The first time we saw Jose Rondon was in Rancho Cucamonga in August. During that game, Jose tossed us each a baseball, which made us fans right away. We were impressed with his speed as well as his range he displayed at shortstop. However, what really got our attention was what he did in the dugout toward the end of the game. After attempting to bunt in the 9th and getting thrown out by a half step, he walked over to the corner of the dugout and broke his bat in frustration. We could tell right away Jose was someone who played with passion and would not settle for second best. On a side note, he gave that same bat to a kid after the game.
Rondon was acquired in the Huston Street deal and he has played very well since joining the Padres’ organization. He is currently ranked the #6 prospect according to the 2015 Baseball Prospect Book. A native of Venezuela, he has grown up keeping an eye on Jose Reyes, who he admires as a player and told us, “I like Jose’s way of hitting, no so much power hitting but doubles hitting.”
We got into a discussion about his first Spring Training as a San Diego Padre. He spent a short time in the major league camp before being assigned to the minor league camp. “I liked this Spring Training and I like this organization” was Jose’s immediate reaction to Peoria. Jose told us that he spent a lot of time working on his defense and his swing with the Padres staff and is looking forward to playing in 2015.
So far this season at The Diamond, Jose has had 123 at bats, 36 hits including 8 doubles and 2 triples, and 7 RBIs. Overall, he has stolen 10 bases and is carrying a .293 batting average and .358 on base percentage. Shortstop is a difficult position to find players who can hit and field … with Jose Rondon, we might have found a good one … we certainly hope so.