While the season for the Angels looks to be in doubt, Anthony Rendon looks to be in full form.
Anthony Rendon was one of the most sought after free agents in this past year’s class. When he signed with the Los Angeles Angels after winning the World Series, it was shocking but more so, exciting that he and the best player in baseball, Mike Trout would be in the same lineup together. At the start of the shortened season, Rendon looked rusty and it was concerning because Angel fans had seen this story before. The Los Angeles Angels really weren’t going to go 0-2 on superstar free-agent signings, were they? After the past week, it sure doesn’t look like it.
Rendon lit it up for the Washington Nationals in 2019. He earned himself the Silver Slugger award while also finishing 3rd in the MVP race and making his first All-Star team. Add to that 126 RBIs to lead the majors and 44 doubles in back-to-back years. The Angels still needed help on the mound but with this signing, expectations were rising no matter if they were realistic or not.
In 2020, Rendon started off bad, very bad. For two weeks, Rendon struggled to put the ball in play. While he was walking at a high rate, he had only four hits through his first twelve games as an Angel and was batting .103. The last time the Angels signed a superstar coming off of a World Series title, they didn’t get what they were expecting. Fair or not, concern was mounting among fans.
Halo fans worries were put to bed the next day against Oakland. Rendon found his smooth swing that makes hitting a baseball look easy and went 2-for-3 with a homer. The Angels would go on to take two of three from the A’s that series with Rendon contributing heavily in all three games. The 30-year-old Texan would go 5-for-1 with three homers over the series versus the green and gold. He is now on a nine-game hitting streak and has knocked in a run in all but one of those nine games.
So why is Rendon’s name not being talked about enough?
He’s a quiet guy and plays with the best player in the world, so an oversight on his plate production the past week is a likely that. Not to mention, the Angels haven’t been putting together wins. Even with Rendon’s hot bat, the Angels are now 8-17 and have won just once since the Oakland series.
In baseball, slumps are a part of the game and it’s likely that will not be the last one of Rendon’s career. Superstars, however, usually find their way back out of those slumps quicker than others. Rendon is cut from the superstar mold and has a bounce-back ability that makes people forget he was even struggling.
The Angels need to figure out how to not waste this lineup away over the next seven years but in the meantime, Anthony Rendon is starting to look like superstar they signed him to be.