In a recent power ranking from Bleacher Report, Amed Rosario and Gleyber Torres are among the middle of the pack when it comes to shortstops.
Kerry Miller of Bleacher Report released power rankings of every MLB team’s projected shortstop heading into the 2020 season. New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario came in at No. 18 on the list while Gleyber Torres of the New York Yankees clocks in at No. 12.
To summarize, Miller notes that Rosario’s first two seasons in the big leagues were disappointing but that he had a bit of a breakout year, especially offensively, in 2019. Defensively, he wasn’t exactly good last year but did improve strides from 2018. Two of Rosario’s greatest flaws so far have been his .305 OBP, which can be higher, and his ability to steal bases. He has stolen 50 bases in his career, but he has also been caught 24 times.
Miller concludes by reminding everyone that Rosario is only 24 years old and has improved year after year since being called up.
It can’t be denied that 2019 was Rosario’s best year at the plate. In 157 games, Rosario slashed .287/.323/.437, hit 15 home runs, and recorded 72 RBIs, all career-highs. His defense still isn’t pretty. He wasn’t even average in the field, but the fact that his defensive numbers have improved quite a bit is promising.
Lastly, although it’s not as important as his offense and defense, Rosario’s base running doesn’t help his case, either. As is mentioned in the piece, the amount of times Rosario has been caught stealing is attention-drawing, and not in a good way. In fact, Rosario was caught stealing 10 times in 2019: no player was caught more.
However, it can’t be assumed that Rosario will stagnate or regress. He is young and has shown nothing but improvement since making his MLB debut. He can definitely end up being the Mets’ shortstop of the future and maybe even join the top-tier of players at the position. But for now, his position on this list is appropriate.
Here, Torres is referred to as “one of the best power-hitting middle infielders in the game” after he hit a whopping 38 dingers in 2019. However, Miller takes issue with Torres’ defense. Torres is a natural shortstop but has manned second base much more as a Yankee because Didi Gregorius had already claimed the job at short for himself.
What’s most concerning about Torres is the fact that his defense has been poor at both positions. Torres’ .954 fielding percentage with 16 errors in 811.2 innings was good for a last-place tie in fielding percentage with Chris Taylor of the Los Angeles Dodgers out of 38 players who spent at least 800 innings at short. Miller is also not a fan of his .275 career batting average or the fact that he’s an underwhelming baserunner.
Torres slashed an impressive .278/.337/.535, had an OPS+ of 128, and drove in 90 runs in his sophomore season. He is already a two-time All-Star. Torres is seemingly well on his way to becoming an elite power-hitter, but his defense is concerning, to say the least. It’s difficult to argue that, at the moment, he doesn’t possess the defensive skills of a top shortstop in the league.
However, some of this description may be unfair. Even with all the flaws in his game, there aren’t 11 shortstops better than Torres. Everyone ahead of him on the list is better in the field, but sometimes that isn’t enough.
Andrelton Simmons of the Los Angeles Angels, who came in just ahead of Torres, is an undeniable defensive wizard, but he and Torres aren’t even in the same universe when it comes to hitting, especially lately.
Carlos Correa of the Houston Astros seemed well on his way to becoming one of the very best shortstops in the game but injuries are catching up to him and his offense has been underwhelming.
Even Fernado Tatis Jr., who looked special for the San Diego Padres in his rookie season, shouldn’t be ahead of Torres. He’s a better all-around hitter, yes, but doesn’t have nearly as much power and is also a liability with the glove.
Torres is still very young (he turned 23 years old in December) and has shown the potential to be a great overall hitter. He does have some work to do, both at the plate and with the glove, before being proclaimed as one of the very best at his position, but the kid has superstar potential.