Yankees Prospect Profile: Francisco Rondon


Despite his good stuff, Francisco Rondon's poor command cost him his 40-man roster spot. Maybe 2014 will the be the year Rondon puts it all together?


Francisco Rondon, a hard throwing lefty out of the Dominican Republic, was signed by the Yankees way back in 2006 as a 16-year-old international free agent. Rondon was signed as a starting pitcher, but transitioned to the bullpen in 2010 and, aside from a few starts in 2013, has worked exclusively out of the 'pen in the last four years. After spending several years quietly climbing the bottom rungs of the minor league ladder, Rondon finally made himself noteworthy in 2012, striking out 26% of the batters he faced (10.1 K/9) over 71 innings, mostly in Double-A Trenton. Rondon's shown that he can fool hitters with his stuff, but controlling that stuff has always been an issue for him. Few pitchers have any type of big league success while walking as many players as Rondon did -- 14% or (5.3 BB/9). Still, the Yankees saw enough promise in Rondon to add him to the 40-man roster last off-season in order to protect him in the Rule 5 draft.

2013 Results:

Between AA and AAA: 33 G (7 GS), 82 2/3 IP, 3.92 ERA, 4.35 FIP

Rondon spent most of the season in Trenton save for three appearances in Triple-A Scranton. Overall, his 2013 looked a lot like his 2012 -- a good amount of strikeouts (23%, 9.3 K/9), but just too many walks (15%, 5.9 BB/9). Although the Yankees see Rondon as a reliever long-term, they had him break camp in Trenton's rotation in order to stretch him out a bit. The results weren't pretty. Rondon posted a 7.16 ERA over six starts, striking out 22 while walking 17. He was booted from the 40-man roster shortly thereafter. Rondon fared a little better upon returning to the 'pen, but continued to struggle with his command, posting Carlos Marmol-esque walk numbers.

2014 Outlook:

Rondon will head to either Trenton or Scranton this year to once again try to parlay his raw stuff into on-field performance. If things go particularly well, he could end up in the Yankees bullpen as a second lefty reliever at some point. The Yankees look a bit thin in the bullpen this year, so someone like Rondon could get a look. Even in his relief appearances, Rondon has often thrown three or four innings, which makes it seem like the Yankees are grooming him to be a long reliever. They might be hoping he can become something like a left-handed version of Ramiro Mendoza or Alfredo Aceves. That would be great, but don't count on it happening anytime soon. Rondon's easy to dream on -- he throws hard and happens to be left handed, but until he improves his command, he's not someone who's of any use in a big league team.

SB Nation Featured Video
Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Pinstripe Alley

You must be a member of Pinstripe Alley to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pinstripe Alley. You should read them.

Join Pinstripe Alley

You must be a member of Pinstripe Alley to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pinstripe Alley. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.