By all accounts, the 2017 season has been an absolute disaster for the New York Mets, but at least the final two months will provide fans a glimpse into the future, as the club has finally promoted heralded shortstop prospect Amed Rosario to the Major Leagues.
The Dominican born Rosario joined the Mets organization as an amateur free-agent in July of 2012, at the age of 16, and has since been steadily climbing organizational and league wide prospect rankings alike. Making his professional debut in 2013 as one of the Appalachian League’s youngest players, Rosario hit just .241 but showed flashes of both speed and extra base power with the Mets rookie ball team Kingsport, TN, and the following season he improved dramatically at the plate, hitting .289 with a strong .337 OBP for short season class A Brooklyn. In 2015 the young shortstop continued his career long trend of eye opening defense, but across two minor league levels regressed offensively, hitting just .253 with no home runs against much older competition.
Last year is when the eccentric Rosario really began to blossom, hitting .309 for the St. Lucie Mets before earning a midseason call up to AA Binghamton where he instantly began to dominate. In 54 games for the Mets’ upstate New York based team, Rosario hit .341 with 14 doubles, five triples, and an incredible .392 OBP, cementing his standing as one of the brightest young talents in the sport. After turning heads during an impressive stint in Major League spring training this past February, Rosario didn’t slow down a bit after reporting to AAA Las Vegas in the Pacific Coast League. In 94 games (Which most Mets fans would tell you were far too many) for the Las Vegas 51’s, he hit .328 with seven home runs, 58 RBI’s, 19 doubles, seven triples, and 19 stolen bases, while slugging .466 and getting on base at a strong .367 clip.
New York could have easily been promoted the 21-year-old weeks ago but resisted the urge due to an already crowded infield, and while they were hoping to and ultimately unable to trade Asdrubal Cabrera at the deadline yesterday, they nonetheless decided the time was right to bring their prized prospect to the Majors. On that note, playing time for some incumbent veterans like the aforementioned Cabrera, Jose Reyes, and Neil Walker could get complicated over the next few weeks, but with the club well out of the race in both the NL East and NL Wild Card, the kid is coming up to play.
Injuries have derailed what could have been a successful season for the Mets in 2017 but the organization fully expects to be back competing for a playoff spot a year from now, and they certainly envision Rosario being a key contributor, potentially even their leadoff hitter, and they are certainly looking forward to seeing what he can do with his first opportunity at the game’s highest level.
Baseline Times MLB Contributor