Cubs acquire Hector Rondon in Rule Five Draft

The Cubs acquired RHP Hector Rondon from Cleveland in the rule five draft this morning. He was a former relatively top prospect in the organization (#7 in the org going into 2010)  before a few surgeries. This is what BA had to say about him going in to last season.

Rondon moved quickly, reaching Triple-A in 2009 as a 21-year-old. So far that has been the highlight of his professional career. He struggled when he returned to Columbus in 2010 before injuring his elbow. After trying rehab, he finally had Tommy John surgery after the 2010 season, which essentially wiped out his 2011 campaign. Rondon pitched in the Venezuelan League this winter and struggled with his command before he suffered a setback. He had a second surgery on his elbow to repair a fracture and isn't expected to be ready for the start of the 2012 season. At his best, Rondon has shown good command of a lively low-90s fastball that has touched 96 mph. He flashes an average changeup, though his fringy slider never has developed into a legitimate weapon. Rondon is a good athlete who repeats his delivery and fields his position well. When he's healthy again, the Indians will ease him back as a reliever at a Class A stop with the hope that he can be stretched out into a starter's role later in the year. They removed him from the 40-man roster in December.

I guess two surgeries is enough to expose someone to the Rule 5 draft. Before the injuries, he was profiled as a future midrotation guy, with a fastball in the high 90s, a good changeup (rated best in his league in 2008) an fringy e slider, and great control*. Rondon never really got going in 2012, only pitching seven inning between rookie league and AA in August. He was reportedly hitting 97 and 98 in those outings, the big question is whether his control will come back. He's pitched 17 innings in the Venezualan Winter League, and the scouts there have been impressed according to BA's Ben Badler. If he stays healthy, I think he's got a good shot at sticking around as a pen arm this season, and maybe as a starter down the road. Nice pickup by the Cubs.

*I'm not sure how his 'best changeup in his league' translates to average. We don't really have much new info on him post surgery other than that he's hitting 96-97

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