Rendon's 2014 season a sign of things to come

It's easy to forget how young Anthony Rendon is, both in terms of age and how little big league experience he possesses.

You watch Rendon play the game and you assume that he's an established veteran. He's immensely talented, never gets frazzled or visibly upset and seemingly keeps the same heart rate at all times, regardless of how intense a situation he's in.

He appears to be the same guy with the bases loaded and the tying run in scoring position late in a key game as when he's getting his first plate appearance of the day in the top of the first inning. That's a skill that even some who have been in the league for 10 years don't possess.

rendon-big-smile-red-sidebar.jpgRendon has it, and he put it on display this season. That's why he makes my list of five Nationals players who really impressed during the 2014 season, a list that will continue throughout this week.

At just 24 and in just his second big league season, Rendon showed the baseball world what he's capable of this season, wowing many talent evaluators, coaches and opposing players with his ability both offensively and on defense, where he played a solid second base early in the season and then a strong third base throughout most of the rest of the year.

Many people around the game knew that Rendon had the ability to be really good when the Nationals selected the infielder with the No. 6 pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft. I don't know many who knew he could be this good this quickly.

Rendon hit .287/.351/.473 this season, with 21 homers, 83 RBIs, 111 runs scored, 176 hits, 17 stolen bases and 66 extra-base hits.

Not many of those numbers will jump out and smack you in the face. Rendon didn't club 35 homers. He didn't swipe 30 bags. He only put together an incredibly well-rounded campaign where he was strong in nearly every area. He got on base, scored runs, drove in runs and ran the bases well.

If you're looking for a more advanced way of looking at things, there's this: Rendon had a 6.6 WAR (wins above replacement), which ranked fourth in the majors and second in the National League among position players.


Those who watch Rendon on a daily basis say that they think he has the ability to win a batting title some day soon. He has excellent plate discipline and lightning-quick hands and wrists that allow him to cover the outside part of the plate while still being able to turn on a pitch on the inside corner and keep it fair.

But this season, we saw Rendon's power come along, as well. And the Nats feel that power could continue to be an increased part of Rendon's game in the future.

He plays strong defense, was one of the top offensive players in the league, works hard and never is intimidated by the moment. And we saw all this in his age-23 season.

Rendon is showing us he has the chance to be something really special.

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