18-Year-Old Shortstop – Tampa Bay Rays
2017 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
Rondon, who turned 18 last July, saw marked improvement during his 2016 stint at Princeton in the Appalachian League, improving across every major offensive category and blasting the first seven homer...
Adrian Rondon Contract Information:
Signed as an international free agent with the Rays in July of 2014, receiving a $2.95 million signing bonus.
Rondon, 18, is slashing .262/.323/.488 with five homers in 84 at-bats in the Appalachian League.
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Tampa Bay Rays Roster
MajorsAndriese, Matt (P)
AAAdames, Willy (SS)
A+Alvarado, Jose (P)
ABurke, Brock (P)
RookieBetts, Chris (C)
Adrian Rondon: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Rondonís 2015 campaign is almost impossible to evaluate based on his statistics at the plate, as he was playing in the Gulf Coast League despite turning 17 on July 7. His .166 average and 34.8 percent K-rate will test the patience of dynasty league owners, but there is no reason to be any less optimistic about the young shortstop heading into 2016. That said, he did not improve his stock in 2015 as a 17-year-old in rookie ball like contemporary, Gilbert Lara. If everything works out, Rondon could have a plus hit tool, and there is little doubt that he will be able to stick at shortstop. However, expecting more than 10 or 12 homers in the big leagues requires an awful lot of projection at this point, and his speed is average at best, so it will be a batting average centric profile. Without much power or speed upside, it is difficult for dynasty league owners to wait five years for Rondon to reach the big leagues.
The Rays signed Rondon as a 15-year-old out of the Dominican Republic in July. Despite his young age, Rondon was considered to be the best international free agent available last summer. Already 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds, the right-handed hitting shortstop possesses good bat speed and a consistent, short swing that should enable him to put a lot of balls in play. For now, he is a doubles hitter, but he has plenty of time to develop home-run power as he matures, especially with the loft he already generates with his swing. Defensively, he should be able to remain a shortstop as he advances, with speed and an arm that grade out as average or better tools. If everything goes well, Rondon could cruise through the Rays' minor league system and debut in the big leagues as a teenager a few years down the road, and his star potential makes him an intriguing target for those able to stash him in long-term keeper leagues.