Preseason Padre #15 prospect, Jose Rondon, made his 4th Triple-A appearance of the season on Monday after being called up on June 23rd. He started his first four games with a respectable 4-for-16 but went 0-for-4 on the home opener. Rondon rebounded the next day with a single, double, and a home run. He continued to hit in the following two games going 3-for-8 and ending the Sacramento series with an average of .313. It’s too early to get excited about the .313 average, but it’s not too early to say that Rondon looks completely comfortable at SS and will likely be El Paso’s shortstop moving forward, though they are also giving him time at second base.
Prior to the call-up Rondon was hitting .293 in 51 games with San Antonio. His 4 home runs this season make it appear that will surpass his single season best of 6 home runs last season, so it could be a sign his power is continuing to develop. There hasn’t been a quantum leap though. Rondon is still only 23 and has been progressing steadily. With the exception of last year’s call up he’s performed admirably at every level he’s played at. Questions regarding his ceiling remain due to that lack of power but he’s an athletic ball player with a good build and will continue to grow into power.
Even if he’s not incredible, San Diego needs to find an answer at short. Erick Aybar has started the lion’s share of games at short for the Padres (58) but he’s not a long term answer. Allen Cordoba has started 10 and he may be an important Padre in the future but he can’t be expected to be the 2018 or even 2019 Padres starting shortstop. If Aybar continues to scuffle we could see Rondon before September. A September call-up is likely either way and Rondon is primed to be very competitive for the position out of spring training in 2018.
Across the league:
- Adrian Morejon (Pre-season #5) has yet to walk anyone in his first three minor league starts.
- Jorge Ona (Pre-season #17) has been hitting well to start the year but since June 11th his average has dropped from .301 to .278 during a little bit of a slump. Three of those hits have been home runs accounting for half of his total of six though.
- Brad Wieck (Pre-season #27) was promoted to Triple-A El Paso.
- Michael Kelly (Pre-season #44) was promoted to Triple-A El Paso.
- Phil Maton (Pre-season #41) has not allowed any runs in 9 games with the San Diego Padres.
Eric Killian is an Army Officer who covers the San Diego Padres for Prospects1500. He is a longtime baseball fan and collector whose collecting inspired him to learn all he can about up-and-coming players. He recently relocated from Sierra Vista, AZ., to El Paso, TX. Follow him on Twitter @USKillian