Photo by BaseballAmerica.com
By Rich Mancuso
Amed Rosario is aware the New York Mets will look to the future at the shortstop position, The 21-year old non- drafted free agent from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic was on display at Citi Field Monday night as one of 2016 Sterling Award winners honored as an organizational player of the year.
He resembles another Mets shortstop and soon could be the next Jose Reyes in town The smile is not the same, however, Rosario has a good glove, gets good reads in the infield and finished this past season hitting .324 with 24 doubles, 13 triples, five home runs, 71 RBI, 19 stolen bases in 120 combined games between St. Lucie (A) and Binghampton (AA) ball this season.
Numbers don’t lie. Rosario, the Sterling Co-Player of the Year, will get a look when spring training commences again in February and player development personnel of the Mets are looking for Rosario to be there.
“It was an excellent year,” said Rosario through a translator. “I got to do a lot of development, so just based off that, I would call it an excellent year.”
Rosario, is willing to learn more and adjust. But the special part of this young player is his rapid development. There was expectations at St. Lucie and the quick jump to Double-A showed his initiative to progress and soon be a major part of the Mets continued youth movement.
There is still competition with the reacquired Jose Reyes, a freer agent and expected to return next season. And T.J. Rivera, also a Sterling Organization Co-Player of the year has made the jump and has been instrumental in this September pennant stretch for the Mets.
Rivera is 27-years old and has convinced management that he can also play the infield, though Rosario offers that younger and long term presence at shortstop. So, interesting to say, there could be some room for Rosario who was showcased in the Futures Game in San Diego during All-Star weekend.
“That was a great experience,” said Rosario about participating in the Futures Game. “Got to meet the players, and had a lifetime experience. I want to be like them. I want to play everyday. This is something I always wanted to do,”
He does not hit for power, but that is offset by getting on base. Scouts are high on the Mets prospect and in trade talks they are always throwing out the name of Amed Rosario.
“I would take him right now,” said a scout Monday night who was not at Citi Field to see Rosario and was monitoring righthander Noah Syndergaard, in line to be the starting pitcher for the Mets in a possible NL wildcard game in two weeks.
So why is Rosario considered this highly touted prospect, one that the Mets will not offer as trade value? They consider his valuable range at the position and of course the on base percentage of .374 is no laughing matter. In due time, Rosario is expected to make that jump to Citi Field and the question is when?
“I don’t know,” he said. “I take it day-by-day and keep working hard to get better.”
Rosario sat at the podium with another Sterling Award recipient.. However, he was center stage as the other prospects were situated on other sides of the Citi Field press conference room. He sat patiently as a crowd of photographers and reporters anxiously waited to speak with him.
He has seen this current Mets team in their September run to the postseason. They, according to Rosario have desire to strive for October. He anxiously awaited the opportunity to once again meet with Mets manager Terry Collins who has the knowledge and the eye for a young prospect.
Again, it will be determined during the offseason as to where Rosario will fit in the Mets plans next season. He will arrive in Port St. Lucie early with the other Mets prospects and then the process will start again. There could be a start in Las Vegas, Triple -A with the Mets 51’s team, and then perhaps a call-up to Citi Field at some point during the season.
The Mets will not commit, as of yet to the plan. Right now, it’s going with a September roster of players that are in good position to continue playing ball in October. But one look at Rosario, and he looks like a player who could be in the dugout now and offering some help.
“I got plenty of time for that,” he said. Though the quick progression, promoted to Binghampton on June 23 and hitting .341, gives Rosario that edge to have an opportunity sooner than expected.
Jose Reyes, a fellow Dominican is someone Rosario admires. But he has an individual style and the Mets seem to be in good hands with their prospect, so only time will tell.