Anthony Rendon continued his MVP-caliber season this week, leading to him being named District on Deck’s Washington Nationals player of the week.
Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon has quietly put together an MVP-caliber season this year. In a season in which over half of the Nats’ opening day roster has seen time on the disabled list, Rendon has been a steady force in the heart of the lineup.
In addition to his offensive prowess, Rendon has played Gold Glove-caliber defense at the hot corner. He makes near-impossible plays seem routine on a nightly basis, and has made an excellent Gold Glove case.
When you consider his all-around great play and the fact that he is one of the few five-tool players in the MLB, he has certainly made himself a phenomenal under-the-radar MVP candidate.
Rendon continued his outstanding play this week, appearing in every game and recording three multi-hit games in five starts. He also led the potent Nats lineup in quite a few offensive statistical categories.
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In six games, he led the Nats in doubles (four), on-base percentage (.364), slugging percentage (.526), on-base plus slugging (.890), and extra base hits (four). Despite the fact that Rendon had a solid week altogether, he had a few games that stood out.
Rendon, a Houston native, had the pleasure of returning home to play against the Astros this week. With his family and friends in attendance, he had a phenomenal series with two multi-hit games against the first-place Astros.
Another outstanding performance, while not as appreciated, was Rendon’s pinch-hitting appearance on Friday against the Mets. With the Nats down by two with one out in the ninth, Rendon pinch-hit for Joe Blanton and stepped up to the plate as the tying run.
It is widely believed that pinch-hitting is one of the most difficult tasks in baseball. Some batters excel at pinch-hitting, such as Adam Lind, but Rendon hasn’t had much experience coming off the bench. Even without much experience, he put together a great at-bat against a tough closer in AJ Ramos.
Ramos made a mistake, leaving a pitch up in the zone and Rendon nearly made him pay. Rendon took a huge swing at the pitch, crushing it just foul into the left field stands. After barely missing a game-tying home run, he managed to work a seven-pitch walk, bringing the potential winning run to the plate.
Unfortunately, the Nats couldn’t take advantage of their rally and lost the game 4-2. Despite losing the game, the Nats made it interesting, which wouldn’t have been possible without Rendon’s excellent pinch-hitting appearance.
Rendon has long been a fan favorite in DC, and has established himself as one of the best all-around players in the MLB. Although he is a long-shot to win the National League MVP award, he will certainly be in the conversation. If he is able to stay healthy, which has been a big if for most of the Nats this year, he appears ready to lead the Nats on a deep postseason run.