Washington Nationals: Anthony Rendon Showing Good Patience At The Plate

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Apr 24, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon (6) hits a single during the eighth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. The Rockies won 8-4. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 24, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon (6) hits a single during the eighth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. The Rockies won 8-4. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports /
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While Anthony Rendon doesn’t have a home run yet, the Washington Nationals third baseman has been making pitchers work during his at-bats

As we near the end of April, Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon has yet to hit a home run this season. Now, this isn’t uncommon for Rendon since it took him till May 3 in Kansas City last season for him to hit his first home run. He isn’t hitting the ball out of the park, but he is contributing in other ways.

During his first 20 games, Rendon has seen 4.48 pitches per plate appearance. Right now, that would be a career-high for him. It is too early to determine whether or not that will hold up all season, but he is currently seeing more pitches than anyone on the Nats, including outfielder Adam Eaton (4.15).

If we break down the sample size even smaller, Rendon has seen 151 pitches over the past seven games (4.87 pitches per plate appearance). That number is the most pitches any hitter in all of baseball has seen during that span.

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Now, he does only have two extra base hits and a .231 batting average so far this year. However, it would be easy for a hitter to press in a slump and swing at more pitches to try to snap out of it. That has been the opposite for Rendon.

One at-bat that has stood out over that span was Friday night against the Mets. In the 11th inning, With runners at the corners and one out against closer Jeurys Familia, Rendon ended up working a walk to load the bases. Why is that at-bat impressive? Well, the third baseman is 1-for-9 lifetime against Familia.

Historically, Rendon is a slow starter to the season. According to Baseball Reference, he has a career .268 batting average with four home runs in March/April (heading into yesterday). But, after July 1, he has hit 33 home runs out of the 53 he has in his career.

With his plus defense and good patience at the plate, Rendon can contribute to the Nats in other ways. At Coors Field this week, he is 4-for-13 with a RBI in three games and he has a hit in five of his last eight games overall.

So, while the Washington Nationals wait for Rendon’s bat to heat up, keep an eye on how he takes pitches and sets up opportunity for others in the batting order. Since Dusty Baker likes to move him around the lineup, he has the ability to help anyone on a given day.

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