The hot corner is Anthony Rendon’s for 2017

One of the many bright spots of the 2016 season was the resurgence of Anthony Rendon who was pacing himself with his tremendous 2014 season when he won the Silver Slugger and was voted fifth in the MVP voting. Rendon delivered only 1 RBI in the month of  April with a slow start to the season while batting .242 as he knocked in 84 RBIs over the remaining 5 months of the season.

In April, Rendon was hitting 2nd in the batting order behind Michael Taylor and Rendon admitted he changed his approach to try to compensate for Taylor seeing so few pitches in his at-bats. When Dusty Baker moved Rendon back in the order he quickly became the “Tony Two Bags” that Nats fans had grown accustomed to seeing split the gaps with doubles.

Rendon was well above his season slash when it came to hitting with RISP (runners in scoring position) as he slashed .294 /.381/ .538 /.919. Rendon also provided Gold Glove level defense as Fangraphs rated him 3rd in the Majors and finished ahead of Manny Machado. Rendon had a +12.9 defense rating and a +10.6 UZR for the 2016 season.

Rendon two run single in the 1st inning

Rendon two run single in Atlanta in 2016

Rendon was the top rated defensive player for the Nationals in 2016 and fixed one of the holes that existed in the 2015 infield.

Unfortunately Rendon struggled during the 2016 NLDS and set a record for 22 runners left-on-base. In small sample sizes, it did not look great for Rendon, but he still was second on the Nats with four RBIs in the NLDS. Rendon is the same player who led the Nats in the 2014 post-season when he batted .368.

Rendon’s weak point is up and outside where he batted .143 and .071 and if it was above the zone he batted .000. 2016 zone chart 2016 zone chart

Rendon is under team control for three more seasons with the Nationals, and he enters 2017 as a lock for the 3rd base position for the Nats.

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