Bruce Rondon’s Statistics Make Him the Detroit Tigers Closer

By Chris Katje


Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Tigers prospect Bruce Rondon’s statistics continue to impress. The Tigers future closing pitcher is currently pitching for Magallanes of the Venezuelan league. Rondon’s pitching continues to get better, which is causing the Tigers to think twice about acquiring a closer for the 2013 MLB season.

In 17 games with Magallanes, Rondon has compiled a 4-1 record with eight saves. Rondon has 19 strikeouts in 16 innings pitched. Rondon has a 4.50 era, with five of the pitcher’s earned runs coming in one game during winter baseball.

Tigers executive Al Avila had this to say, “Obviously Rondon has had a very good winter, closing out games there for Magallanes.” Earlier this off-season, general manager Dave Dombrowski said Rondon was, “a rare talent that I feel has a chance to close for us.”

In 2012, Rondon played for three different minor league teams in the Tigers organization. For Lakeland, Rondon had a 1-0 record, a 1.93 era and 15 saves over 22 games. In 21 games with Erie, Rondon had a 0-1 record with 12 saves, while also posting a ridiculously low 0.83 era. By the end of the 2012 season, Rondon had been called up to the Tigers AAA affiliate Toledo Mud Hens. With the Mud Hens, Rondon went 1-0 with 2 saves in nine games. Rondon had a 2.25 era and struck out nine batters over eight innings.

Rondon pitched for the West Michigan Whitecaps, a single A affiliate, in 2011. It was there that Rondon played in 41 games, posting 1 2-2 record and 19 saves. Rondon also struck out 61 batters in 40.0 innings.

Time will tell if Rondon’s success translates to the big leagues. The Tigers have the opportunity to bring Rondon up and name him their closer for the 2013 season, after the departure of Jose Valverde. I named Rondon to my list of the top ten Tigers prospects recently. My prediction is Rondon starts 2013 with the big league club.

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