*Italian Heritage Doubtful/Unlikely

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antonio senzatela, 2020 topps heritage #73, rockies

Player: Senzatela, Antonio

Card: 2020 Topps Heritage #73

Position: RHP

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Antonio Senzatela Rondón (born January 21, 1995) is a Venezuelan (with Italian roots) professional baseball pitcher for the Colorado Rockies of Major League Baseball (MLB). He had signed with the Colorado Rockies out of his native Venezuela on July 8, 2011 before beginning his pro career with the DSL Rockies in 2012 at age 17.

Senzatela was the Pitcher of the Year in the California League in 2015 when he went 9-9, 2.51 for the Modesto Nuts while striking 143 batters in 154 innings in a league very favorable to hitters. That followed a 2014 season during which he had gone 15-2, 3.12 for the Asheville Tourists in the South Atlantic League. However, he then experienced arm problems in 2016 and was limited to 7 starts for the Hartford Yard Goats of the Eastern League, going 4-1, 1.82.

In spite of his limited experience above Class A, Antonio made the Rockies' opening day roster in 2017 and got the ball to make his debut on April 6th, starting against the Milwaukee Brewers. He did very well, giving up no runs on 2 hits in 5 innings, but ended up with a no-decision.

He registered his first big league win in his next start, on April 11th, when he pitched 7 innings in a 3-2 win over the San Diego Padres, after giving up a homer to Manuel Margot to lead off the game. After the game, he said that he would be taking the game ball to his mother's grave in Venezuela, paying tribute to her after she had passed away from cancer the previous July.

A rare "pitch to contact" pitcher, Senzatela went 3-1, 2.81 in April 2017 to be named the National League's Rookie of the Month. On Mother's Day, May 14th, he notched his 6th win of the year, tying him for the major league lead, when he defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers, 9-6. He continued to pitch well, with another great start on May 26th, with 8 scoreless innings in a 10-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. At that point, he was 7-1 for the team with the best record in the NL.

However, he began to struggle after that blazing start in 2017. He won 2 of his next 4 starts, but allowed 15 runs in 21 1/3 innings, then was beaten up for 9 runs in 5 innings in a loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on June 22nd, increasing his ERA to 4.79 and was returned to the minors. He returned to MLB in 2018 and 2019 bolstering the Rockie's rotation.

In 2020 Antonio was 5-3 with a 3.44 ERA, he rarely walked hitters (5.9%, tied for 10th-best for qualified starters with Gerrit Cole), and he got a good amount of grounders (50.8%, 9th-best). He was also efficient (3.74 pitches/PA, well below MLB average), and very good at limiting hard contact when opponents hit the ball in the air against him, a lot better than average. He remained part of the Rockies starting rotation for the 2021 season.

Antonio is on Twitter: @asenzatela32.

(excerpted from Baseball Almanac, BR Bullpen & Wikipedia)


Image courtesy of Rockpile


Antonio is part of the St. Louis Cardinals Players Tour – Go to the Next Stop

*Senzatela is also part of the Italian Ancestry Unsure/Doubtful Tour – Next Page

See all Antonio’s baseball cards at TCDB

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