Amed Rosario is the top prospect in the farm system for the NY Mets according to MLB.com, and his presence was sensed in the 2017 Serius XM Futures Game at Marlins Park this past Sunday. Rosario played four innings of shortstop and went 0-2 representing the World Team as he batted third.
In his first bat, he fouled two pitches off and then struck out to a mixed batch of pitches against US starting right hander Brent Honeywell (Rays No. 2 prospect), who leads the Minor Leagues in strikeouts.
His two teammates before him struck out as well.
He struck out for a second time against right-hander Beau Burrows after he had a 3-0 count and ended up swinging at some high heat gunned at 97 mph.
Mike Lowell, a former professional third baseman for 13 years, understands that the patience of top Mets brass is under pressure, and he summed up Rosario’s game on MLB Network.
“This is a guy definitely who can play shortstop long term. He’s not your minor league guy who’s going to play shortstop and then switch positions once he gets to the big leagues,” said Lowell. “He’s very good offensively and defensively, he has great hands and good footwork.”
Rosario did have to backhand a ball to his right and throw to second on an attempted double play during the game; otherwise, he fielded his position with a number of other basic plays and no blunders.
In 83 games for Triple-A Las Vegas, he has hit .327 and has struck out only 15.5% of his plate appearances. His BABIP stands at .371 and has exemplified the Met’s long term solution for shortstop and as a potential leadoff hitter for a team lacking in speed. He has stolen 16 bases but has also driven in 52 runs.
While hitting has not been the primary issue of this 2017 season for the NY Mets, the question has evolved into finding the correct time to replace Jose Reyes, the Mets current everyday shortstop.
Sandy Alderson spoke to the media in the middle of June and addressed how the front office is going about their prized prospect.
“We don’t necessarily view [Rosario] as a short term fix. So we are trying to keep that in mind,” said Alderson. “An overriding desire on our part is that when he comes up, he never goes back. And, we want to make sure that the circumstances are best to achieve that result.”
Michael Conforto, the Met’s lone representative at the senior All-Star game this season, created excitement in the game two years ago with 2 hits and throw from the outfield which showcased his strong and accurate arm while saving a run for Team USA.
He earned a call-up to the majors on July 24 in 2015, and along with a trade for Yoenis Cespedes, helped lead a once struggling offense to a 2015 NL East Title. Perhaps, this 2015 season finish is a reason why Mets fans are clinging to a similar hope with Rosario.
Rosario participated in the 2016 Futures Game as well and went 1-2 as a 20 year old kid.
Tomas Nido, the #9 prospect in the Mets system, had more success in the Futures game with two hits and two RBIs for the World Team as a catcher. Honeywell struck out Rosario and four other batters in two innings of work and received MVP honors for his performance, and the US team held on for a 7-6 win. Here is the full Futures Game box score.
Advanced baseball statistics provided by FanGraphs Baseball