Washington Nationals' Anthony Rendon Making Second Opportunities Count

By Thom Tsang
Daniel Shirey-USA Today Sports

So, you think Anthony Rendon wants to stick around in MLB or what?

After receiving a somewhat-unexpected opportunity for his first cup of tea in the bigs towards the end of April that ended with mixed results (.240/.367/.280 triple-slash over 30 PA), the Washington Nationals‘ top prospect has wasted no time in re-doing his first impression after receiving yet another shot only about a month after he’d been returned to the minors.

This time, though, he might just end up sticking around for good.

That’s going to sound fairly short-sighted considering that there’s really only a three-game sample size to make that statement with headed into the second game of the Nationals’ doubleheader on Sunday, but Rendon has made it pretty easy to to forget just how difficult it is for any player to find sustain success at the plate at this game.

Sustained success, however, is just what he’s found over his first 12 at-bats.

The second baseman has hits in all three games he’s played in thus far, with multi-hit performances in two of them, including a 2-for-3 performance in the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader against the Minnesota Twins that saw him contribute a key two-out, two-RBI double to cap off a five-run inning for the Nationals and really put the game out of reach.

Even the doubles have been a recurring theme thus far, with the 23-year-old having hit one in each of those games, so it’s not like he’s just meekly slapping the ball around either.

Considering that he hit just .182 through 14 PA in the briefest of brief promotions to Triple-A just prior to being called up, you might think that the splash that Rendon has made in his second MLB go-around might be a bit of a surprise; but, considering that he also owned a .357 OBP to to with the poor average, perhaps it was always going to be the case that the results with the bat would eventually fall in line with the disciplined approach.

But the real question for the rookie is — can he make sure that this second stint lasts much longer than the first?

Danny Espinosa is due to resume baseball activities in a few days as he recovers from an ailing wrist, but given that the injury has all but decimated his performance at the plate, you’d have to think that the Nationals would have to think a little harder than just to give the incumbent back his job on a full-time bases right away.

And if Rendon, whose bat is MLB-ready, can continue impressing offensively? Well, that decision might not end up being nearly as difficult as it’d seem.

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