New York Mets fans have cause for small celebration despite their lost season, as lauded infield prospect Amed Rosario has finally made his MLB debut!
The 21-year-old Dominican started at shortstop and was 1-for-4 in last night’s 5-4 loss to the Colorado Rockies. Manager Terry Collins told Marc Carig of Newsday after the game that Rosario would be the team’s “primary guy” at the position, though he would not play every day.
That doesn't take away from the fact that fans are going to go nuts every time Rosario comes up to bat, as he entered the season listed as the Mets' No. 1 prospect. Despite that, fans should have realistic expectations when it comes to the young infielder.
Rosario the prospect
Rosario spent all of 2017 at Triple-A Las Vegas prior to being called up and did quite well there. He hit .328 with seven home runs, 58 RBI, and 19 steals in 94 games there and is definitely a contact-first hitter. That should suit him perfectly in a larger stadium like Citifield.
And, like any young player, Rosario comes with concerns. Though a career .291 hitter in the minors, his OBP was only .336. Oddly enough, he only posted 333 strikeouts in 1,775 at-bats. He did, however, only manage 115 total walks.
Rosario also comes with some fielding concerns, as he made 17 errors at shortstop in Las Vegas this year. There are going to be growing pains with this young man, but his overall potential makes him well worth the wait.
At this stage of the game, Rosario projects as a shortstop prospect whose ability to get plenty of extra base hits will compensate for his current lack of elite home run power. He certainly could develop more in the latter category, but he's still just 21 years old and needs to prioritize patience at the plate and defense.
He is not with the Mets to hit home runs, but rather to be simply effective both at the plate and on the field. He needs to take advantage of his home stadium's expansive outfield and drive the ball into the gaps for doubles and triples when not legging out singles and using his speed on the basepaths. He needs to provide the Mets their best shortstop prospect since Jose Reyes.
Most important of all, Rosario needs to give Mets fans a glimmer of hope for next year after injuries robbed the team of what was expected to be a strong 2017.
Amed Rosario thus projects as something of a Didi Gregorius type, only without the home run power (at least for now). His ceiling could certainly expand but even as someone who just hits the occasional home run while relying primarily on in-stadium extra base hits, the fans should be more than satisfied with that.
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