Anthony Rendon Is the Washington Nationals' Forgotten Star
He had a decent rookie campaign in 2013 when he hit .265/.329/.396 in 98 games, good for a weighted on base average (wOBA) of .318, a weighted runs created (wRC+) of 100 and an fWAR of 1.5.
He really blossomed in his second season, hitting .287/.351/.473 with 21 homers, 83 RBI, 111 runs scored, 17 stolen bases, a wOBA of .361, a wRC+ of 130 and an fWAR of 6.5, which was fourth best in all of baseball.
The dude was a legitimate superstar before a series of injuries submarined in 2015 season. He played just 80 games that year and struggled mightily with a .315 wOBA, a wRC+ of 97 and an fWAR of 0.9.
And as Bryce Harper established himself as the Alpha Dog on the Nats, Rendon faded into the background. It even happened last year when he hit a respectable .270/.348/.450, with 20 bombs, 91 runs, 85 RBI and an fWAR of 4.7.
But after one of the biggest individual efforts in MLB history in Washington's 23-5 win over the New York Mets, Rendon is in the background no more.
Anthony Rendon has a day for the ages: https://t.co/60WVKAqdnu pic.twitter.com/6VGd4O31WX
— MLB (@MLB) April 30, 2017
He went 6-for-6 with 3 home runs and 10 RBI, which was the first time any player did that since Garret Anderson on August 21st, 2007.
He also became the first player since Alex Rodriguez in 2005 to hit three dingers and have 10 or more RBI in a game. And there's this.
.@Anthonyrendon_6 becomes FIRST player to go 6-for-6 with 3 HR and 10 RBIs in one game since at least 1913.https://t.co/NAMOYwP4pa pic.twitter.com/2epf5vbyfx
— MLB Stat of the Day (@MLBStatoftheDay) April 30, 2017
As SportCenter anchor John Anderson said on Sunday night, Rendon was "four hits shy of a double-double."
MLB.com noted this was just the 13th time someone has knocked in double-digit runs in a game, with one of them being the incredible Mark Whiten, who put together a 4-homer, 12-RBI masterpiece in 1993.
Going into Sunday, Rendon's lifetime slugging percentage was .425. It rose to .432 after this effort, and it was quite a day from someone who had been struggling in 2017. Here were his numbers going into Sunday, followed by what they looked like after.
|Through April 29||95||.226||.316||.250||.566||0||5||5|
|Through April 30||101||.278||.356||.411||.768||3||15||10|
His batting average jumped 52 points. His on-base percentage went up 40 points. His slugging percentage increased 161 points and his OPS climbed 202 points. He also tripled his homer and RBI totals while doubling his runs scored.
All in one game.
It's not surprising Rendon is often overlooked, though. Daniel Murphy has emerged as one of the best hitters in baseball. Ryan Zimmerman currently leads the National League in home runs (11), RBI (29), batting average (.420), slugging percentage (.886), wOBA (.553), and wRC+ (244), while Harper leads in runs (32), on-base percentage (.509) and fWAR (2.1). Oh, and Trea Turner is also having a fantastic season and is one of the game's brightest young stars.
But as he reminded everyone on Sunday, Rendon, who will turn 27 in July, is also a young star, now just entering his prime.
It's unlikely he's going to be forgotten again anytime soon.