As a very advanced 19-year old, the Angels might have their starting shorstop of the future in Jose Rondon. Having now established himself stateside, the question for Rondon is what will he do in his first year of full season ball?
Position: SS Highest Level: Rookie
Bats: R Throws: R Height: 6'1" Weight: 160
Age: 19 Born: 3/3/1994
2013 Rank: 13
2013 Season Stats
Rookie: 316 PA, .293 AVG, .359 OBP, .399 SLG, 22 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 50 RBI, 31 SO, 13 SB, 8 CS, .319 BABIP, .347 wOBA, 98 wRC+
Contact = A
Despite being a longer, leaner infielder, Rondon’s path to the ball is rather straight forward. If you watch him, you’ll also notice Rondon doesn’t merely put the barrel on the ball like so many young hitters with contact ability, he swings through the ball as well as anyone, very similar to new Angel Grant Green. There’s no muscling the ball anywhere, he finishes his swing nicely and doesn’t get into a rush or throw off his own mechanics. A-Rod and Griffey were probably the best I’d ever seen do this and Rondon is similar in that aspect, though I must emphasize I am not calling Rondon the next Griffey.
Power = C-
Though Rondon doesn’t have much power to speak of right now, most everyone that watches him agrees that he will in the future. What manifests as doubles right now has a possibility of becoming home runs later on. A lot of this is because Rondon is still growing and is quite young. When he was signed as a 17 year old, Rondon was 6’0 and 150 pounds soaking wet. As an 18 year old, he was listed at 6’1 and 170 and this year as a 19 year old, Rondon looks more like he’s 6’2 or 6’3 and 190 pounds. By the time Jose is 22 or 23, he’ll likely fill out even further and show considerable power.
Discipline = A
This is what has everyone so excited with Rondon. His maturity and makeup at just 19 years old are outstanding. He already has an in-depth understanding of what pitchers are trying to do and what is and isn’t a strike. Rondon still chases some pitches out of the zone early in the count but he actually becomes more selective with one or two strikes, which makes him less susceptible to the low and away breaking ball.
Speed = B-
As far as middle infielders go, Rondon’s speed is above average. He should be able to swipe 20+ every season, but it seems logical that if he continues to fill out, he will lose a step in the future. But for now, he has top of the order type of speed.