Without Anthony Rendon, the 2021 LA Angels were a pretty mediocre team on offense. With Mike Trout also missing the majority of the season, the Angels ranked 17th in runs per game at 4.46. For context, the Houston Astros led MLB with 5.34 runs per game. The Angels also ranked just 15th in RBIs, 17th in runs scored, 19th in home runs, and 19th in OPS.
In Rendon’s absence, the Angels were forced to use the likes of Jack Mayfield (88 wRC+, 0.7 fWAR), Phil Gosselin (87 wRC+, 0.1 fWAR) and Kean Wong (12 wRC+, -0.5 fWAR) at third base.
Luckily, in 2022, Angels fans won’t have to suffer through such despair now that Rendon’s back. Early projections for him are incredibly bullish, especially when you consider just how conservative such systems typically are.
A healthy Anthony Rendon gives the LA Angels one of MLB's top third basemen.
- ZiPS: 460 PA, .273/.363/.470, 126 wRC+, 17 HR, 25 2B, 70 RBI, 53 BB, 69 K, 3.1 fWAR
- Steamer: 575 PA, .272/.367/.467, 127 wRC+, 21 HR, 31 2B, 79 RBI, 69 BB, 90 K, 4.3 fWAR
Those are huge numbers for Rendon and, were it not for Trout sporting even more impressive marks, would make him a shoo-in for American League Comeback Player of the Year.
Sure, they're not quite at the level of Rendon's MVP-caliber production from 2017-19, but at the end of the day, these are still just baseline projections. If he's truly healthy he can blow right past these numbers.
Though he lacks volume in ZiPS, his overall output is still leagues above what we saw from him in 2021. Likewise, Steamer is even more optimistic, giving Rendon the sixth best marks in fWAR and wRC+ among all MLB third basemen.
If you remain at all doubtful about Rendon’s ability to bounce back and hit anywhere near these numbers, consider that in 2016 he was named the National League Comeback Player of the Year after rebounding from injuries to his left knee injury and oblique that held him to only 80 games in 2015.