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Angels News: Anthony Rendon named best third baseman in baseball

Anthony Rendon, Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Anthony Rendon, Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
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While we continue to focus on what the Angels lack this offseason, let’s take a quick break to recognize what they do have. Major League Baseball’s best third baseman: Anthony Rendon.

Last season, Rendon got off to an uncharacteristically slow start, posting a .196 batting average through his first 17 games as a member of the Halos. I think Rendon might have been trying to do too much with the hopes of living up to his seven-year, $245 million contract. Not having a normal spring training and regular season probably played a factor as well.

Whatever it was, Rendon quickly put his struggles behind him and finished the season slashing .286/.418/.497 with nine home runs and 38 RBI in 52 games. The .418 on-base percentage was a career-high. It was a small sample size, but the consistent offensive production from Rendon is a safe bet for years to come in Anaheim.

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MLB Ranks Since 2019 (Among Current Third Basemen)

  • OBP (.413) 1st
  • SLG (.572) 1st
  • OPS+ (155) 1st
  • RE24 (75.3) 1st
  • xwOBA (.408) 1st
  • WAR (8.5) 3rd

I’d even make the argument Rendon has become one of the best hitters among all position players. The 30-year old has a knack for being an annoyingly tough out at the plate and will put together a solid at-bat more often than not.

Last season, Rendon finished with MLB’s ninth-highest walk-percentage (16.4) and held the 12th lowest strikeout percentage (13.4) among position players. Rendon’s strikeout-to-walk ratio (0.82) was the fourth-best in the league last summer.

The Angels have baseball’s best third-baseman in Anthony Rendon, which is why the need to build a World Series contender sooner rather than later.

Having two players who grind out at-bats with low strikeout rates like Rendon and David Fletcher will be critical to the Angels’ offensive success this season.

Defensively Rendon is no slouch either. The Houston native finished with a .976 fielding percentage at the hot-corner in 2020.

As a member of the Nationals, Rendon posted a batting average above .300 and a slugging percentage above .500 from 2017-2019. I think a regular spring training (hopefully) and full-season will lead to more of the same for the Angels third-baseman in 2021.

Aside from his statistics, Rendon also carries value in regards to his intangibles. Rendon is a former World Series champion who goes about his business professionally on and off the field, providing great leadership in the clubhouse for the rest of the team to follow.

Combine that with arguably the game’s greatest player in Mike Trout, and the Angels have one of the league’s best foundations to build on. The duo is entering the prime years of their careers, which is why owner Arte Moreno and general manager Perry Minasian need to take advantage of their talents while they are at their peak performance years.

Next. Should the Angels pass on Trevor Bauer?

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As great as Rendon and Trout both are, it will still take the rest of the 24 players on the roster if the Angels are going to contend for a championship this season. It would be a shame if both players have their best seasons in Anaheim wasted because the front office did not build a legitimate contender. In sports, anything can happen and nothing is guaranteed.

The Angels have baseball’s best third-baseman, so the time to compete for a World Series is now.

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