Of the Nationals’ All-Star snubs, Anthony Rendon’s was the biggest — though missing out on the game probably didn’t matter much to the second-year infielder.
After playing in 89 of the Nationals’ 93 games so far this season, Rendon was ready for some rest and relaxation.
“I have a bed at home waiting for me to sleep in,” Rendon said before the break. “It’s a good four-day vacation. We have a long season ahead.”
On a team featuring former No. 1 overall picks Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper, Rendon has been the Nationals’ best player in 2014. He leads the team in batting average (.287) and hits (103), and ranks second with 13 home runs.
Defensively, he holds a perfect fielding percentage in 24 games at second base and hasn’t committed an error at third since June 17.
“He’s done everything,” center fielder Denard Span said. “He’s got on base, he’s scored runs, knocked in a ton of runs. Defensively, he’s been unbelievable at second base and third base. He’s been our MVP so far the first half of this season.”
Rendon brushed aside the personal accolades his teammates have bestowed upon him.
“You just can’t label one player as an MVP,” he said. “There are nine guys on the field.”
Staying home for the All-Star break wasn’t a big deal for Rendon, who said he never watched the game growing up. In fact, Rendon said he rarely watches the sport, preferring programs on networks such as the History channel instead.
“I don’t watch baseball — it’s too long and boring,” he said.
In addition, Rendon and his family have a rule that they won’t talk about baseball when he visits. It’s clear Rendon, 24, has been able to separate his business from his personal life.
But he doesn’t play the game like it bores him. Since his days at Rice University, the infielder has been a prized prospect with unlimited potential. He’s exceeding expectations in just his second season with the Nationals, a squad in the midst of a pennant race in the NL East.
“I think he’s understanding the league a little more,” manager Matt Williams said. “We have to realize how young he is, certainly to the big leagues.”
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