Amed Rosario Becoming Untouchable
New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario is becoming untouchable. The twenty-three-year-old is playing the best baseball in his short career. Rookie Pete Alonso is having a record-breaking season. Jeff McNeil has been among the league leaders in batting average all season long. Michael Conforto is on pace to have the best offensive season in his career. It would be easy to overlook what Rosario has done.
Minor League Career of Amed Rosario
The Mets signed Rosario as an amateur free agent at the age of 16. To say the Mets looked at Rosario as potentially the shortstop of the future would not have been a stretch. During Rosario’s five years in the minors, he climbed another level every season.
In 2016 Rosario batted a combined .324 between Single-A St. Lucie and Double-A Binghamton. In 2017, Rosario batted .328 at Triple-A Las Vegas. Rosario was promoted to the majors on August 1st, 2017.
Rosario Heads to Queens
The first year and a half in the majors, Rosario was just an average player. He batted .255 with 13 home runs and 61 RBI. Rosario also scored 92 runs. The Mets were expecting a better hitter and a better player overall. Rosario, at 23 years old and not yet in the prime of his career, was mentioned in trade talks this past offseason.
The Mets were hot after star catcher J.T. Realmuto, and Rosario was being discussed as the centerpiece of the trade. The Mets did not move Rosario, and it is looking like, possibly, the best decision they made this past offseason.
Midway through this season, the Mets were struggling. Rosario was struggling more than most. The struggles Rosario was going through were more than just at the plate. He also was having issues defensively. His defensive struggles got to the point that the Mets were having Rosario take fly balls in center field before games.
One of the themes of this Met season is to consistently have players playing out of position. Rosario seemed to be destined for this. Then, everything started to click for Rosario and the Mets. Offensively, Rosario has caught fire. Since the All-Star break, Rosario is batting .366 with three home runs and 12 RBI.
Rosario is not a power hitter and has really stepped up in the absence of McNeil. Since McNeil was placed on the injured list Rosario has 18 hits in 37 at-bats. Additionally, Rosario’s defense has never been better. The Mets have officially ended all talk for now of Rosario moving to center field.
The Mets are right in the middle of the wild card race and Rosario is an important part of the team. That is for this season. But going forward, the Mets might have one less question to answer. Amed Rosario has planted his flag as the Mets starting shortstop for the next decade.
The Mets are a win-now team. But this season the Mets have also established a core of young inexpensive offensive players. Rosario is not eligible for arbitration until after the 2021 season.
Depth at Shortstop
Two of the Mets top-rated prospects are shortstops. Ronny Mauricio is rated number 82 by MLB.com and is currently playing at Single-A. Andres Gimenez is rated number 92 by MLB.com and is playing at Double-A. Therefore, shortstop is a position where the Mets do have organizational depth. What the Mets do with these prospects remains to be seen.
Rosario did appear in one game in left field this past weekend against the Kansas City Royals. But, the appearance was out of necessity, as the Mets had a short bench and J.D. Davis got injured during the game. The Mets had made it known the Rosario experiment in the center field was over.
The Mets can also look to trade away their prospect shortstops to plug up the existing holes on the big club. This is a decision general manager Brodie Van Wagenen will need to make this coming offseason. Aside from Conforto, the Mets Talented Five all make under one million dollars.
The Mets future looks bright. There are still moves that Van Wagenen needs to make, but that is a discussion for the offseason. Right now, the Mets are eyeing a wild card spot and that is all they are thinking about. Amed Rosario has become untouchable, just as the Mets had hoped.
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