Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon was named the 2016 National League Comeback Player of the Year on Tuesday in an announcement made by Major League Baseball on MLB Network. Rendon was joined by the American League honoree, Boston Red Sox right-hander Rick Porcello.
The Comeback Player of the Year Awards are officially sanctioned by Major League Baseball and presented annually to one player in each League who has re-emerged on the field during the season. The 30 Club beat reporters from MLB.com, the official web site of Major League Baseball, selected the winners from an original list of 30 candidates (one per MLB Club).
Playing in a career-high 156 games, Rendon was a model of consistency for the Nationals this season. He hit .270 with a .348 on-base percentage and a .450 slugging percentage, clubbing 20 home runs and 38 doubles, while tallying two triples, working a career-high 65 walks, scoring 91 runs and driving in a career-best 85. His 156 games played slotted him second on the club behind only shortstop Danny Espinosa, but it was Rendon's consistency in production, as well as his durability, that impressed in 2016.
From May 1 through the end of the regular season, Rendon hit .275 with a .355 on-base percentage and a .481 slugging percentage. In that span, Rendon never hit below .258 in any calendar month and drove in 84 runs, accounting for all but one of his career-high 85 RBI. His 29 two-out RBI in 2016 ranked tied for third on the club.
Rendon's 23 RBI in the month of September marked a career high for a single month for the 26-year-old. Additionally, his 38 doubles and .976 fielding percentage led all National League third basemen.
Rendon's strong 2016 season, two removed from the 2014 campaign in which he finished fifth in the MVP voting, came on the heels of a 2015 where he was limited to just 80 games due to injury. The sixth-overall pick in the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft, Rendon recorded his 500th career hit on Sept. 27.
Rendon is the second player in Nationals history (2005-present) to earn this award, joining Dmitri Young, who took it home for his 2007 season.
Past winners league-wide include: Jason Giambi and Ken Griffey Jr. (2005); Jim Thome and Nomar Garciaparra (2006); Carlos Peña and Dmitri Young (2007); Cliff Lee and Brad Lidge (2008); Aaron Hill and Chris Carpenter (2009); Francisco Liriano and Tim Hudson (2010); Jacoby Ellsbury and Lance Berkman (2011); Fernando Rodney and Buster Posey (2012); Liriano and Mariano Rivera (2013); Casey McGehee and Chris Young (2014); and Prince Fielder and Matt Harvey (2015).