Anthony Rendon drew plenty of attention back in February when he made comments about how his baseball career “has never been a top priority.” This caused plenty of backlash among fans and analysts alike, who blasted the infielder about making such as statement while he's inked to a large contract with the Los Angeles Angels. Add in the fan incident during LA's opener last year and you arguably have Rendon as baseball's top villain right now.

Mike Trout might just change everyone's perception of his teammate, however. Appearing in an interview, the three-time AL MVP spoke about Rendon's “new attitude” this 2024.

“Yeah Tony’s been unbelievable this year,” Trout said, per Foul Territory. “You know, veteran presence this year in the clubhouse, World Series champion. He’s dealt with the injury bug as well. I was in his shoes, I know how it is. Being hurt, not being able to play for your team, it sucks. It’s not fun but he’s got a new attitude this year. You know the at-bats he puts up, I’m right behind him every game, I hit behind him and his at-bats he puts up on a nightly basis, it’s unbelievable. Consistency, working counts, even when he doesn’t feel good, he’s still working counts and putting good swings on balls”

The injury bug that Trout was referring to has been seen throughout Rendon's stint with the Angels. So far, Rendon has played less than 60 games in each of his seasons with LA. Of course, the pandemic-shortened 2020 doesn't count. But in the years that followed, health concerns have constantly surrounded the 33-year-old.

The Angels need a fully healthy Anthony Rendon

 Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) is congratulated by Los Angeles Angels third baseman Anthony Rendon (6) after a solo home run in the fourth inning at Angel Stadium
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Nevertheless, Rendon seems to be on track for a full season so far. It may be too early to predict anything, but the infielder has already seen action in 17 games. He'll be needed a lot too. The Angels are currently below .500 and if their goal is to have a better record than last season, then Anthony Rendon has to be on the field as much as possible.

Throughout his career, Rendon has batted .283 while accumulating 660 RBI and 158 homers in 4,215 at-bats. His best season was arguably during 2019, when he won the World Series and was named an All-Star with the Washington Nationals. That year, the infielder slashed .319/.412/.598 to go with an OPS of 1.010. He also added 126 RBI and 34 home runs to win his second Silver Slugger Award. During the World Series, Rendon hit crucial homers in Games 6 and 7 to help the Nationals take home their first-ever title.

Going back to the Angels, they lost Shohei Ohtani in the offseason, so an elusive playoff push just became even more difficult. Regardless, some of the silver linings include a healthy Trout and Rendon to start the season, in addition to hiring Ron Washington as the new manager. Moreover, some of the team's younger players have shown potential last year.

If the Angels' stars are at full strength throughout the season, then the team might just somehow make noise and compete.