Shortstop is a position that hasn’t been kind to the New York Mets over 55 years. Stud prospect Amed Rosario is looking to change that.In their 55-year history, the New York Mets have never showcased an elite major league shortstop. In the last 30 years, these Flushing shortstops have included Jose Oquendo, Rafael Santana, Kevin Elster, Jose Vizcaino, Rey Ordonez, Jose Reyes, Alex Cora, Omar Quintanilla, Ruben Tejada, Wilmer Flores, and Asdrubal Cabrera.
Of those players, Ordonez, Reyes and Cabrera have been the most successful and effective. They have had great individual seasons and have provided the Mets a lot of valuable at bats. However, they weren’t the main guys on the team that managers and fans could rely on to get the clutch hit.
Mets top prospect Amed Rosario, from the Dominican Republic, has the potential to be that guy.
With Reyes declining each passing game, an aging Cabrera dealing with injury woes, and Wilmer Flores shifting to different positions as a result of the declining health of David Wright, the Mets have to shift their focus to their shortstop of the future.
Rosario, 21, has shown flashes of brilliance, especially in the field. He is also very versatile in the field because of his arm strength, so he can play multiple positions. Considering the injury history that the Mets have suffered through, he can become valuable instantaneously. His defensive capability is off the charts and he has a knowledge of the game that one cannot teach.
In Double AA Binghamton last season, Rosario hit .341 with an on-base percentage just under .400. Even though he only had two homers, he is the type of player that will be able to improve his power with time and experience. He also knocked in 31 RBIs. This season so far in Triple AAA Las Vegas, he has improved his average to .356 and in 20 fewer games, has already doubled his home-run total to four.
He might eventually have to compete with the shortstop of the future in the Bronx, Gleyber Torres, for New York’s ultimate shortstop. It will be interesting to see if they have a minor rivalry to see who will attain this goal.
More importantly, Rosario carries himself off the field like a true professional. He is humble in the way he approaches the game, and always looks to improve. If the Mets keep faltering at the plate, especially at the shortstop position, there is a high chance that Rosario will get called up in 2017.
ESPN’s Keith Law thinks that Rosario should be called up now because “His defense alone would make him an upgrade over Cabrera at shortstop. He has enough bat speed to hit in the big leagues today. He would provide value.”
Once he does rise to the big league club, Mets fans are going to see a true leader that can potentially lead the team in hitting.