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Rays Top 50 Prospects: No. 34, 3B Adrian Rondon

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The next guy on our list is one who the Rays were very aggressive in signing on the international market, but also one who has a long ways to go before he makes good on his talents and proves that to be a wise investment.

No.34, 3B Adrian Rondon, 19 yrs old

Born: July 7th, 1998 in San Pedro de Macoris, DR

Height/Weight: 6’1” 190 lbs Bats/Throws: R/R

Signed: by the Rays on the Int’l market for $2.95M in 2014

Twitter handle: N/A

Twitter profile statement: N/A

Baseball America Rankings

  • Ranked Rays #14 prospect after 2016
  • Ranked Appalachian League #7 prospect in 2016

DRB Writers ranking

  • High: 27th
  • Low: 46th

Adrian Rondon: Abilities

  • Quick powerful bat
  • Arm strength that plays well at hot corner
  • Improving fielding abilities
  • Abilities notes: Signed as a SS, Rondon’s learning curve once he moved to the hot corner in 2017 was significant (.919 fldg%) but from all reports he showed well enough to project as average to above-average at the position in the future.

Joined the Rays by way of....

  • The international market, where the Rays grabbed him with a $2.95 million deal.
  • At the time, MLB.com had ranked him the 3rd best international prospect available, behind only Dermis Garcia and Nelson Gomez and had given him the following,
  • Scouting Grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 55 | Run: 40 | Arm: 55 | Field: 50
  • Since then, his scouting grades have fallen to the following levels,
  • Scouting grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 50 | Run: 45 | Arm: 60 | Field: 50 | Overall: 45

Latest Transaction: Apr 4th, 2017, assigned to Bowling Green from Princeton.

Note - Once signed, Rondon skipped the DSL and first played in the GCL, moving on to the Appy League for the 2016 season and spent 2017 in the Midwest League.

Facts, Honors, and Awards

  • Worked out with Willy Adames prior to the 2016 season.
  • Set a career high with nine-RBI night for Princeton on June 25th, the highlight of his 2016 season by far, as noted below in an Milb.com Tweet,
  • The response to that incredible performance from his coaches, however, was telling,

“I’m more excited about him taking at-bats the way he has been,” Princeton’s Danny Sheaffer said, “and the way he’s been playing shortstop and the way he’s been showing maturity than I am about the nine RBIs and three home runs.”

  • Prior to the 2017 season, Rondon ranked 10th among Rays prospects within Fangraphs KATOH system.

Stats

Adrian Rondon 2017

GP 107
GP 107
PA 438
AB 394
Hits 87
Doubles 12
Triples 2
Home Runs 9
RBI 48
SB (CS) 4 (2)
AVG 0.221
OBP 0.286
SLG 0.330
OPS 0.616
BB% 7.5%
SO% 29.5%
ISO 0.109
BAbip 0.299
wOBA 0.285
wRC+ 75

Stats Notes: It has to be extremely discouraging when a player with his kind of power only manages a .109 ISO. In truth, there were very few - if any - positives for Rondon at the plate in 2017.

Interesting Comparison: Eugenio Suarez

  • Attempting to compare Rondon to what he may become is challenging. So far he’s shown so little, but the potential that led the Rays to sign him at age 16 is still there. Therefore, while trying to find a match, comparing him to someone else who also struggled at a similar age and level, and still took a long time to break through, felt like the best way to go about it.
  • Both are RHB and of similar stature, with Rondon slightly taller.
  • Suarez (LoA also 19 yrs old) may not have struck out as often as Rondon has (18.8 % vice 29.5 %) but he walked a similar amount (7.9 % compared to 7.5 % for Rondon). Each had similar power and speed numbers, however that’s about where it ends since Suarez held a much better line overall and had 65 more points on his ISO totals and 40 more points on his wRC+ (115 vice 75).

Notes for 2018 and beyond

“Potential” and “talent” are the key words you’ll hear when scouts speak of Rondon. They’ll talk about his arm strength, about his ability to handle 3B, and how well his power should play at the position.

However, it would be nice to see some results at the plate. To be completely honest, while we’ve seen glimpses of his potential here and there since he was signed by the Rays, the lack of consistency and lack of being able to reach an average hitting level to this point is worrisome. Yes, he’s only 19 — but if he can’t generate performance commensurate with his talent, at what point do the Rays lose faith in him?

By way of illustraton, here’s a quick comparison of basic totals between Rondon and Miguel Sano at the same age and same level,

Rondon 7.5 % BB%, 29.5 % SO%, .109 ISO, .285 wOBA, 75 rWC+

Sano 14.5 % BB%, 26.0 % SO%, .263 ISO, .396 wOBA, 146 wRC+

In short, Rondon has a lot of catching up to do.

While some may hope that Rondon gets a second crack at Bowling Green in order to gain confidence at the plate, there are some who believe he’ll be pushed ahead to Charlotte and will continue to work on offense in what’s considered to be a pitching friendly environment.

Wherever he ends up, it’ll be interesting to see how Rondon comes out of the gates and whether or not he can finally show a steady and effective approach at the plate.

Adrian Rondon: Spotlight Videos

Recap and links of previously listed DRB Top 50 Rays Prospects