Washington Nationals’ unsung superstar Anthony Rendon will step into the spotlight more than he ever has before after the departure of Bryce Harper.
Rendon has registered three straight seasons of at least 135 games played, 20 or more home runs, 85 or more runs batted in, and an OBP over .348.
Despite all of his success on the field, Rendon’s play has not translated into off the field fame.
The 28-year-old from Richmond, Texas has kept a low-profile, and outside of Washington D.C., many people don’t know who Rendon is.
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Despite finishing in the top 10 in M.V.P. voting three times in his career, Rendon has never made an All-Star team. Rendon is also a stellar defender but has never won a Gold Glove award in his career.
Those that watch Rendon each night can see he is one of, if not the best third basemen in the MLB. Despite his outstanding play, he has not become a widely recognized star, but Rendon likes it that way.
Growing up in Texas, Rendon learned at a young age to keep his head down and get his work done, which shows to this day in his inconspicuous attitude.
In an interview for the Washington Post in 2018, Rendon even admitted that although he loves the game of baseball, he does not necessarily love everything that comes with it, referencing his dislike of interviews and people going into the clubhouse.
Since his call-up to the Nationals in 2013, Rendon assumed the role of Robin to the team’s Batman. Washington had veteran Jayson Werth assuming the role of team leader until 2017 when he passed the torch to the now Philadelphia Phillie Bryce Harper. But No. 34 is now the enemy, and he leaves a gaping hole behind.
Who will become the vocal voice of the team on and off the field?
Ryan Zimmerman, the face of the Nationals franchise for many years, has battled injuries during the past few seasons and struggled to stay on the field, not being able to consistently produce. That leaves Rendon, the Nationals star who many do not know.
This is Rendon’s team now. He is the best position player on the team and will be the player opposing teams gameplan for the most.
The third baseman is now “the guy” and for the first time in his career will take center stage this season. Rendon will assume a much different role this year than in years past. He takes over a team that he can call “his”, and will have to lead with his production on the field, and with his leadership off it.
No matter which way you look at it the Nationals are going to be different this season, and the biggest difference may be the torch of a star player being passed down.
Rendon is now front and center in the spotlight, and perhaps the baseball world will take notice of baseball’s most unassuming star.