Anthony Rendon is the most underrated player in the National League. With his strong offensive numbers and impressive defense this year, he is undoubtedly due for a large contract extension, and on top of that, Rendon deserves to be the starting third baseman for the NL All-Star team in Cleveland this summer.
Rendon is fairly introverted, and even quipped to a reporter that he would love to be an All-Star without having to go to the all-star game. In seven MLB seasons, Rendon has never been an All-Star. He was a Final Vote candidate in 2017, but he finished in third place, partially because seemingly no one outside of D.C. has heard of him. Rendon has been edged out by Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado for the past four years. While Rendon was a Gold Glove finalist last season, he has never won the award, also losing out to Arenado every year since 2013. Rendon did win a Silver Slugger in 2014, but Arenado has received it every year since.
Although Rendon missed about two weeks after getting hit by a pitch in the elbow, he is off to another great start this season. Before that injury, Rendon had a 17-game hit streak. As of June 3, Rendon is tied for sixth among all NL hitters with a .331 batting average. Tony-Two Bags has 18 doubles, two more than Arenado’s 16 two baggers, despite Arenado playing home games at 5,000 feet above sea level and playing 11 more games. Those 18 doubles are the best on the Nationals, and Rendon also leads the team in runs with 43, and is tied with Juan Soto for home runs with 10. Manager Davey Martinez has been shuffling the lineup all season, but Rendon has shown that he can hit in any slot.
And luckily for the Nationals and their fans alike, his elbow does not seem to be hindering him, as his defense has been just as good as it always is. Rendon produces highlight worthy defense almost every night, including when he makes diving plays look easy. Rendon only has two errors this season, as opposed to Arenado’s three. It’s a difference of one, but among elite players, those small numbers separate the good from the great. Rendon’s WAR is 2.1 this season, and his career WAR is 23.1. Rendon is the player who takes the field and makes you forget he is there, only until he shows up in the Miller Time highlights. Martinez, and the fans, never have to worry about him. His defense truly sets him above the others, and there honestly isn’t much else to say. His play speaks for itself.
Arenado has had his time in the spotlight. In 2018, Cincinnati Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez was the reserve third baseman, and in 2017, Jake Lamb from the Arizona Diamondbacks was the reserve. Rendon has been as good, if not better, than these two, and he is equally as deserving of the honor. It’s time for Rendon to get the recognition he deserves. All-star voting is open now, until June 21. Fans can vote online up to five times per day until then.