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Everyone’s talking about Nationals’ infielder Howie Kendrick ... and how he should be an All-Star

Washington Nationals’ infielder and bench bat Howie Kendrick has a .325/.372/.589 line, 10 doubles, and 11 homers this season. Make that man an All-Star (reserve).

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MLB: Miami Marlins at Washington Nationals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

As of Wednesday night, Anthony Rendon had the second-highest average (.320), highest on-base percentage (.422), highest slugging percentage (.655), highest wOBA (.438), and wRC+ (172), and he had the National League’s highest fWAR (3.1) among qualified third basemen, but he was ranked fifth in voting for the NL’s starting third baseman in the 2019 MLB All-Star Game when the early returns for the first round of voting (the primary voting, or however that whole thing works this year) came out earlier this week, meaning that without a serious surge, he won’t advance to the second round of voting.

He’s probably okay with that fact.

Asked last month if he wanted to go to the All-Star Game, Rendon said he would be happy to be an All-Star (for the first time) if he was picked by the fans, or selected as a reserve if his fellow players and the Commissioner’s office (who are apparently making those choices together this time) pick him.

“Sure, I’d love to be an All-Star,” Rendon joked, “but without going, if that’s possible.”

“I’m just trying to go out here and play baseball,” he said, “I’m not worried about — whatever happens, happens. I just take it one day at a time.”

While he’s reluctant to be in the spotlight at the All-Star Game, or like, ever, Rendon has been campaigning for one of his teammates to get some recognition.

Rendon talked up Howie Kendrick recently, and suggested the 35-year-old, 14-year veteran (who has a .325/.372/.589 line, 10 doubles, 11 HRs, a .394 wOBA, and 144 wRC+ in 183 plate appearances, over which he’s been worth 1.4 fWAR) should be an All-Star, though he’d have to be a write-in (since he didn’t appear on the ballot) or a reserve.

“Man, he means the world,” Rendon said of Kendrick’s contributions to the Nationals so far this season, as quoted by Washington Post writer Jesse Dougherty.

“He should definitely be an All-Star, that’s for sure. Nobody’s talking about him.”

Rendon and Kendrick’s GM is talking about him, actually.

In his weekly visit with 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports Junkies, GM Mike Rizzo was asked about Kendrick’s production and if he deserved to go to the mid-summer classic.

“You know, we call him a professional hitter,” Rizzo said. “We knew that when we got him. I didn’t know what kind of professional gentlemen he is. He runs the clubhouse. He’s the consummate leader on the bench, in the clubhouse, in the community and he’s a terrific player. He’s having an outstanding season.”

Doing what he’s doing at this point in his career, after missing most of last season with a devastating injury, is even more impressive.

”Thirty-five [years old] is one thing,” Rizzo said.

“You know how we always talk about players’ ages in these non-steroidal days of baseball, but 35 coming off a fully-ruptured Achilles tendon, at his age, and playing the way he has played is remarkable to me. A guy that has shown the propensity to get big base hits, use the entire field offensively, and put on a power display that he’s put on, is remarkable.

”This guy hits tough pitching and good pitching as good as anybody we have. A guy that, to me, when you strip everything away, this is an All-Star player for us. He should be joining those guys in Cleveland in the All-Star Game, because he’s literally carried this club offensively from day one, when we’ve had two, three, four, five and six-hole hitters out of the lineup at the same time.”

Well not “literally”, but you know...

”This guy carried us and has performed admirably for us,” Rizzo added.

Will Kendrick make it to the All-Star Game for the second time in his career, and the first time since 2011?