The majority of good MLB teams have a talented, young shortstop to hold the infield together. Francisco Lindor, Carlos Correa, and Addison Russell are just a few All-Star shortstops that come to mind. The Mets got by in 2015 with a sure-handed but sub-par fielding in Ruben Tejada. Last year, arguably one of their most valuable players was their shortstop, Asdrubal Cabrera.
Cabrera will have another year to build on his successful 2016 campaign, as he’ll try to put his balky knee behind him and provide for an aging infield. But after that, who knows who will be playing the 6-hole after Cabrera’s time is done?
We all know. It’s Amed Rosario.
Rosario, a 21-year old shortstop from the Dominican Republic, signed with the Mets in 2012 for $1.75 million. Since then, he has made his way through the organization and ended last season in Binghamton.
In 54 games with Binghamton, Rosario hit .341 with 2 home runs and 31 RBI. A tall body with a slim frame, these are the numbers expected out of Rosario once he makes his arrival at Citi Field. But, he does have room to grow and fill out, which may result in some more power from the right-handed phenom.
Ranked #1 on the Mets top prospect list by MLB.com and the #11 overall prospect in the MLB, Rosario is smooth in the field, honing an overall .952 fielding percentage. Although this will have to bump up a bit once Rosario is a major leaguer, his elite footwork and strong arm leave little doubt in scouts’ heads that he’ll be an above-average fielder.
Rosario will also bring something important that the Mets have been lacking in recent years: speed. His quickness and agility will finally give the Mets some opportunities to steal bases, something they’ve given up a lot more than they’ve done themselves.
In this day and age, social media has a large impact on players. Rosario has made his presence felt in this field, mainly on Twitter (@Amed_Rosario). He has recently come up with the #BigAppletite, proving his motivation and desire to soon be sporting Blue and Orange in the major leagues. A fan-friendly guy, Rosario frequently holds Q&A sessions for fans, giving them a better glimpse at who their future shortstop truly is.
So, where does Rosario fit in the Mets future plans? He fits perfectly.
When Sandy Alderson and co. signed Asdrubal Cabrera to a two-year deal in late 2015, they did it with the intention that Rosario would be ready by the time Cabrera’s contract was up. If all goes to plan in the second year of Cabrera’s contract, Alderson’s plan should work perfectly. Most likely, Rosario will begin this season in Las Vegas with eyes on the MLB at some point in the middle of the summer. At this point, he will either force his way onto the roster by performing well, or the Mets will be in a good spot without him and let him develop for one more season. Nonetheless, we will be seeing Rosario as early as this upcoming season, and no later than the start of 2018.
In an infield that should have Rosario, Gavin Cecchini, and Dom Smith by 2018, the Mets hope to have a mixture of sure-handed gloves and power bats to go with, in a few years, an experienced pitching staff. This should give Mets fans plenty to be excited about in the coming years.
Amed Rosario just might be the shortstop the Mets have not had since 2003’s Jose Reyes. Rosario brings everything to the table: a valuable glove, an exceptional bat, and some seriously hot wheels.
As the man says himself on Twitter almost daily: #DontBeSuprisedBeReady.