Mets Rosario Making Case as Best Shortstop in New York 

 

By Christopher Saunders

The Yankees currently have a better record than the Mets despite embarking on rebuilding plan focused in part on finding the next Derek Jeter.

After all, they shipped elite closer Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs for minor-league shortstop Gleyber Torres at the trade deadline despite already having a capable young shortstop on the roster in Didi Gregorius. But ironically it’s the Mets, who have refused to budge from win-now mode, who seem to have the most Jeter-like blue-chipper.

Amed Rosario looks the part at 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, and is more highly rated according to Baseball America’s rankings No. 18 among top one hundred prospects while ranking No. 1 in the Mets Farm System.   

When Amed Rosario was signed in 2012 for $1.75 million, it was the largest signing bonus the Mets had handed out to a player, beating out the $1.3 million bonus given to outfielder Fernando Martinez in 2005.

Expectations were split, but excitement was high for the young Shortstop. However, many were concerned that his swing would limit him to being a low-average, moderate-power player.

What scouts and executives never questioned was his fielding instincts, soft hands, arm strength, and athleticism that left no doubt that Rosario would be a shortstop for years to come.

Rosario has held his own or more at every stop at the minors, hitting around league average despite being the youngest player to play in the Appalachian League in 2013, the NY-Penn League in 2014, and the Florida State League in 2015.

In 2016, the future was now, and everything that we thought Rosario could be manifested itself on the diamond. His first step was coming into camp leaner and stronger, and the results were tangible in his batting line.

Always aggressive at the plate, he notched 88 hits in his first 66 games, nearly matching the totals posted in previous seasons. Thanks to excellent hand-eye coordination, quick wrists, and above-average bat speed, he hit the ball with more authority than in years past, hitting for more power to his pull side, including four of his five home runs.

His swing gets long thanks to an unusual hand path caused by how high he holds his hands and having long arms being 6’2.

Part of Rosario’s game that hasn’t changed even as an amateur is his defense. Always been known as a  plus defender, his instincts in the field are excellent, and he his motions are smooth and quick, getting to balls effortlessly. His hands are soft, and his arm is strong and accurate from multiple throwing angles.

Although so young, Rosario is extremely mature, demonstrating leadership qualities during plays and mound visits.

With Asdrubal Cabrera signed through 2017 with a club option for 2018 ( Two million dollar Buyout)  and no other competition either in the major league or minor league one could consider that Rosario will compete for the Shortstop position in 2018, barring any injuries or ineffectiveness by Rosario, it’s his position to lose.  

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