The Pittsburgh Pirates lost no players in the Rule 5 draft. Doesn’t that make you feel warm and fuzzy about the Pirates players in the minors? Nah, just probably an oversight on the other Major League teams. Face it. The Pirates are still building. This isn’t going to turn overnight, but it gives those players another year to have that magical season. That’s a good thing for players like Shelby Ford who struggled immensely last year.
In the AAA portion, the Pirates selected infielder Rodolfo Cardona formerly with the Orioles.
He is listed as a 3B on his official page. He has been called a SS in various online resources. He was signed by the Orioles as a non-drafted free agent on June 2, 2004.
Cardona is 23 and batted a combined .218 with a home run, nine doubles, four triples and 24 RBIs in 66 games split over Class A and AA.
His career average is .245.
We dug this up on Monobloguefrom August 2009
Rodolfo Cardona has spent time with both Frederick (where he hit .238 in 14 games early on) and Bowie (overmatched at 0-for-14 in 6 games), Cardona arrived just before the league All-Star break in late June and got off to a torrid start, hitting .364 in his first 9 games as a Shorebird. While Rodolfo’s pace has certainly cooled, he’s done a nice job spelling the regulars around the infield.
The 22-year-old Venezuelan has been Orioles property since he signed at the tender age of 17 in June of 2004, but this season is his first full season in the minor leagues – he played in his native land from 2004 to 2006, made the jump stateside in 2007 to play for the GCL Orioles, and hit a solid .283 for Bluefield last year. The batting average has regressed to .236 for the 2009 season (.236/0/19 with a .706 OPS in 33 games here) but there’s still time for the Cardona to develop as he sees more and better pitching. Certainly he’s been valuable with his versatility.
We may see more of Rodolfo as the season wears on and Orioles brass dictates some of the younger players get a few more days off, and its quite likely that we may see even more of Rodolfo as thoughts turn to how the Shorebirds will look in 2010. While a promotion isn’t out of the question, I think it’s more likely Cardona will spend time here getting more experience at one infield position