Could Jose Rondon Start as Padres Shortstop?

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The San Diego Padres started the 2014 off-season needing a shortstop. On December 20th, 2015, they still need a starting shortstop. So far this winter we have seen the Braves trade one of the top shortstops Andrelton Simmons to the Angels for their shortstop Erick Aybar. We have seen Ian Desmond reject the qualifying offer and still sit on the free agency market. With a shortage of shortstops on the market, his price will only go up. Could the Padres have their 2016 starter in their own farm system?

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First of all, it really must be pointed out that the Padres own 2014 number one draft pick Trea Turner could start the 2016 season in the major leagues with the Washington Nationals. Missed on that one. Second, Javier Guerra who was a part of the Craig Kimbrel – Red Sox trade jumped right into the top Padres prospects list as #3 on the list. He does lack some seasoning and will start the year at Low A Fort Wayne. Number 5 on that prospect list is Jose Rondon, who just might overtake Alexi Amarista for the starting shortstop job in spring training.

Rondon was acquired in another previous trade for a Padres closer: Huston Street, from the Angels in 2014. Last season he played for both Lake Elsinore of High-A and AA San Antonio. He hit an even .300 for A but struggled in AA, hitting under .200 in 26 games. His defense is seen as steady if not flashy, but he would still provide more range and promise than Amarista. With veteran Clint Barmes released, who would you rather hold down the fort until Guerra is ready to take over at shortstop?

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It is still possible that A.J. Preller will bring in another shortstop for trade or free agency, yet at this point it seems the money he would have to pay to get a good upgrade might be better spent on another starting pitcher or left fielder for that matter. Of the remaining shortstop free agents remaining, the top three options would be Desmond, Alexei Ramirez, and Jimmy Rollins. None of those are exciting options and none of those hold any future promise. As it appears the Padres will enter a full rebuild for the 2016 season, why don’t we give the kids a chance?