In his second major league season, 24-year-old, 2011 Washington Nationals' 1st Round pick Anthony Rendon posted a .287/.351/.473 line with 39 doubles, six triples and 21 home runs in 153 games and 683 plate appearances.
Rendon finished the year at 6.6 fWAR, behind only Pittsburgh Pirates' outfielder Andrew McCutchen (6.8) among NL position players in Fangraph's Wins Above Replacement.
"He hits the ball to all fields," Nats' skipper Matt Williams told reporters during Rendon's first postseason run, "which always helps, because if you can spray the ball around a little bit, you've got a better chance of getting more hits."
"He's a professional hitter," Williams continued. "He understands how to hit and what to do, and he's just continuing to do that."
"Rendon put himself on the map as one of the really bright players in the game," Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo told 106.7 the FAN in D.C.'s Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier.
Rendon put himself on the map. The Sports News put Rendon on its 2014 National League All Star Team.
The Nationals' third baseman was part of an infield that included the Cubs' Anthony Rizzo at first, the Dodgers' Dee Gordon at second and Cardinals' shortstop Johnny Peralta. Rendon was the only Nats' position player picked for the Sporting News' NL All-Star Team.
• "Sporting News 2014 National League All-Star team" - Sporting News
Matt Williams was named the NL Manager of the Year by the Sporting News on Monday...
So... what was the biggest story in NatsTown on Tuesday, after Rendon getting the Sporting News-love? Links and... not really lots of them, but some links, a few of them, as many as we could find and... RIGHT NOW!!!:
• THE BIG STORY!!!:
• "Balboni said the Giants’ pitching staff developed a clear plan for Nationals hitters and executed it to perfection, but the attack came from coaches, not his reports..." - "Giants scout Steve Balboni saw Nationals as ‘best team in baseball’" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post
Steve Balboni scouted the Nats for the Giants in September. "To me," he said, "they were the best team in baseball." http://t.co/4Viyk0Biyg— Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) October 22, 2014
• NATS BEAT:
• "'I texted [Morse], I congratulated him [after the Giants won the pennant]. He hit a huge home run,' Zimmerman said." - "Zimmerman happy for former teammate Morse" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com
• "We’ve wondered for years whether Zimmerman’s shoulder problems and throwing issues would force a position change at some point in his career." - "Nationals Roster Review: Ryan Zimmerman" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider
• "This season, Storen reached a new level of personal success. He appeared in 65 games out of the bullpen, and punched up a ridiculous 1.12 ERA..." - "Nationals Pastime: Storen bounces back in a big way (Rendon on Sporting News NL All-Star team)" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com
One exec on Nats departed assistant GM Bryan Minniti: "He'll be a GM. I wish we had an opening to hire him." Very respected in the game.— Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) October 22, 2014
• "He told his agent this winter he wanted to play for Bochy and the Giants, and when they showed interest, he signed a one-year, $5 million deal." - "World Series notebook: Ex-Nat Michael Morse finds a home in San Francisco" - Adam Kilgore and Barry Svrluga, The Washington Post
• "Potomac manager Tripp Keister said the momentum for that series-clinching victory started building right after the end of the first-half break." - "A look back at Potomac's championship season: Part One - Game 3 comeback" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com
• Your Daily Message from the Dalai Lama on Twitter (@DalaiLama):
Pay more attention to compassion and you’ll find you’re happier. It’s that practical and simple.— Dalai Lama (@DalaiLama) April 14, 2014
• NATIONAL(S) BEAT + NATSTOWN:
• "The Washington Nationals washed out in the playoffs, and you won't see video showing D.C. lobbyists and congressmen in the stands as the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants go at it in the World Series." - "Baseball is playing politics: 9 ways Major League Baseball is trying to influence elections" - Stephen Koff, cleveland.com
• "Nationals Park is the first major sport stadium to be certified green, and D.C. leads the nation in LEED-certified energy efficient buildings." - "Report: D.C.'s Energy Efficiency Continues To Grow" - DCist
D.C.'s energy efficiency continues to grow, according to a new report. http://t.co/udEnZuvTY2— DCist (@DCist) October 22, 2014
• "Offseason Position Discussion : Shortstop" - Harper, Nationals Baseball
• "The Nationals and Astros could be moving closer to their NL East brethren in Port St. Lucie after Palm Beach County agreed to give funding to the clubs..." - "Mets could get spring training neighbors with Nationals and Astros" - Mike Vorkunov, NJ.com
• NL EAST UPDATES:
• Mets: "The Mets are highly reluctant to trade any of their young pitchers this winter, despite an urgent need to upgrade the offense." - "Michael Cuddyer is a perfect free agent fit for NY Mets, who like him" - Andy Martino, NY Daily News
• Braves: "While he would have much rather been participating, Braves closer Craig Kimbrel went to the World Series to be recognized as the National League's top relief pitcher." - "Kimbrel named Trevor Hoffman NL Reliever of the Year" - Mark Bowman, braves.com
• Marlins: "Right fielder Giancarlo Stanton was the lone Miami Marlins on Sporting News’ National League All-Star team, as selected by a panel of NL executives." - "Giancarlo Stanton selected to Sporting News NL All-Star team" - Juan C. Rodriguez, Sun Sentinel
• Phillies: "Burnett, who turns 38 in January, has a mutual option worth $15 million for next season. If the Phillies decline it, he would have to turn down a $12.75 million player option just to retire." - "Phillies' A.J. Burnett likely to return for 2015" - Chase Hughes, Comcast SportsNet Washington