Rays’ Rondon Continues To Work

ST. PETERSBURG—While most of the 20 young prospects invited to the Rays annual mid-January winter development camp jetted back home for another few weeks of rest, Adrian Rondon was headed to Port Charlotte to continue offseason workouts.

Signed to a nearly $3 million bonus just after turning 16 in July 2014, Rondon has been understandably slow to develop, so the Rays figured the extra work could help and the native of San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic, was all for it.

“There’s a lot of things I can work on,’’ Rondon said through team interpreter George Pappas. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to stick around. I’m grateful for the staff and everybody who wants to help me. So I thank God for the opportunity and look forward to getting better.’’

Rondon’s first pro season wasn’t much, as he hit .166/.256/.234 in 43 Rookie-level Gulf Coast League with no homers and nine errors, and missed time with injuries.

“It was a very difficult season for me, the first year here,’’ he said. “I had a lot of things to work on so that was a difficult experience. But I look forward to working hard so I can improve the areas of my game that need work and I can continue to move forward in our organization.’’

Rays farm director Mitch Lukevics said it has to be pointed out that Rondon was being asked to handle a lot of change—in lifestyle as well as level of competition—at a young age.

“I think if you look at his stats, he struggled,” said Lukevics, who worked previously for the Yankees with a talented young shortstop. “But I remember Derek Jeter—and I’m not comparing him to Derek Jeter—but I remember Jeter hit .202 his first year (in the GCL) and he got a couple hits on the last day to get there.”


• The Rays will have all minor leaguers report to spring training on the same day, March 4, rather than having the pitcher and catchers ahead of the position players. Lukevics said it will make for more efficient and beneficial workouts since many of the players were in Port Charlotte, Fla., by then anyway.

• Righthander German Marquez had a short stay on the 40-man roster. Added in November ahead of two players the Rays lost in the Rule 5 draft, Marquez joined the Rockies in January as part of the Rays’ trade for Corey Dickerson.

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