Anthony Rendon of the LA Angels has elite upside as a player.
He finished third in the NL MVP race as he won the World Series in 2019, hitting 34 home runs and 126 RBI to go along with a .319 batting average, a .412 on-base percentage, a .598 slugging percentage, and an astounding 1.010 OPS. The 7-year/$245 million contract was huge, but the Angels were hoping for that kind of production regularly from the two-time Silver Slugger.
Rendon’s battled injuries this year, most recently a contusion that resulted from fouling a ball off of his knee.
He missed time from May 5th to May 13th, and came back on May 14th for the Boston trip.
Since then, not a ton has gone Rendon’s way. Entering the weekend, Rendon is 6 for 30 with no homers and just one RBI. He went from hitting .276/.348/.466 before the injury, to .250/.337/.375 since.
That decline is disappointing for obvious reasons, but it’s also disappointing in particular because Rendon was really coming around just before the injury. In the three most previous games before Rendon hit the IL, he was 5 for 11 with a couple bombs and five runs driven in.
The injury has clearly cooled Rendon off to a very large extent.
On the other hand, Rendon’s tear right before the injury shows that once he feels like himself again, he can absolutely play at an elite level.
The Rendon contract hasn’t started off the way the Angels planned it to. The dip in production since the injury could be a lot of things. The injury could still be nagging him, it could have just disrupted his rhythm a bit too much, or he could just be slumping (which is bound to happen in a 162-game season).
Whatever it is, the former All-Star has finished fifth or better in the MVP race twice. He has too much potential as an offensive player to count him out. He needs to step up with Mike Trout out of the picture for the time being, and there’s no better time than now for him to find himself again.