Athlete of the Week: Chris Rotondo


Courtesy of Villanova Athletics

Chris Rotondo (above) has enjoyed a stellar season with the Wildcats.

Loghan Hirkey, Staff Writer

Chris Rotondo has been around for a game or two as a graduate student of the Villanova Wildcats baseball team. He has always been viewed as an asset, being one of the top center fielders in the Big East, while ranking second in school history with 12 career triples. Rotondo is also a four-time Big East weekly honoree, a four-time selection to the Big East All-American team and a five-time member of the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll. Nevertheless, with all these accomplishments, Rotondo’s season this year has been special. 

With a hitting streak of 19 games for most of this season, Rotondo leads the team in RBIs (22), home runs (six) and batting average (.351). Being the batting leader has been all about mindset, according to Rotondo.

“Taking that at-bat one pitch at a time, putting in the work hitting has obviously helped,” Rotondo said. “But having a positive mindset at the plate has been the most helpful.” 

Thinking about each at-bat in the present moment and having a positive outlook on every hit has helped Rotondo become a force to be reckoned with at the plate.

Rotondo also mentioned the training that not only he goes through but also what the entire team does to be prepared for any game. 

“We start out with lifting and some speed work at one,” Rotondo explained. “Then around two to two-thirty, main training starts with batting practice, fieldwork and sometimes the pitchers do some live pitching for us to prepare for our weekend series games.”

This training appears to be making an impact with the Wildcats having won five of their last seven games, including their first sweep since May of 2021. This improvement brings great excitement to Rotondo and the rest of the team. 

“It is really good to have a three-game sweep and it brings momentum into our Big East play,” Rotondo said. “Offense has been showing up and hopefully, this leads us to a Big East win.” 

Rotondo has been leading the ‘Cats to several victories and multiple hits, but how has he been shaping up defensively?

This season, Rotondo has had 49 putouts and only two errors. His athleticism and speed have been assets in center field. However, center field is not the only position Rotondo would play.

 “If I had to play another position, it would probably be shortstop,” Rotondo said. “I think that’s another place on the field where you need athleticism and speed, and I feel I have that, and that would be a great place for me.” 

Despite these great moments for Rotondo, whether batting or out in the field, he said his favorite memory so far this season actually involves an opposing team, the Richmond Spiders. 

“During the Richmond sweep, one of the pitchers was a close friend of mine,” Rotondo said. “I actually hit a home run off of him, and it was fun taking a nice run around the bases and laughing with him. It was a great moment for me to hit a home run off of a close friend like that.” 

Overall, Rotondo has been extremely helpful in trying to improve the ‘Cats’ record. He has worked hard and earned multiple honors as well as being a batting leader for the team. However, through it all, he still tries to stay humble. Rotondo recognizes that it takes the pitchers, catchers, as well as other batters to really bring a team together. 

“Cole Patten has really been an asset for this team,” Rotondo said of his teammate. “He transferred from Seton Hall, and so far, he’s been our best pitcher every game. Every time he goes out on the mound, he puts us in a good position to win.” 

Although it is Rotondo’s last year, he is determined to make an impact and hopefully achieve a Big East tournament win.