Birds Sign Record-Breaking Speedster Rondon
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- Alvaro Rondon already has Triple-A experience and an American Association record under his belt. Now he's headed to the Birdcage.
The Sioux Falls Canaries have signed Rondon to a contract for the 2020 season, the team announced Thursday.
Rondon is the American Association's single-season record holder for stolen bases, swiping 60 bags in 67 attempts in 2017 with the Texas AirHogs. The 29-year-old spent 2018 and 2019 in the Atlantic League.
"He gets on base and he's always a threat to swipe a bag or two when he gets on base, so he always puts pressure on opposing pitching staffs," Canaries manager Mike Meyer said. "He's a great dude, too. He plays hard every day; always has a positive attitude. He's going to be a big key to our success this summer."
2020 will be Rondon's sixth year in professional baseball. He made his professional debut with the Arizona Diamondbacks organization in 2015, rising from rookie ball to Triple-A in his first year in the minors. He slashed .295/.352/.368 with 20 stolen bases in 22 attempts over 58 games in 2015.
Rondon moved to the American Association the following year, suiting up for the Laredo Lemurs in 2016 and the AirHogs in 2017. He was outstanding on the basepaths over those two years, stealing 80 bags in just 89 attempts over 176 games.
The Dominican Republic native stayed in the Lone Star State in 2018, signing with the Atlantic League's Sugar Land Skeeters. He proved to be a menace on the basepaths again, notching 38 steals while slashing .281/.323/.334.
Rondon spent 2019 between the Skeeters and the York Revolution, hitting a cumulative .221/.289/.254 with 17 stolen bases in 82 games.
Meyer said he expects Rondon to slot into the Canaries' starting infield, though where exactly he'll play will depend on the rest of the offseason and spring camp.
"He's an elite defender no matter where you put him on the field," Meyer said. "He can play shortstop, second base, center field. Having that defensive flexibility is extremely valuable."
The Sioux Falls Canaries open their 2020 season on May 19 at the Birdcage. Check out the Birds' 2020 schedule here. For more information on season tickets, suites, group outings, and corporate opportunities, call the Canaries Front Office at (605) 336-6060, or visit www.sfcanaries.com.