The Chicago White Sox have designated righty reliever Bruce Rondon for assignment.
The Sox signed Rondon to a minor league contract this past offseason and he made the team. While he’s gotten a lot of opportunities for a bad White Sox team — he’s appeared in 35 games — the results have been mostly terrible. He’s currently sporting an 8.49 ERA and an execrable 2.157 WHIP thanks to walking nearly a batter an inning. He’s been particularly bad in recent outings.
Rondon once flashed triple-digit heat and can still bring it pretty good, but velocity does not a pitcher make.
This morning Major League Baseball announced a new elite league for high school baseball players who are likely to be drafted. It’s called the Prospect Development Pipeline League. It’ll start next summer and it’ll invite 80 of the best current high school juniors to play in a league in Florida from June through early July, culminating in an All-Star Game during MLB’s All-Star week.
The idea behind the league: to combat the current system in which a couple of pay-to-play, for-profit showcase leagues dominate the pre-draft season. Major League Baseball, schools and a lot of players’ parents have criticized this system because it favors rich kids who can afford to play in them. Major League Baseball is also likely quite keen on having greater control over the training, health and physical monitoring of prospects.
As Jeff Passan notes in his report about this, there will be a component of the program which involves live data-tracking of players during games and drills. Major League Baseball has become increasingly interested in such things but is limited in how much it can do in this regard due to labor agreements. There is no such impediment with high schoolers. Your mileage will vary when it comes to how you feel about that, I presume.