- Full name Cleuluis Alcides Rondon
- Born 04/13/1994 in Maracay, Venezuela
- Profile Ht.: 5'11" / Wt.: 155 / Bats: S / Throws: R
Organization Prospect Rankings
The Red Sox originally signed Rondon and traded him, along with Francellis Montas, to the White Sox in the three-team Jake Peavy trade in 2013. Rondon's first full year in his new organization revealed him as its best infield defender, with a magician's sleight of hand with the glove and easy plus arm strength. Rondon has a youthful penchant for botching routine plays, seeming to needlessly increase his degree of difficulty. Improved focus should make him a plus defender, and he led the minors in 2014 in doubleplays (103) and total chances (648) while tying for the lead in assists (404). His offensive upside is less impressive. He has average speed and his hands do work at the plate. He has the bat control to make contact and no major swing issues, but he lacks power so his offensive impact will be low. A year at Double-A Birmingham will help reveal whether he hits enough to be a regular or is destined for a utility role.
In a year when middle infielders Micah Johnson and Marcus Semien made huge strides and jumped into the organization's top five prospects, the White Sox nevertheless added significant middle-infield depth in 2013. They drafted Tim Anderson 17th overall, then traded for a pair of potentially dynamic defenders in Leury Garcia and Rondon, who came from the Red Sox in the three-team Jake Peavy trade. Rondon signed with the Red Sox in 2010 and had moved slowly before beginning to hit a bit at short-season Lowell when the trade occurred. Naturally, the White Sox accelerated him to low Class A Kannapolis and he struggled, with only one extra-base hit. Defense is Rondon's claim to fame, thanks to very soft, nimble hands. Assistant general manager Buddy Bell, part of a family with three generations of major leaguers, went so far as to say Rondon's hands were as good as any he's ever seen. His defense could get even better as he becomes more proficient fundamentally, but already he has an above-average and accurate arm, a tremendous internal clock and the mustard necessary to make the spectacular play. An average runner, Rondon was a below-average hitter when he signed and he remains so, lacking strength and getting the bat knocked out of his hands. He has the hand-eye coordination to survive offensively if he gains strength. He's slated to be Kannapolis' shortstop again when the 2014 season opens.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Defensive SS in the South Atlantic League in 2014
- Rated Best Infield Arm in the Chicago White Sox in 2014
- Rated Best Defensive Infielder in the Chicago White Sox in 2014