Over the last 24 games, coming out of the All-Star Break, Washington Nationals’ third baseman Anthony Rendon is 27 for 87 (.310/.380/.621) with nine of his 26 doubles on the season and six of his 15 home runs coming over his last 100 plate appearances, in which he’s walked 10 times and struck out just 11 times.
Rendon finished the Nationals’ 5-3 homestand 7 for 25 (.280/.367/.680) with four doubles and two home runs in 30 PAs.
After Rendon homered and went 1 for 3 with a sac fly in the series finale with the Atlanta Braves on Sunday afternoon, Nationals’ skipper Dusty Baker talked about the run the 26-year-old, four-year veteran has put together over the last month-plus.
Rendon started the season with a .254/.341/.406 line, 18 doubles, nine home runs, 43 walks and 75 Ks in his first 88 games and 370 PAs.
Baker said he told Rendon he was his “pick to click” in the second-half.
“Like I always tell you,” Baker said, “water seeks its own level and Anthony has been a good hitter for most of his life. His timing is there and I told Wilson [Ramos] that he had the two most important hits in the game when he advanced the runner from second base with nobody out and then Anthony followed with a sacrifice fly.
“And then when he kept the ball off the ground with the bases loaded, on the sacrifice fly to right and they were trying to entice him to hit the ball on the ground, which he didn’t, and he got the sac fly and then Anthony followed with the three-run homer. That was vintage baseball. How you play.”
Baker was asked what impresses him most about Rendon when he’s hitting like he has over the last few weeks.
“His hands are unbelievable,” Baker said.
“He has some of the quickest hands offensively and defensively. That’s what impressed me in Spring Training, the first time I ever saw him.
“And actually he’s the guy that I told my son to watch, because my son is skinny, much like I was but he has big hands again like my dad and me, and I said, ‘Hey, man, that’s your best friend right there, your hands.’
“And you watch Anthony Rendon and how he uses his hands. Earlier in the year, his hands were — I think they were a little banged up, and he was using more arms than hands and now he’s using his hands. And boy, when he’s on time, the ball — he does it so effortlessly, and I enjoy watching him hit.”
Heading into tonight’s series opener with the Colorado Rockies in Coors Field, Rendon is second on the Nationals in runs scored (67), doubles (27), walks (tied, 53), and third in SLG (.451) and hits (109).