As is tradition around these parts after the season is over, we’re taking a look at every player that got into a game for the St. Louis Cardinals this season. That’ll range from someone that didn’t record an out to someone that played almost every inning. Treat it like they are stopping by the manager’s office (umm, also imagine this was before the managerial change) on their way home for the winter for a performance review. Stats listed are ones generated during their time with the Cards and the grade is based not only on their performance but on the expectations for them going into the season. As he has the past few years, the legend that is cardinalsgifs has provided our excellent header image!
Player: Jose Rondon
Season stats: 63 G, 90 PA, 13 R, 3 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 2 SB, 8 BB, 17 K, .263/.322/.413, 104 OPS+, 0.1 bWAR, 0.3 fWAR
Statcast: .297 xwOBA, 4.6 barrel %, 86.1 exit velocity, 33.8 hard hit %, 18.9 K %, 8.9 BB %
Best Statcast category: Sprint Speed (63rd percentile)
Worst Statcast category: Max Exit Velocity (47th percentile)
Hero/Goat: Hero 1, Goat 2
Positives: Two of his three homers came in the last two weeks of the season….had fewer plate appearances against lefties but torched them to the tune of .393/.471/.786….hit .318 with all of his home runs in the second half….had a .968 OPS in September….hit .308 with a .913 OPS as a pinch-hitter….one of his homers came on a 1-0 count, one on a 1-1, and one on a 1-2….hit .344 when the count was even….posted a 1.106 OPS with two outs in an inning….had a .940 OPS with runners in scoring position….was 2-6 with a double with two outs and RISP….put up an .843 OPS in medium leverage situations….got a hit in his only extra inning at bat….hit .346 against starting pitchers….had an .865 OPS against power pitchers….two of his home runs came against the Cubs….had an .814 OPS against the Brewers….hit .300 in day games.
Negatives: Had a .444 OPS against right-handers….hit .194 in the first half with a .463 OPS….put up a .579 OPS when he started….hit .143 when he swung at the first pitch….hit .125 when ahead in the count, though he had a .729 OPS then….posted a .502 OPS when there were no outs….had a .610 OPS in late and close situations….was three for 15 in high leverage spots….hit .240 in night games.
Overview: There were some that wanted Rondon to start the season with the big league club instead of Edmundo Sosa, but Rondon spent much of the first half in Memphis and didn’t make it to St. Louis until the end of May. After that, he basically was the best bat on the bench, though that admittedly was a fairly low bar. I don’t know that Rondon really stood out in any way–the first bench bat you probably thought of this season was Matt Carpenter, for better or worse–but he obviously had a niche dealing with left-handers. You can make a major league job out of less.
Outlook: Rondon still isn’t arbitration eligible and you’d think that, with openings on the 40-man, he’d have done enough to stay on the roster. Instead, the Cards non-tendered him last night, making him a free agent. Baseball, man.