Main League Baseball introduced the winners of the “primary” spherical of All-Star Sport balloting, narrowing down every place to the highest three vote-getters, a brand new wrinkle devised this yr to drum up extra curiosity within the collection of starters for the midsummer basic.

Anthony Rendon was not among the many high three at third base within the Nationwide League, with these honors going to Nolan Arenado, Kris Bryant and Josh Donaldson, two former MVPs and a perennial top-5 MVP finisher. Rendon positioned fifth at third base, regardless of being arguably the third greatest hitter at any place within the NL:

Finest hitters within the Nationwide League

Participant Pos BA/SLG/RBI 2B HR wRC+ fWAR
Participant Pos BA/SLG/RBI 2B HR wRC+ fWAR
Cody Bellinger OF/1B .358/.453/.708 15 24 194 5.3
Christian Yelich OF .348/.442/.751 14 28 193 4.6
Anthony Rendon 3B .314/.407/.655 20 17 166 3.2
Josh Bell 1B .315/.383/.649 27 20 159 2.3
Freddie Freeman 1B .315/.403/.606 18 21 157 2.8
Pete Alonso 1B .275/.362/.628 16 25 157 2.9
Kris Bryant 3B/OF .281/.394/.535 19 15 142 2.8
Nolan Arenado 3B .328/.388/.589 17 18 132 3.2
Justin Turner 3B .310/.391/.450 13 7 128 1.7
Josh Donaldson 3B .260/.365/.492 17 14 123 1.8

by means of June 20, a mixture of top-5 by wRC+ and different high third basemen

Supply: FanGraphs

However this isn’t new for Rendon, the quietly wonderful third baseman for the Washington Nationals who needs to be used to going comparatively unnoticed by now.

Rendon has by no means been an All-Star regardless of placing up 4 seasons of not less than 3.9 Wins Above Alternative previous to 2019. This yr Rendon is at 2.6 WAR, on tempo for five.7, properly above his common of 4.2 WAR over the earlier 5 seasons.

For the reason that begin of 2016, Rendon ranks 13th in Wins Above Alternative (16.7) within the majors. Among the many 22 gamers with not less than 15 WAR throughout that point, solely Rendon and Matt Chapman haven’t made an All-Star crew.

It’s comprehensible why Rendon has flown underneath the popularity radar. For many of his profession he has been on a crew with two former first total draft picks — Bryce Harper (2009) and Stephen Strasburg (2010) — whereas Rendon was solely the sixth total decide a yr later. The Nationals additionally boast a three-time Cy Younger Award winner in Max Scherzer, so with all that star energy it’s straightforward for somebody like Rendon to go unnoticed.

Additionally the Nationals have been horrible disappointments for 2 seasons operating. A preseason favourite in 2018, Washington stumbled to a pitiful 82-win marketing campaign. This yr the expectations have been to not less than contend, however even that has been past the grasp of the Nationals, who enter the weekend underneath .500 at 36-38.

When most people suppose baseball within the nation’s capital, a query like “Why are the Nationals such underachievers?” overshadows specializing in one thing truly good in Washington.

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Rendon will get his due, ultimately.

He may make the NL All-Star crew as a reserve, which might be a primary for the 29-year-old.

He is perhaps traded to a contender, which might give Rendon one other likelihood at a nationwide stage. He made the postseason thrice with Washington, however first-round exits in 2014, 2016 and 2017 restricted his publicity, as did Rendon hitting .232/.317/.357 in his 14 playoff video games.

Rendon might very properly make it to October this season with the Nationals, who regardless of the poor begin are nonetheless simply 3½ video games out of a Wild Card spot.

Whether or not Washington views itself as a contender is essential right here, since they might by no means commerce Rendon in the event that they thought they nonetheless had playoff hopes. However the third baseman can be a free agent after this season, and if made obtainable would be the greatest bat on the commerce market. It shouldn’t be arduous for the Nationals, in the event that they do determine to commerce Rendon, to obtain sufficient of a prospect haul to outweigh the potential draft decide acquire they might get in 2020 ought to he depart as a free agent.

This winter may need to be when Rendon lastly will get his due. After would-be free brokers Arenado — eight years, $260 million — and Paul Goldschmidt — 5 years, $130 million — signed contract extensions over the offseason, that clears the best way for Rendon because the premiere free agent place participant available on the market this coming winter.

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The Nationals might care for that earlier than then in the event that they have been so inclined, and ink Rendon to a contract extension throughout this season. Throughout a radio interview in late Could, Nationals normal supervisor Mike Rizzo known as Rendon “a guy that we drafted, developed, signed, and watched turn into a star in front of our eyes. He’s a guy that we would like to have long-term, we’re certainly going to be aggressive and try to make that happen, and hopefully it will.”

That description additionally match Harper final yr, who didn’t signal an extension with the Nationals and in the end left as a free agent to the rival Phillies. Rendon’s profession numbers are very similar to Harper’s on the time of their free company.

A story of two Nationals

Participant Years Age BA/OBP/SLG OPS+ 2B HR R RBI WAR
Participant Years Age BA/OBP/SLG OPS+ 2B HR R RBI WAR
Harper 2012-18 25 .279/.388/.512 139 183 184 610 521 27.4
Rendon 2013-19 29 .287/.364/.482 124 221 119 508 471 23.6

Rendon can be 4 years older than Harper so he seemingly gained’t attain the $330 million that Harper bought from the Phillies, however Rendon can be coming off a greater launch yr.

Both means, Rendon can be paid at some point. That’s one option to get appreciated.

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