White Sox acquire infielder Jose Rondon from Padres

The Chicago White Sox acquired infielder Jose Rondon from the San Diego Padres for cash considerations or a player to be named later. The 23-year-old was designated for assignment on January 6th.

The slick-fielding shortstop is 6’1″, 195 pounds and hails from Venezuela. He has 25 career major league at-bats and was originally acquired from the Los Angeles Angels in return for Huston Street in July of 2014. At the time, he was regarded as one of the best prospects in the Angels’ system. The young Venezuelan was then universally regarded as a top 10 prospect in the San Diego system prior to the 2016 season. He’s always been known as a solid glove man but the hit profile was a question mark. Rondon battled injuries over the last two seasons but still managed to slash .293/.347/.442 with 7 homers and 49 RBI across in 78 games across AA/AAA in the Padres system.

Scouting Reports:

In 2016, Eric Longenhagen of Fangraphs listed Rondon as the #20 prospect in the San Diego farm system. Longenhagen gave him above average grades for running, fielding and throwing but projected him as likely to have a 40- FV in the hit and power departments. The prospect writer said that Jose plays a “dynamite shortstop with above-average range, arm and athleticism that led to acrobatic plays”. Longenhagen noted the infielder’s plus bat speed but cautions that his extremely high load in the batters box leads to weak contact and tardy swings. He projects as a below average regular because he can play an above-average SS but he notes that the defense likely isn’t good enough to balance out Rondon’s “punchless offensive production”.

Prior to the 2017 season, MLBpipeline.com listed Rondon as the 12th best prospect in the Padres system. They regarded future hit tool as a 50 on the 20-80 scouting scale and put a 50 FV overall grade on him at the time. The publication noted that he ranked among California League leaders in batting in 2014 in his first full season assignment at Advanced A. He was also a Texas League (AA) mid-season All-Star in 2016. Pipeline’s capsule said that Jose “stands out more for his floor than ceiling” and is a well-rounded player that projects to have four average or better tools. It was written that he made consistent contact with a flat path through the zone and good barrel control. He rarely strikes out but is aggressive and needs to be more selective. They also defer to his average speed, necessary range, footwork and arm strength as the reasons why he should stay at shortstop long-term.

This trade seems like a small worthwhile gamble for the Chicago White Sox. Last week, the club traded utility infielder Jake Peter for some major league bullpen upgrades and the middle infield depth in the high minors is scarce. Rondon will likely be given the opportunity in spring training to win a major league utility job with the White Sox. If things don’t go in a positive direction for Jose however, he does have a minor league option remaining and would likely remain in the organization. With a plethora of infield depth in the majors and the need to potentially keep extra pitchers, it is likely that Rondon receives most of his time initially in Triple-A with the Charlotte Knights.

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Filed under: News and notes

Tags: Jake Peter, Jose Rondon

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