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Pita Rona starts his baseball career


Tony-OH

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Pita Rona was the 17-year old New Zealander who was signed by the Orioles in January when they were trying to show they would sign players from every continent not named Antarctica. ;)

The former softballer has played 13 games in the Australian MLB Academy League. He plays first base for the Dingoes. He's batting .235 (8-34) with no extra base hits but he has walked seven times to seven strike outs and has a .381 OBP. He's three for three in stolen base attempts but has ground into an amazing five double plays (no one else in the league has grounded into more than one) which might indicate he's hitting the ball fairly hard.

He's the link if you want to follow his progress.

http://www.mlbaap.baseball.com.au/site/baseball/mlbaap/downloads/2012/Stats/teamcume.htm

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The fact that he has only struck out 7 times in 34 at bats (41 PA) is encouraging. The league as a whole is striking out in 25% of its bats, 21% of its plate appearances. Rona is striking out in 21% of his at bats, 17% of his plate appearances. Considering it's his first time hitting the "little" ball, that's not too shabby.

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Next time I talk to my brother, I will ask him to see if they are putting any of these games on TV in Australia or if he is planning on going to see him play at all or not. Maybe he can give a first hand report in a couple of weeks. Of course if he reads the post he can just respond himself. Living in the US has one advantage over Australia. My son gets to meet schoop last night and see Machado play in person, whereas my brother may get to see an ex-softball player. Finally a win for me.

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You guys do know this isn't the first time he's ever played baseball, right? He played for his high school, Glenfield College (and was named MVP of the national HS tourney). This is probably the most advanced competition he's faced, but it's not like he's learning the game on the fly.

No, I did not know he had ever played competitive baseball, or at least I forgot that he did. Since he signed with the Orioles last fall, I'm surprised he was eligible to play high school ball this spring. I guess things work differently in New Zealand.

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  • 2 years later...

Well, Rona was a noble experiment.

Sorry to see Jake Pettit was released. He made it pretty far up the ladder for a 42nd rounder who was 23 when he was drafted. He had a nice 2012 season at Bowie but stalled out after that even though he got some time in Norfolk.

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