Washington Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo talked Anthony Rendon up, after the Rice University infielder was picked 6th overall in the 2011 Draft, as the best hitter available in his class.
"[Rendon] was, we felt, the most accomplished hitter in the draft," Rizzo told reporters that June.
"He was the most polished, with huge upside, a guy that has proven at the highest levels of amateur baseball that he can hit with power and hit for average."
Through 251 games and 1,077 plate appearances, the Nats' third baseman has put up a .279/.343/.445 line with 62 doubles, seven triples and 28 HRs in two major league seasons.
"He hits the ball to all fields," Nationals' first-year skipper Matt Williams said in October, talking about the 24-year-old during the infielder'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 said. "He understands how to hit and what to do, and he's just continuing to do that."
In Rendon's first full season in the majors this summer, he put a .287/.351/.473 line with 39 doubles, six triples and 21 HRs in 153 games and 683 plate appearances over which he was worth +6.6 fWAR.
In his first postseason run, Rendon went 7 for 19 (.368/.400/.368) with a walk and two Ks in four games against the eventual World Series champs from San Francisco.
On Thursday night, he earned his first Silver Slugger Award in recognition for his offensive output for the NL East Champion Nationals.
There are plenty of stories on Rendon and teammate Ian Desmond, who took home his third straight Silver Slugger Award, below. On to the links... starting... RIGHT NOW!!!:
• SILVER SLUGGER STORIES:
• "Desmond also joins Edgar Renteria and Larkin as the only NL shortstops to win the award at least three times." - "Ian Desmond & Anthony Rendon earn NL Silver Slugger honors" - Amanda Comak, Curly W Live
• "It’s the third consecutive year Desmond received the honor, while Rendon won his first award." - "Nats’ Desmond, Rendon win Silver Slugger awards" - Bill Ladson, All Nats All the Time
• "The left side of the Nationals’ infield won two awards. The last shortstop-third base duo to win the awards in the same year?" - "Ian Desmond, Anthony Rendon win Silver Slugger awards" - James Wagner, The Washington Post
Congrats to Ian and Anthony. Absolute beasts. Doesn't get much better offensively (obviously) or defensively! Such a fun duo to watch.— Jerry Blevins (@JerryBlevins_13) November 7, 2014
• "The Nationals were shut out in the Gold Glove voting this year, with Denard Span coming up short to Mets center fielder Juan Lagares..." - "Nationals Pastime: Could some Nats take home hardware tonight?" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com
• "For Desmond, it’s his third consecutive Silver Slugger as the top NL shortstop. For Rendon – who won the honors at third base – it’s his first." - "Nats’ Ian Desmond, Anthony Rendon win 2014 NL Silver Sluggers" - Chase Hughes, Nats Insider
• "Arguably the Nationals' most consistent hitter this year, Rendon hit .287/.351/.473 with 21 home runs, 83 RBIs, 111 runs, 176 hits and a 125 OPS-plus." - "Nationals Pastime: Desmond, Rendon win Silver Slugger Awards" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com
• "'I'm really proud of them,' Nationals manager Matt Williams said. 'I'm really proud of their dedication to getting out there and playing every day for our club.'" - "Desmond, Rendon win Silver Slugger Awards" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com
• NATS BEAT:
• "Do they upgrade the backend of their staff, or move forward with their current group which is among MLB’s best during the regular season, and simply hope for better results next time around?" - "Top free agent relief pitchers available for Nationals" - Chase Hughes, Nats Insider
• "In the Dominican Republic, Tyler Moore is among the league’s best hitters. This winter and next spring are important for Moore..." - "A roundup of Nationals playing winter ball" - James Wagner, The Washington Post
A brief roundup of Nats playing winter ball. And Wilson Ramos isn't playing -- at least, for now. http://t.co/lZx59olehw— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) November 6, 2014
• "One of the most pleasant surprises for the Nats in 2014, Aaron Barrett broke out in spring training to earn a roster spot for Opening Day." - "Nationals 2014 roster review: Aaron Barrett" - Chase Hughes, Nats Insider
• Your Daily Message from the Dalai Lama on Twitter (@DalaiLama):
Affection, a sense of community and a sense of concern for others are not some kind of luxury. They’re about the survival of humanity.— Dalai Lama (@DalaiLama) November 6, 2014
• NATIONALS BEAT:
• "Other first-time Silver Slugger honorees include MLB hits-leader Jose Altuve, AL rookie of the year favorite Jose Abreu, AL MVP finalist Michael Brantley, Washington Nationals' breakout star Anthony Rendon and even the World Series MVP, pitcher Madison Bumgarner." - "Eight players win their first Silver Slugger award, including Giancarlo Stanton" - Mike Oz, Big League Stew - Yahoo Sports
• "The NYBA is a youth enrichment program in partnership with the Washington Nationals that is offered to low-income students of DC Public Schools." - "@GWBaseball1's Campbell Named October Community Service Student-Athlete of the Month" - Dan DiVeglio, George Washington Athletics
• "Of the eight, two have previously served as managers in the majors. Acta has managed the Washington Nationals and Cleveland Indians." - "Tampa Bay Rays announce eight preliminary candidates for managerial job" - SI.com
• "Washington Nationals manager Matt Williams brought class to the locker room when he addressed his team after it clinched the division in September." - "10 things you might not know about victory speeches" - Mark Jacob and Stephan Benzkofer, Chicago Tribune
• "Speaking of baseball, Bernanke had the chance once to go on the field with his favorite team, the Washington Nationals." - "Ben Bernanke is a really funny guy. Seriously" - Jeff Cox, CNBC.com
• "You know what a second-guesser is? A second-guesser is someone who don’t know anything about the first guess and a second-guesser is someone who needs two guesses to get one right." - Tommy Lasorda on Matt Williams - "Tommy Lasorda talks Matt Williams before being honored with Bob Feller Award" - Scott Allen, The Washington Post
• "Red Sox fans can barely stomach the thought of the team trading Mookie Betts this offseason. What on earth makes anyone think the Nationals would entertain dealing Harper?" - "MLB Hot Stove 2014-15: 4 offseason stories we can't wait to not read about" - Ben Shapiro, masslive.com
• "The D.C. Beer Festival lands at Nationals Park on Saturday with 75 participating breweries that include almost every major local brewery and brewpub..." - "7 things to do in the D.C. area on the weekend of Nov. 7-9" - Going Out Guide, Washington Post
• NL EAST UPDATES:
• Phillies: "This is not the first time we’ve heard of the Phillies’ clubhouse being less-than-pleasant, nor will it be the last..." - "On the Rumors of a Torn Phillies Clubhouse" - Bill Baer, Crashburn Alley
• Mets: "According to the report, the White Sox are in need of starting pitching and would look for it in a return if they trade Ramirez." - "MLB hot stove: Mets, Yankees interested in trading for Chicago White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez" - Mike Vorkunov, NJ.com
• Marlins: "Stanton earlier in the week was named the National League's Outstanding Player, and earlier this offseason was a recipient of the Hank Aaron Award." - "Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton wins Silver Slugger Award" - Scott Gelman, Fish Stripes
• Braves: "The Braves are expected to keep their payroll near the same level as last year’s approximate $112 million – CEO Terry McGuirk told me Thursday that it wouldn’t be reduced..." - "Braves’ focus shifts to roster at GM meetings" - David O'Brien, AJC.com