Amed Rosario made his MLB debut Tuesday night in Colorado. Just how good can the New York Mets top prospect be?
Some scouts believed that Rosario’s 6-foot-2 frame would fill out, and as he added muscle, his power would develop. There were concerns that a bulked-up Rosario would outgrow shortstop and be forced to move to third base.
Others wondered whether he’d be able to carry enough weight to hit for power. After going deep just five times over his first three minor league seasons—including a 2015 season that saw him go without a home run—it seemed as if the power would never come.
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But Rosario continued to work and delivered a breakout campaign in 2016. Splitting time between High-A Tampa and Double-A Binghamton, he hit .324 with 42 extra-base hits (five home runs), 71 RBI and a .833 OPS.
He delivered more of the same for Triple-A Las Vegas this year. Over 94 games, he hit .328 with 33 extra-base hits (seven home runs), 58 RBI and a .833 OPS.
While his promotion to the big leagues was long overdue, the phenom has finally arrived. So what can Mets fans expect, offensively, from the 21-year-old? Is there something to be learned from his Triple-A performance?
It’s true that minor league numbers are often poor predictors of how a player will fare in the majors. But sometimes they are.
How Rosario Compares
There has been an influx of talented young shortstops in MLB over the past few seasons. Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor, Addison Russell, Corey Seager, Trea Turner, and Xander Bogaerts have been the most impressive the new generation of shortstops has to offer.
In terms of their build and play style, Bogaerts, Russell and Turner, and Bogaerts are the best comparisons for Rosario. But Russell only played in 11 Triple-A games before getting the call, so let’s take him out.
That leaves two of the best young shortstops in baseball, Boston’s Bogaerts and Washington’s Turner, to compare him to. So let’s take a look at how Rosario’s Triple-A numbers stack up against theirs in the year that they made their big league debuts.
Bogaerts (2013): 60 G .284 BA, 9 HR, 32 RBI, 2 SB, .369 OBP, .453 SLG, .822 OPS
Rosario (2017): 94 G, .328 BA, 7 HR, 58 RBI, 19 SB, .367 OBP, .466 SLG, .833 OPS
Turner (2015): 83 G, .302 BA, 6 HR, 33 RBI, 25 SB, .370 OBP, .471 SLG, .841 OPS
Like Rosario, scouts worried that as Bogaerts added bulk, he’d have to move to third base. With one All-Star Game appearance and two Silver Slugger Awards on his resume as a shortstop, those worries have been forgotten.
Turner, meanwhile, finished second in the 2016 National League Rookie of the Year voting while primarily playing out of position in center field. Back at shortstop in 2017, he established himself as one of the game’s most dynamic leadoff hitters before fracturing his right wrist in late June.
Rosario’s Triple-A numbers are on par with both of theirs. That doesn’t guarantee success in the big leagues, but it certainly bodes well for the 21-year-old’s chances of becoming the game’s next great shortstop.
By the time their respective careers are over, Rosario could very well be the best of the bunch.