Washington Nationals 2015 Player Review: Anthony Rendon
Coming into this season, expectations were high for arguably the best player on the Washington Nationals in 2014. Third baseman Anthony Rendon hit .287 in 2014 with 21 home runs, 63 RBI’s, a .351 on-base percentage, and a top five finish in the National League MVP race. However, like most of the Nats’ key regulars, Rendon’s 2015 season was filled with injuries that caused him to have to switch positions and go back to second base. In turn, the 25-year-old just could not get into a rhythm at any point in the season. In 80 games this year, he had a .264/.344/.363 slash line with five home runs and 25 RBI’s.
The injuries began early in the year for Rendon. Back on March 9, Rendon was trying to make a diving play in a Spring Training game against the Braves. While he would make the play at third base, it would end up costing him two months of playing time. Rendon would end up be diagnosed with a MCL sprain.
As he was trying to come back from the MCL sprain, Rendon had a setback in his rehab when he hurt his oblique during a rehab assignment. Due to the knee and oblique injuries, his season did not officially begin till June 4 against the Chicago Cubs.
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After hitting .290 with five RBI’s in 80 at-bats during the month of June, the injury bug came back to bite Rendon. He would end up missing about another month because of a left quad injury before returning on July 25 against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
While the batting average in the second half of the reason was not as high as fans would want it to be (.256), Rendon hit five home runs, had 20 RBI’s, and a .335 on-base percentage. In fact, his .354 .OBP during the month of September was fourth on the team among players who played in 20 games or more.
Even though Rendon had to make the switch to second base defensively, he did not have many issues in the field. He made four errors in 59 games at second base and had no errors in 28 games at third when filling in for Yunel Escobar.
Due to numerous injuries throughout the season, Rendon could never establish a rhythm at the plate. After posting a WAR of 6.6 in 2014, his WAR went down to 0.3 this past season. With Rendon going back to third base, his offensive numbers should be closer to his 2014 season if he stays healthy. The future is bright for Rendon as he will head into his age-26 season and hopefully he can put his disappointing 2015 season behind him.
Next: Washington Nationals 2015 Player Review: Danny Espinosa