The good news for Padres shortstop prospect Jose Rondon is that Baseball America ranks him the #5 prospect in the Padres farm system. The bad news is that after the shortstop they just signed to a deal at the Major League level Alexei Ramirez – he is the 3rd shortstop on that list of 5. That doesn’t leave him down though as he prepares for the 2016 season.
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Rondon spent most of last season at High-A Lake Elsinore, where he hit .300 in 57 games with 17 stolen bases and 18 extra base hits. He finished at AA San Antonio and though he struggled is expected to start there in 2016. Above him on the depth chart though is Ruddy Giron, who will likely start the year in Lake Elsinore after a full season in Low A Fort Wayne last year where the 19 year old turned some necks with his speed and play.
The top prospect on the list though is Javier Guerra who was acquired in the Craig Kimbrel trade. The Padres are hoping that he might be able to replace Ramirez at short to start 2017 and could see some action later this year if all goes well in the minor leagues for him. Guerra is just 20 and has only 3 seasons in the professional ranks under his belt.
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For Rondon, he might be used as trade bait as a slightly more polished prospect than Giron but not quite as athletic overall as Guerra. At 6’1″ and just 160 pounds, he has kept his speed but the Padres might like to see a little more power from him given his size. Given that he has played professional baseball since 2011 when he was 17, he does have experience on his side as he attempts to make his own name in the Padres prospect system. We will certainly continue to monitor the top Padres prospects as the season goes on throughout the season here at FriarsOnBase!