August 1, 2017
The Situation: The Mets are staggering towards the bottom of the NL like a 3 AM drunk, sitting at 48-55 and having just dealt two of their few players performing well, first baseman Lucas Duda and closer Addison Reed. Particularly troubling has been the play on the left side of the infield, where fading veterans Asdrubal Cabrera and Jose Reyes have combined to provide horrific defense and meager offense. With Cabrera having moved off short permanently to rotate between second and third and Reyes battling an arm injury after once again proving incapable of handling the defensive rigors of short, the six spot is open in every conceivable sense. Oh yeah, and the Mets have the best prospect left in the minors, a potential stud defender at short who is currently hitting .328 in Triple-A. What the heck took so long again?
Background: The Mets signed Rosario—then going by his full name of German Amed Rosario—for $1.4 million out of the Dominican Republic in 2012. He was the recipient of unusually aggressive assignments for a now-conservative organization early in his career, completely skipping the complex leagues to make his stateside debut in the Appy League in 2013, jumping to Brooklyn in the New York-Penn League in 2014 (with a few weeks filling in at full-season ball mixed in), and then straight from there to High-A in 2015, virtually entirely skipping Low-A. He didn’t hit much for those first three pro seasons, but he wasn’t overwhelmed at the plate and the underlying scouting reports remained impressive. Rosario broke out in 2016, beating up the notoriously pitching-friendly Florida State League in a return engagement and mashing even more after a midseason promotion Double-A Binghamton. He hasn’t stopped yet through a turn at MLB spring training and 94 games at Triple-A Las Vegas this year.
Scouting: Rosario is a true five-tool prospect with the potential to be one of the best shortstops in the game. Early in his career, it looked like he might slide over to third, but he’s improved his athleticism greatly in the last two seasons, even making a rare full grade or more jump in speed and now projecting as a significant stolen base threat. In the field, Rosario possesses excellent feet, soft hands, and a plus arm. He’ll still make some typical young player mistakes, but with increased reliability, he could be a future Gold Glover, and at the least he should remain at shortstop for at least a decade.