Anthony Rendon Begins Los Angeles Angels Career with 1.000 Batting Average

Anthony Rendon has started his MLBrun with a new team with a bang…

The 29-year-old Mexican American professional baseball player, who helped the Washington Nationals win the World Series last year, left his first game in a new uniform with a 1.000 batting average.

Anthony Rendon

Rendon went 2-for-2 in his spring training debut with the Los Angeles Angels, driving in a run and scoring one Tuesday during a 7-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds.

Back from spending time with his wife and newborn child, the MLB All-Starthird baseman played three innings on the field.

“It’s inevitable. You’ve got to get out there every day to get comfortable,” Rendon said. “So day one, you take in stride and take it slow, too. Not try to get too crazy.”

Rendon, who signed a $245 million, seven-year contract as a free agent in December, was just one of the big-name Angels players to play for the first time this February. He batted third, between AL MVP Mike Troutand designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, the two-way star from Japan who also pitches.

Outfielder Justin Uptonand first baseman Albert Pujolsalso were in the lineup for the first time.

“Definitely exciting. Just trying to see how it’s going to pan out throughout the year,” Rendon said. “Kind of getting used to each other and getting in the dugout and seeing what guys’ routines are, and you don’t want to get in anybody’s way at all.”

The major league leader in RBI last season, Rendon has hit .301 or better the past three seasons, with two 100-RBI campaigns. He has totaled 83 home runs in that span, including a career-high 34 last season.

Last October, his home run off Zack Greinkebegan Washington’s late rally in Game 7 at Houston for the championship.

“Right now he’s one of the better clutch hitters in the game. He almost 100 percent of the time works a great at-bat,” Angels manager Joe Maddonsaid. “He is one of those dudes that can handle good pitching well and you can’t say that about everybody.”

Rendon heard the cheers from the small crowd at Tempe Diablo Stadiumas he walked up for his first at-bat as an Angel in the bottom of the first inning. He worked the count to 3-and-2 before lining a single to left field, moving Trout to second base.

Rendon scored easily from second base on Pujols’ two-out, bases-loaded single.

In the second, Rendon picked up his first RBI wearing Angels red when he sliced a two-out, opposite-field single to right field to drive in David Fletcher.

Ronald Acuña Jr. Receives First-Ever Silver Slugger Award

It’s a silverfirst for Ronald Acuña Jr.

The 21-year-old Venezuelan Major League Baseball baseball outfielder for the Atlanta Braves has received his first Silver Slugger Award, awarded annually to the best offensive player at each position in both the American League and the National League, as determined by the coaches and managers. 

Ronald Acuna Jr.

For the year, Acuña hit .280/.365/.883, with 127 runs (leading the National League), 41 home runs, and 37 stolen bases (leading the league). He missed the 40–40 club by three stolen bases.

Acuña’s Braves teammates Freddie Freeman and Ozzie Albies are among the first-time winners on the National League side, along with Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger.

First-timers for the American League are Cleveland Indians first baseman Carlos SantanaNew York Yankees infielder DJ LeMahieuHouston Astros infielder Alex Bregman and Minnesota Twins catcher Mitch Garver.

Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout was awarded his seventh Silver Slugger Award after batting .291 with 45 home runs and 104 RBIs this season.

World Series champion and Washington Nationals slugger Anthony Rendon, a two-time winner, Philadelphia Phillies catcher J.T. RealmutoColorado Rockies shortstop Trevor StoryMilwaukee Brewers star Christian Yelich and former Arizona Diamondbacks ace Zack Greinke, who was dealt by the D-backs to the Astros at the trade deadline, completed the National League list.

Twins designated hitter Nelson Cruz, a three-time winner, Astros outfielder George Springer and Boston Red Sox teammates Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts rounded out the American League winners.

Selections are based on a combination of offensive stats, including batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage in addition to the managers’ and coaches’ views of a player’s overall offensive value.

Anthony Rendon Among This Year’s MLB National League MVP Finalists

Anthony Rendonhas made the final cut…

The 29-year-old Mexican American Major League Baseball star has been named a finalist for the National League MVP award.

Anthony Rendon

Rendon, who hit key home runs in Games 6 and 7 of the World Series to help lead his Washington Nationals team to their first championship, will face off against Los Angeles Dodgersoutfielder Cody Bellingerand Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelichfor the MLB honor. Yelich won last year’s NL MVPaward with 29 of 30 first-place votes.

Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike TroutHouston Astros third baseman Alex Bregmanand Oakland Athleticsshortstop Marcus Semienare finalists for the American League MVPaward. Trout is seeking his third MVP award after winning in 2014 and ’16. He finished second in 2012, ’13, ’15 and ’18.

Houston’s Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander are finalists for the AL Cy Young Award along with Tampa Bay Rays’ Charlie Morton, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America said. Verlander won the 2011 Cy Young with the Detroit Tigers, when he also was voted MVP.

New York Metsace Jacob deGromis a finalist for the NL Cy Young Award after getting 29 of 30 first-place votes last year. He is competing with Washington’s Max Scherzerand the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu. Scherzer is a three-time Cy Young winner.

New York Mets first baseman Pete AlonsoAtlanta Braves right-hander Mike Soroka and San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr.are finalists for the NL Rookie of the Year. Houston designated hitter Yordan Alvarez, Tampa Bay second baseman Brandon Lowe and Baltimore Orioles‘ left-hander John Means are the top candidates in the AL.

The New York Yankees‘ Aaron BooneMinnesota Twins‘ Rocco Baldelliand Tampa Bay’s Kevin Cash are finalists for AL Manager of the Year. Atlanta’s Brian Snitker is a finalist to win the NL award for the second straight season, joined by the Milwaukee Brewers‘ Craig Counsell and St. Louis CardinalsMike Shildt.

Rookies of the Year will be announced on November 11, followed by Managers of the Year on November 12. Cy Young winners will be announced on November 13, and MVPs on November 14.

Javier Baez to Bat Second for National League in the MLB All-Star Game

It’s batter up for Javier Baez

The 26-year-old Puerto Rican professional baseball player and shortstop for the Chicago Cubs, nicknamed “El Mago,” is slated to bat second for the National League in Tuesday’s MLB All-Star Game.

Javier Baez

Baez, in his second straight All-Star Game, will follow lead-off hitter and Milwaukee Brewers slugger Christian Yelich, who bowed out of the Home Run Derbywith a back issue. Yelich leads the majors with 31 home runs.

He’ll befollowed by Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie FreemanLos Angeles Dodgersright fielder Cody BellingerColorado Rockiesthird baseman Nolan ArenadoPittsburgh Pirates‘ Josh Bell at designated hitter, Cubs catcher Willson ContrerasArizona Diamondbackssecond baseman Ketel Marte and Atlanta center fielder Ronald Acuna Jr.

The National League has the youngest starting lineup in All-Star Gamehistory, with an average age of 25.75. The previous record was 26.4 by the 2017 ALstarters.

Houston Astros‘ George Springer leads off and plays right field for the American League and is followed in the order by New York Yankees second baseman DJ LeMahieuLos Angeles Angels center fielder Mike TroutCleveland Indians’ first baseman Carlos SantanaBoston Red Sox designated hitter J.D. Martinez, Houston third baseman Alex Bregman, Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez, Astros left fielder Michael Brantley and Minnesota Twins’ shortstop Jorge Polanco.

Cora joked about LeMahieu’s success against the Red Sox in his first season after leaving the Rockies for New York — especially when Boston played the Yankees in London last month.

“People in the offseason thought that he wasn’t going to be able to hit outside of Colorado. Well, he hits outside of Colorado and in Europe, too,” Cora said.

Seattle Mariners’ Robinson Cano Headed to the MLB All-Star Game

Robinson Cano will be reporting for MLB All-Star duty…

The 34-year-old Dominican professional baseball player, a second basemen for the Seattle Mariners, is among seven replacement players selected for Tuesday’s All-Star Game in Miami.

Robinson Cano

Cano, who has the world’s fifth-largest sports contract at $240 million, is an 8-time All-Star.

Other replacement players to the American League roster include Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Chris Archer and Toronto Blue Jays reliever Roberto Osuna, Houston Astros reliever Chris Devenski, Minnesota Twins reliever Brandon Kintzler and Detroit Tigers outfielder Justin Upton.

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Alex Wood was added to the National League All-Stars.

Three of the original All-Stars are on the disabled list and won’t be active for the game: Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout, New York Yankees second baseman Starlin Castro and Houston Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel.

Four pitchers on the All-Star rosters won’t be active because they are scheduled to start Sunday: the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw, Texas RangersYu Darvish, Cleveland IndiansCorey Kluber and Detroit’s Michael Fulmer.

Altuve Claims Three Players Choice Awards, Incl. MLB Player of the Year

Jose Altuve had a remarkable year… And, he’s got the hardware to prove it.

The 26-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball, a second baseman for the Houston Astros, picked up three awards at this year’s Players Choice Awards, as announced by the Major League Baseball Players Association.

Jose Altuve

Altuve took home the MLB Player of the Year award, as well as the American League‘s Most Outstanding Player prize. Mookie Betts and David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox were the finalists for Player of the Year, while Betts and Mike Trout were finalists for AL Most Outstanding Player.

For the second straight year, Altuve also won the Majestic “Always Game” Award, “given to the player who — game in and game out — constantly exhibits grit, tenacity, perseverance and hustle; all for the benefit of his teammates and fans.”

In one of the best individual seasons in Astros history, Altuve batted an AL-best .338 and set career highs in home runs (24), on-base percentage (.396), slugging percentage (.531) and games played (161). He was previously named The Sporting NewsMLB Player of the Year, which is also voted on by the players.

Meanwhile, Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident in September, was voted the National League Comeback Player of the Year by his peers in the annual awards.

Fernandez was the 2013 NL Rookie of the Year, had Tommy John surgery the following year, returned in July 2015 and was 16-8 with a 2.86 ERA this season, earning his second All-Star selection.

He died at age 24 on Sept. 25, and autopsy reports released by the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner’s Office said he had cocaine and alcohol in his system when his boat crashed into a Miami Beach jetty.

Balloting among big league players took place in mid-September and results were announced Wednesday.

Abreu Earns MLB Player and Rookie of the Month Honors in July

It’s turned out to be a July to remember for Jose Abreu…

The 27-year-old Cuban professional baseball player, a first baseman for the Chicago White Sox, has been named both player of the month and rookie of the month for July.

Jose Abreu

It’s Abreu’s third rookie of the month award this season and it’s the second time that he has won both honors in the same calendar month, achieving the same feat in April, when he made his MLB debut in massive style.

Abreu makes history with the honors… No one in baseball has ever won both awards in the same month twice in one season, and Abreu became just the fourth player to win the rookie honor three or more times in a season. Ichiro Suzuki won it four times in 2001, Mike Trout won four in 2012 and Jason Bay won three in 2004.

Much like his style all season, Abreu was pretty modest about his latest honors.

“I don’t really like to talk about myself a lot but I am surprised (at the accomplishments),” Abreu said through an interpreter. “I wasn’t expecting to have all this success and definitely all these awards. But, you know, I am very thankful that it happened. I just continue to go about my day the same way and continue to work on my routines.”

Abreu batted .374 in July with 11 doubles, six home runs and 19 RBIs in 25 games. He also had a .432 on-base percentage and a .667 slugging percentage all while dealing with lower back discomfort toward the tail end of July.

He not only hit safely in 24 of the 25 July games, he led the American League in batting average, slugging percentage, OPS (1.099), extra-base hits (17) and total bases (66).

“It’s not surprising; you’re happy for him,” manager Robin Ventura said. “He’s had a great month and he gets rewarded for it. The kind of teammate he is makes it better. Guys are happy for him.”

Despite missing 14 games this season while on the disabled list with an ankle issue, Abreu leads the major leagues in home runs (31), RBIs (84), slugging percentage (.627), at-bats per home run (12.29) and at-bats per RBI (4.54).

He’s on pace to hit 45 home runs and drive in 122 runs. Mark McGwire has the rookie record for home runs with 49 in 1987.

“I don’t know that anyone really envisioned this,” Ventura said. “When you saw and heard the ball coming off his bat (during spring training) you understand his power and things like that. You probably allowed for a little more inconsistency going through your first year of seeing pitchers and knowing the type of pitchers you’ll see every day are pretty dang good. You don’t really envision the numbers you’re seeing, but once you see him, it can make sense.”

Bautista to Captain the American League’s Home Run Derby Team

It’s batter up for José Bautista

The 33-year-old Dominican professional baseball player, a right fielder for the Toronto Blue Jays, will serve as the American League’s captain for the Home Run Derby.

José Bautista

Bautista, the 2010 and 2011 MLB home run champion and a five-time Major League Baseball All-Star, will have some star power on his team. He’s selected reigning derby champ and Oakland Athletics’ star Yoenis Cespedes, the Minnesota TwinsBrian Dozierand the Baltimore OriolesAdam Jones as the top three picks for his team.

They’ll face off a Nation League team that includes captain and Colorado Rockies star Troy Tulowitzki, and his top three picks: the Cincinnati RedsTodd Frazier, the Los Angeles DodgersYasiel Puig and the Miami MarlinsGiancarlo Stanton.

An additional fifth member will be named to each team on Thursday.

“Bunch of guys with a lot of power,” Tulowitzki said of his team. “More than that, I think they’re good guys, got to know them throughout the years.”

Stanton is the only player in the National League group that ranks in the top five in the majors in home runs with 21 entering play Tuesday night, but he is the NL-leader in the category.

That means that only one member of the remaining top five home run hitters in the league will be added to Bautista’s side. He has a choice of Baltimore’s Nelson Cruz (28), the Chicago White Sox‘s Jose Abreu (27) and Detroit TigersVictor Martinez (21).

Bautista’s Toronto teammate Edwin Encarnacion is third in the league with 26 home runs, but is currently on the disabled list. Martinez might also bow out of the running as he’s been held out of recent games due to injury.

Fellow Tiger Miguel Cabrera (14) and Los Angeles Angels phenom Mike Trout (20) have already said they will not participate in the contest, which will be held Monday night on ESPN from Minnesota’s Target Field.

Stanton, Tulowitzki (18) and Frazier (17) are all in the top five in homers in the National League along with the Chicago CubsAnthony Rizzo (18) and Philadelphia PhilliesMarlon Byrd (18).

Also a possibility for the final NL spot is Tulowitzki’s teammate and former Minnesota Twinsplayer Justin Morneau. Morneau is a candidate in the Final Vote to make the All-Star team.

“If he wins that final vote, there’s possibly a chance,” Tulowitzki said. “I think it would make a storyline. Played with the Twins all those years. He’s definitely on the list if he makes the team. There are some other guys as well that have lobbied and would be good choices.”

Cabrera Named Player of the Year at Major League Baseball Players Choice Awards

Miguel Cabrera is getting some serious respect from his fellow Major League Baseball players…

The 30-year-old Venezuelan baseball star and Detroit Tigers slugger has won his second consecutive player of the year award in voting by his fellow major leaguers.

Miguel Cabrera

Cabrera followed his historic Triple Crown season of 2012 with another impressive year. He led the American League with a .348 average and had 44 homers and 137 RBIs, both second to Baltimore Orioles star Chris Davis. Cabrera edged Davis and the Angels’ Mike Trout for the honor.

Retiring Yankees closer Mariano Rivera was voted Marvin Miller man of the year for excellence on and off the field, and Rivera was also picked as the AL’s comeback player of the year, notching 44 saves after missing most of 2012 with a knee injury. Pittsburgh’s Francisco Liriano was selected the National League‘s comeback player.

For the second consecutive year, Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen won NL outstanding player. Cabrera was selected AL outstanding player.

Other awards Monday night went to Detroit’s Max Scherzer (AL outstanding pitcher), the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw (NL outstanding pitcher), Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Wil Myers (AL outstanding rookie) and Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez (NL outstanding rookie).