27-Year-Old Pitcher – Free Agent
2018 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for Bruce Rondon in 2018. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
The Tigers declined to tender Rondon a contract for 2018, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports.
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Bruce Rondon Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Bruce Rondon Defensive Stats
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2017 Stat Review for Bruce Rondon As compared to the top 100 relief pitchers in 2016 (min 55 in)
A collection of stats that measure different skills.
A few general measures of a pitcher's effectiveness.
Balls in play avg. and % of runners left stranded.
Bruce Rondon: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Bruce Rondon.
Rondon pitched quite effectively in relief for the Tigers in 2016, especially late in the second half, posting a 1.69 ERA over the final two-plus months. With a huge 275-pound frame and a fastball occasionally touching triple digits, Rondon has consistently struck out batters throughout his career (10.4 K/9), although he's struggled to throw strikes (career 3.9 BB/9). He's also dealt with several injuries. Rondon's improved command in 2016 comes amidst an increased reliance on his slider, throwing it 37 percent of the time. Opponents recorded just six hits off the pitch in 2016, and it accounted for 67 percent of his strikeouts. With prototypical closer stuff, Rondon will be itching for a shot at closing in 2017. Unfortunately, the Tigers picked up the option for veteran Francisco Rodriguez, who saved 44 games for them last year. If K-Rod has to miss time or is traded, however, Rondon has the stuff to assume the job.
Rondon will return in a setup role for Detroit after an inconsistent season. Rondon lives and dies with his fastball, which can touch triple digits with ease. His 12.6 K/9 was brilliant in 2015 and he could be in the mix for saves in Detroit if Francisco Rodriguez falters. However, Rondon blew almost as many saves (4) as he earned (5) in 2014, perhaps because that delicious fastball seemed far more hittable than ever before. He gave up a hit each inning (31) and his 36:19 K:BB rate helped balloon his WHIP to 1.61. The potential remains. But potential doesn't win in fantasy.
Shortly after he joined the Tigers' organization, Rondon started receiving comparisons to Joel Zumaya, another young flame-throwing relief pitcher who came up through the system a few years earlier before injuries derailed his progress. Unfortunately, after Rondon underwent Tommy John surgery and missed the entire 2014 campaign, those comparisons seem even more apropos. Despite the significance of Rondon’s injury, the Tigers expect the right-handed reliever to be ready by spring training, just 11 months after going under the knife. While that timeline seems optimistic, Rondon should return to action at some point in 2015. If he can still approach triple digits with his fastball while also throwing a solid slider, Rondon will be in the late-inning mix setting up closer Joe Nathan, but the 24-year-old has a lot to prove before reclaiming the “closer-of-the-future” tag he held prior to his injury.
Rondon’s debut season at the major league level was a disappointment. As one of the Tigers' top prospects, Rondon was expected to immediately take a large role in the bullpen, possibly even handling closing duties. Inconsistencies with his control during spring training led to Rondon starting his 2013 campaign in the minors, and he eventually split his time evenly between Triple-A Toledo and Detroit. He was dominant in his 30 appearances with the Mud Hens, posting a 1.52 ERA while racking up 40 strikeouts and 14 saves in 29.2 innings. His stint with the Tigers was bumpier, but Rondon was able to show improvement throughout the season and finish with a 3.45 ERA and a 30:11 K:BB ratio in his first 28.2 innings as a major league pitcher. Despite the ups and downs in his debut, the Tigers remain high on Rondon. He sports a triple-digit fastball and a decent slider that improved as the season wore on. The 22-year-old righty was sidelined by an elbow injury for the final month of the season. He was officially diagnosed with a flexor tendon strain after a visit with Dr. James Andrews in October, and the Tigers expect Rondon to make a full recovery and be ready for spring training. While he’s still considered a closing option of the future for the Tigers, he will have to settle for a setup role with the team's addition of Joe Nathan in December.
Rondon is the latest Tigers' prospect to be dubbed the team's closer of the future. The difference with Rondon is that future could be now. The 22-year-old righty is coming off a dominant season in the minors, posting an 1.53 ERA and 1.09 WHIP with 66 strikeouts in 53 innings spread across High-A, Double-A and Triple-A. He worked as a closer in all three of his stops, picking up 29 saves in 52 appearances. His stuff screams closer at the major league level, too, as Rondon sports a heavy fastball that can reach triple digits and a solid breaking ball. The main obstacle for Rondon is the occasional bout of wildness -- he has a 5.1 BB/9 throughout his minor league career. The Tigers' brass have already stated that Rondon will be in the mix to close in 2013, and he just might be the favorite if the team passes on bringing in a proven veteran for the gig.