Francisco Rondon is a player that New York Yankees should keep an eye out for in 2014. The 6-foot-1 lefty has bounced around the minor leagues since being signed by the Yankees in 2006, but he may be able to make the big league roster at some point this season.
Rondon was intended to be a starting pitcher when the Yankees signed him as a 16 year old, however, he was placed in the bullpen in 2010 and has been used primarily out of the bullpen since. The Yankees’ scouts obviously see the potential that this young man possesses, as they put him on the 40-man roster during the offseason so he would not be lost to the Rule 5 draft. It is not unrealistic to expect to see Rondon in the Yankees’ bullpen as an extra lefty arm during the dog-days of summer.
Rondon has the “stuff” needed to be successful at the big league level, but his command is what is holding him back. In 2013, he struck out 23 percent of the batters he faced, but also walked 15 percent of batters faced. If he ever wants to solidify himself in New York’s bullpen, he is going to need to improve on his command. Frequently walking batters is a good way for a manager to lose faith in his relievers.
The development of Rondon has been interesting to watch over the past couple of years. He is still only 25 and has an enormous amount of talent, so even if he doesn’t make the Yankees big league roster in 2014, Rondon is a name to watch for in the future.