The San Diego Padres minor league spotlight points towards young shortstop Jose Rondon. He could be the shortstop of the future for the team if he can develop a little more in the offensive category. The right handed hitting infielder is currently in Lake Elsinore playing high A-ball. In 37 at bats this season Rondon is hitting .351 with a .442 on base percentage. He needs to establish himself as an offensive force rather than just a solid defender.
At the age of 21, Rondon has plenty of time to develop. The 6 foot 1 inch Venezuelan native is 160 pounds and lacks muscle. He has a lean small frame and some scouts believe he will never gain any power on his bat. Rondon does have a very nice swing and a line drive bat. He makes decent contact but has struggled to walk consistently.
The young shortstop was signed as a 17-year-old by the Los Angeles Angels and spent his first three seasons in rookie ball for the organization. Rondon was acquired by the San Diego Padres from the Angels with Taylor Lindsey, Elliot Morris and R.J. Alvarez for Huston Street and Trevor Gott. Even though Rondon was the youngest player traded, many considered him the piece the Padres coveted most.
The intangibles that Rondon brings to the ballpark are what makes him so tantalizing. He is not regarded for his huge upside, but his low floor. What that means is Rondon will probably not be a superstar in the majors. He will however most likely have a decent major league career. Some in the baseball community think Rondon could be better suited as a utility player. That remains to be seen as at the age of 21, his future is surely not set in stone.
Rondon displays plenty of leadership skills at his young age. He is the type of player who goes out and calms down a pitcher in the middle of a rough inning. He is also the type of player who leads by example and plays for the team. Not one of those statistics can be measured by baseball analytics. Those type of players have a calling to be professional ball players. Rondon will surely be a major league ball player one day. To what degree, we will just have to wait and see.
Rondon hit .315 last season with one homer run and 36 runs batted in 488 at bats. That was in 111 games, which the youngster also stole 13 bases and had a .363 on base percentage. He has a bright future and could be seen in San Diego by mid-season 2017. The developement of Rondon is crucial and he must take the positive steps in order to be considered a true blue chip prospect. Keep an eye on him as he could be a special player with a little luck.