Prospects. Remember when that was all Mets fans talked about?
A shortstop signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2012 for $1.75M, Rosario always had tons of upside. Only until this year, though, has he played up to those expectations. And he may be surpassing them.
When he was signed, some feared his offense would never catch up to his strong defensive instincts. His first few minor league seasons suggested that may be the case. Rosario hit .241, .274, and .253 from 2013-2015, respectively. Viewed to have power potential, he hit only 5 HR over those years. His OBP hovered around .300, and SLG% wasn’t much higher. Overall, his OPS averaged .653. The tools and upside were there, but some questioned when he would finally perform.
Well 2016 has been the coming out party. Playing for Port St. Lucie (A+) where he struggled mightily last year, Rosario is on a tear. He’s hitting .305 (even after going 2-13 in last 3 games), with 3 HR, 16 RBI, and a career best (by far) .877 OPS. Over a 162 game season, those stats would equate to 21 HR and 113 RBI. Obviously keeping up this pace may be unrealistic, but he seems to be quieting those who doubted the development of his power.
Speed has been another huge aspect of his breakout. Although he was always viewed as a speedster, he never seemed to fully embrace that role. He had 2, 7, and 13 SB in his first three season, but has 5 already in 2016. He had 15 total triples from 2013-2015, and has 5 on the young season. With contact, speed, power, Rosario has been a potent force batting 3rd in the St. Lucie Mets’ lineup, leading them to a 14-10 start. Here is a clip of a walk-off HR he hit earlier on in the year.