There were a number of deserving players left off the All-Star Game rosters, and perhaps none more than Anthony Rendon, who was not even given the Final Vote treatment that teammate Trea Turner received. It feels like we say this about Rendon every year around the All-Star break, but he always plays fantastic baseball and nobody ever gives him the time of day or recognizes his accomplishments on the diamond.
It's no stretch to say that Rendon is worthy of a nod. Maybe not the most overwhelming stats in the league, but definitely some recognition is due him. He's been one of the Nationals' most consistent hitters throughout the year.
This season, he's slashing a solid .278/.356/.513, with an OPS of .817. He's leading the team in doubles (25), and is second home runs (13), RBI (41) and hits (76), third in runs (38), and fourth in walks (29). He's also been pretty clutch for the Nationals, driving in important runs in big situations. Rendon also appears to like hitting in important spots in the lineup. In 15 games out of the cleanup spot, he's hit .298 and has a .970 OPS, getting eight of his doubles, three of his home runs and 10 of his RBIs. His .270 average in 41 games in the third spot isn't too shabby either, but maybe slotting him fourth might boost that production just a tiny bit.
Let's not forget one of the most prominent aspects of Rendon's game: his defense. He's not flashy at the hot corner, certainly not as flashy as some third basemen who play in Colorado. But Rendon not only gets the job done, but makes all the difficult plays with no fuss. He has a UZR (ultimate zone rating) of 5.0, which, at this point in the season, is very good. He only has two errors all season, which is pretty good for a guy who has been the starting third baseman for a majority of his team's games. The Nationals are a relatively error-free team (only 38 - fourth least in the majors), and Rendon has been a big part of contributing to that clean style of baseball.
In the opinion of many who follow the Nationals and a lot of people around baseball, Rendon deserves to be on the All-Star squad. But perhaps the biggest thing in his way is himself. Rendon actively avoids the limelight and does not like talking about himself. He keeps a low profile, is not on social media and does not like to get his presence out there. He doesn't do a lot of media or commercials. Subsequently, not a lot of people know about him or are aware of his accomplishments, and don't vote for him to be on the All-Star team. This has been a recurring theme every year. And while we get up in arms about it year after year, Rendon probably does not care all that much. Still, it would be nice to see him get honored for what he's done on the field.
Maybe one day, we'll see Rendon make that All-Star team. But for now, it's the same old story Nats fans hear every year. Rendon has a great first half, nobody notices and Rendon gets snubbed yet again.
Liz Barr blogs about the Nationals for The Nats Blog. Follow her on Twitter: @RaiseTheBarr1. Her opinions on the Nationals will appear here as part of MASNsports.com's initiative of welcoming guest bloggers to our little corner of cyberspace. All opinions expressed are those of the guest bloggers, who are not employed by MASNsports.com but are just as passionate about their baseball as our roster of writers.