Former Rice Baseball slugger Anthony Rendon’s All-Star caliber play has finally been rewarded. The honor is long overdue.
The fact that Anthony Rendon received his first All-Star nod during his age 29 season is baffling. Rendon was the No. 6 overall selection by the Washington Nationals in the 2011 MLB Draft. He made his debut in 2013 hitting .265/.329/.725. Since then he’s become even more productive.
Currently in his seventh season, Rendon is in the midst of his third consecutive year with a .300+ batting average. He’s hit 68 home runs over that span and still has half of the 2019 season to play. His OPS+ has been better than 135 in each of those seasons and he’s finished in the Top 11 of MVP voting in each of the last two seasons, ending up as high as sixth in 2017.
By every measure, Rendon is one of the most outstanding players in professional baseball. Since 2014, his first complete season in the big leagues, Rendon has an fWAR (Fangraph’s measure of WAR) of 27.9. That’s seventh best among all position players during that time.
Perhaps he was overshadowed by the super-ego of Bryce Harper or perhaps the Nationals’ postseason failures limited his opportunities to gain more exposure. Whatever the reason, Rendon’s numbers speak for themselves. He is one of the best players in the sport right now and is well deserving of his 2019 All-Star selection.
Rendon’s banner year might have come at just the right time. He’s in the final season of his current contract with the Nationals and will be eligible for free agency following this year. He’s due to make a significant payday one that should put him among the elite third baseman in terms of salary. Maybe that will be enough to put his name at the forefront of public perception, too.