Angels third baseman Anthony Rendon did not disappoint in his first season in Anaheim.
Angels owner Arte Moreno might not have the best track record when it comes to the players he rewards with enormous contracts, but third baseman Anthony Rendon appears to be deserving as of now. In his first season with the Angels, they got everything they paid for.
Season in Review
The 30-year-old perennial All-Star put up 2.7 WAR across 52 games, a more than impressive mark that placed him amongst the best in the league. Rendon batted .286, representing the first time he posted a sub-.300 batting average since 2016. However, this doesn’t matter. Rendon posted a career-high .418 on base percentage albeit with a ‘down’ .497 slugging percentage. That was good for an elite 156 wRC+. Rendon had a very average defensive season at third base which is something to monitor closely going forward — he posted -2 defensive runs saved (DRS) in 2020.
Anthony Rendon saw a slight downturn in his average exit velocity and hard hit rates in 2020 per Baseball Savant, but it’s not something to worry about too much. The 30-year-old still posted an excellent 93rd percentile expected weighted on base average (xwOBA) and maintained elite plate discipline — 93rd percentile strikeout rate, 95th percentile walk rate, and 96th percentile whiff rate. Even if Rendon loses a bit of power year over year, his actual contact skills and plate discipline should make him one of the more feared hitters in baseball.
Role in 2021
Anthony Rendon is the second-best player on the Angels and needs to continue to play like it if the Angels want to get into the playoffs. This should be of no issue as Rendon is showing no signs of slowing down. He might still be in his prime at the age of 30 years old, something that is actually pretty wild to think about considering how much of a stud he already is.
Expect Rendon to bat back-to-back in some way with Mike Trout, a 1-2 punch that is arguably the best in baseball. Pretty special — the key to October lies in their hands.
In his first season in a Halos uniform, Anthony Rendon absolutely deserves an A from us at Halo Hangout. Rendon was still absolutely excellent offensively despite seeing a drop-off in power production. Expect some of that to return in 2021 as the Angels get a great return off this investment.