and in question through the draft process, that Nationals went with him anyway. He made his way through the system and finally made his major league debut last season in 2013. He came up to fill a spot on the bench, but ultimately found himself in the starting nine due to the struggles of Danny Espinosa. Now in 2014, Rendon has jumped between playing second and third base, and has been a force with the glove and with the bat. Rendon has surprisingly found a power stroke, clubbing a total of 12 home runs so far this season, which already tops his 2013 total of seven. He has also helped support a lineup that has seen absences of Ryan Zimmerman and Bryce Harper for periods of time by supplying a 27 RAR and a 2.7 WAR, which has steadily climbed as the season has gone along, and continue to do so. What does the typical all star in MLB have for a WAR? On average, that answer is a 5.0.
Rendon's offensive numbers outlast some past all stars such as Hunter Pence, Robinson Cano, and Chase Utley. He is tops in the league in slugging percentage and OPS. So based on that, it still shouldn't be enough, right?
Looking at Rendon, past all of his offensive statistics, his all around game as been exciting to watch for some of the more common fans of MLB. Not just can the kid hit, but his defense has been superb, only committing 8 errors this season, all coming at third base. He has not committed an error while playing second base, while sporting an overall fielding percentage of .978. He has been able to make the tough plays when needed. Also as a side note, he has established himself as a viable fantasy baseball option, with plenty of value due to his dual position eligibility.
But in all seriousness, Rendon has been someone who has been a bright light and sparkplug in a Nationals offense that has had their tough streaks throughout the season. He is still young, and this fact shouldn't hurt him when it comes time to name the all-star teams. But it probably will, as he does not have the time in and the fan popularity to get in. The only National besides Rendon that is statistically better overall is Adam LaRoche, who has quietly put together a fantastic season. Surprisingly being ranked in the top-10 in many categories, LaRaoche may also go unrecognized for the Mid-Summer Classic.
The MLB All-Star Game is Minneapolis on Tuesday, July 15th at 7 p.m.