The New York Mets‘ roster consists of young studs like Brandon Nimmo, Pete Alonso, Michael Conforto, and Jeff McNeil. Their infield is getting even younger as at 3rd you’ll have JD Davis who can also really slug and is only 27 years old as well. The only question mark in this young lineup is their shortstop Amed Rosario, who by most accounts has been a disappointing shortstop in his career. People are either in the camp of he’s a bust or believes that he is just waiting to break out.
Is he an elite shortstop prospect? No. Is he a scrub who won’t be starting in a year or two? No. Let’s breakdown Amed Rosario, the good and the bad.
Lack of Plate Vision
The issue with Amed Rosario is he doesn’t have much patience. Let’s take a look at how often he swings at pitches outside of the strike zone according to Baseball Savant and compare it to Mike Trout’s ability to do so as he’s one of the elite OBP guys in baseball.
Amed Rosario in the four quadrants outside of the strike zone swings at 32-40% of them thrown, and when you do the math it’s an average of 35.75% of non-strikes swung at, which is not at all good. For Mike Trout, he has a range of 6-26% and has an average of 16.5%. That means Trout is swinging at less than half of the balls Rosario swings at, and it shows in his OBP and BB% that Rosario has a major Plate Vision issue.
If the Mets can coach Rosario into being more patient and getting his walk rate up to the MLB average of ~8% then he’d have an OBP of .372 last season and paired with a .432 SLG%, that’s a pretty impressive season and would make him a threat in the lineup. I didn’t change one other thing about him in that stat change other than OBP, and his season looks a whole lot better.
Amed Rosario’s -10 OAA and -10 DRS with a -.06 UZR/150 ranks near the bottom for shortstops, and so the defensive metrics are not showing good signs for the youngster. The thing for me is, does he have to be a great defender to be good enough? He had improvements in DRS and UZR from what was even worse in 2018 and had a downgrade in OAA. I think he can get better as he is going to be able to see a slight improvement because he will have even more innings under his belt.
I think I’ve ripped on the guy enough, let’s get to what Amed Rosario’s 2020 could look like in terms of averages (if there is a season).
Projecting Rosario’s Strengths and His Season
I think as we’ve seen with Rosario before, his speed is a weapon, with his sprint speed putting him as the 37th fastest player in the MLB in 2019. The issue was while he snagged 19 bases, he was caught 10 times, but his speed could be used to give himself an extra-base when it matters such as extending singles or going from 1st to third.
His second half was pretty good actually, with a .453 SLG and .351 OBP, but he has to work more walks. How do I think his 2020 looks? I think he will walk more, and I think it can tun around his career a little.
6.7% Walk Rate
I think we will see Rosario have a solid season, and it will be the year where we see Rosario become a solid shortstop.