Rondon was acquired from the Padres over the offseason and there was not as much buzz surrounding his arrival as there was for other players. He played his baseball in a variety of different of levels in 2017. Rondon spent some time playing in Double-A and Triple-A and lastly in the Arizona Fall League. In 2017, he hit .293 with seven home runs, 49 RBIs in 78 total games. In Triple-A with the El Paso Chihuahuas, he hit .282 and had an OPS of .741 with 24 hits and 14 RBIs in 22 games. So he was solid and quite productive despite his reputation being unknown prior to his arrival in Chicago.
Rondon is only 23 and he has already played seven seasons of professional, competitive baseball, including three independent seasons in the Venezuelan Winter League. His case for being on the Opening Day roster is that he has shown to be productive in Triple-A and plays third base and shortstop.
Shortstop is Tim Anderson’s but third base is currently vacant, with no one having a firm grip on the position aside from maybe Yolmer Sanchez. Rondon might be an afterthought or solid depth later down the line. But because of his experience and his current level of performance, he might have a chance. In four spring games, he’s 2-for-9 with a triple and three RBIs.