When looking at underrated players across the game, the Washington Nationals have one of the top ones.
It has not been anything new to hear that Anthony Rendon is underrated. However, after time, players dubbed as underrated become no longer in that category. That is not the case for the third baseman in the nation’s capitol. Along with that, Rendon was underrated three years ago, and he has continued to get even better since.
Rendon has ranked in the top three in offensive WAR for the past three seasons. What is the scariest is that Rendon has improved every year and he is only 29 years old. After ranking sixth in each of 2017 and ’18, Rendon is third this season as he approaches free agency.
Much of the reason that Rendon is not viewed higher is his lack of home run power. However, he led the league with 44 doubles in 2018 and was fourth with 41 the season before. Not having a season over 25 home runs yet, Rendon still finished seventh in slugging percentage last season. He ranks fourth this year, but will also will likely set a new high in long balls, having 20 already through July 18.
As grossly has Rendon has been underrated over the past few years, he was at least finally an all-star in 2019. However, all it took was 20 home runs and a .997 OPS to get there. In the second half, he has been even better to get his OPS for the season to 1.015, with five doubles in his first six games since the break. In the past two seasons, Rendon has ranked eighth and ninth respectively in the league in runs created with 116 in 2017 and 110 in ’18. Additionally, he ranks 39th among active players in adjusted batting runs with 119. In that stat, he sits in the top 10 in the league each of the last three seasons.
Rendon has improved his OPS in each of his last four full seasons, since having an injury-shortened 2015. Additionally, Rendon has been fairly durable since the injury. The 2018 season was his fewest played since 2015 and that was 136 contests.
Another reason that Rendon is so underrated is because of the high profile teammates that overshadow his efforts. Previously, it was Bryce Harper manning the outfield and slugging at the plate. Now, that has developed into another young phenom in Juan Soto.
Regardless of how underrated Rendon has been over the past few years, that is about to change in 2020 when he hits the market. Enough folks around the game know the numbers above well and will put Rendon in the category where he belongs, as one of the best players in the game.