Though Anthony Rendon does not lead the Washington Nationals in home runs or batting average, he has had the greatest impact on the ball club thus far in 2014. Due to Rendon’s versatility, he has played both second base and third base in the field and has the capability to bat in a variety of spots in the lineup.
Rendon has spent the majority of the season batting in the two hole, but has also spent time batting lead off, third, fifth, seventh and eighth. As proven by the ability to shift him around the lineup, Rendon is consistent hitter who can hit for both power and average. Rendon leads the the Nationals with 24 RBI and 25 runs while also adding five long balls.
In a series filled with injuries, Anthony Rendon and Ian Desmond have been the Nationals’ only starters who have been healthy full time. Rendon’s ability to handle second and third base defensively has allowed Washington to give Danny Espinosa an opportunity to play everyday during Ryan Zimmerman’s absence. Whenever an injury has depleted the Washington infield, Rendon has been comfortable filling any vacant role.
Offensively, it has not only been the stats that have proven Rendon’s worth but also his timely hitting. On opening day, Rendon hit a game winning three run home run against the New York Mets to jump start the Nationals season. Last Wednesday, Rendon hit a double in a tie game that brought Denard Span to third base and gave Jayson Werth the chance to drive in the winning run.
Rendon received praise from teammate Kevin Frandsen earlier this month, as Rendon often becomes lost in the shuffle of young stars. Many casual baseball fans believe that Bryce Harper is the Nationals best young talent, but Frandsen said that Rendon is “the best young guy we have, by far”.
When Ryan Zimmerman returns to the lineup Rendon will return to second base for the rest of the year barring injuries. Though these injuries have greatly weakened the Washington lineup, Rendon has played a major role in keeping the Nationals in the thick of the division race a month and a half into the season. To overtake the Atlanta Braves and win the NL East, the Nats will need Rendon to continue going about his business as usual while developing his power.