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  • For Better or Worse: Eddie Rosario

    The Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook 2013 is now available, and Iím happy to have it out there for people to order. Itís a great tool for learning more about over 150 players in the Twins farm system. One of the players who received an extra-long profile was Eddie Rosario. This morning, you will find out why the timing of todayís Eddie Rosario, For Better or Worse article is appropriate. Read the following and decide for yourself: Will Eddie Rosario be better or worse in 2013?

    2012 Recap

    When the Twins drafted Rosario in the third round of the 2010 draft, he was said to be the best bat from Puerto Rico that year. Since signing with the Twins, he has proven those people to be right.
    In 2011, he was the MVP of the Appalachian League. In 67 games, he hit .337/.397/.670 (1.068 OPS) with nine doubles, nine triples, 21 homers, 60 RBI and 17 stolen bases. Throughout the summer, it was a back-and-forth battle between Rosario and teammate Miguel Sano for the league leadership in home runs. Rosario won by just one homer.

    The ballparks are smaller in the Appy League than they are in the Midwest League. Some wondered if Rosario would be able to continue putting up those kind of power numbers in Beloit. Simply put, he is not the same type of power hitter as Miguel Sano. However, he is a much more well-rounded hitter than Sano. In 95 games with the Snappers, he hit .296/.345/.490 (.835 OPS) with a team-leading 32 doubles, four triples, 12 home runs and 780 RBI. Impressive extra base hit totals considering he missed just over a month after being hit by a line drive in the mouth during batting practice in early June. He stole 11 bases, but he was also caught 11 times. Something happened after his injury because he could not read pitchers and was thrown out a lot.

    Rosario made the transition from centerfield to second base. He is a terrific defensive centerfielder with good range and a very strong arm. The move to second base was not simple. When I saw him play in early June, he showed very little range and looked uncomfortable. When I saw him play in early August, he looked much more comfortable, turned a couple of double plays and did have some improved range.

    Photo by Jim Crikket

    This offseason, he has been very impressive in the Puerto Rican Winter League. In the regular season, he hit .338/.386/.496 (.882) with nine doubles and four home runs. In 31 playoff at bats, he has hit .290/.378/.581 (.0959) with a homer and nine RBI. He has primarily been playing in right field, although he has occasionally played more at second base. When he reports to spring training, he will be playing second base.

    However, his spring training plans will be somewhat altered as he will be named to the Puerto Rican team in the WBC today when the rosters are announced.

    Why Heíll Be Worse

    As was mentioned last week when we discussed Miguel Sano, Rosario will also be moving up a level to play in Ft. Myers. The Florida State League is more advanced than the Midwest League. The dimensions of the ballpark are even larger, matching big league ballparks since they are used for major league spring training. One thing to watch will be his walk rate. After walking 9.1% of his plate appearances in 2011, he walked just 7.2% of the time in 2012. He will also need to show that his second half base stealer drought was just a slump.

    Why Heíll Be Better

    First and foremost, he hopefully wonít miss a month in the middle of the season due to a fluke injury. His numbers were very strong, and he was fairly consistent, at Beloit. His strikeout rate actually dropped from 20% to 16%
    When watching him, I found myself comparing his stance and swing are very similar to that of Denard Span. He has very quick hands so he is able to watch the ball a little bit longer. He also does a great job of using the entire field. He was also able to avoid long slumps.

    So, which will it be? Will Eddie Rosario get better or worse in 2013? Let us know what you think.

    • If you missed my Live Chat last night, where many minor league topics were discussed, you can read the transcript here.
    • Also, be sure to join us at Huberts (by the Metrodome) on Saturday night from 6-9 p.m., following Twins Fest. The Twins Daily guys will be there, as will Aaron Gleeman and many of your favorite writers.
    This article was originally published in blog: For Better or Worse: Eddie Rosario started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 45 Comments
    1. Oldgoat_MN's Avatar
      Oldgoat_MN -
      Great write-up, though he had 70 RBI in Beloit last year, not 780.
      While it seems unlikely he will exceed an .835 OPS in Ft. Myers, I am optimistic about this young man. The position change didn't seem to affect his offensive numbers.
      I'll say better. I think he will adjust well and will be more highly talked about as he moves along in the organization. He is no Sano or Arcia, but has an excellent bat for a 2B.
      I wouldn't look for him in a Twins uniform before 2015 though. More likely 2016.
    1. Cap'n Piranha's Avatar
      Cap'n Piranha -
      Eddie just might be my favorite prospect in the entire system. I'm excited to see what he can do with a whole season (knock on wood for no injuries), and am really excited for a potential Roberts-Rosario-Sano-Vargas top 4 of the Miracle line-up. That's some serious OBP followed by big-time SLG.
    1. ericchri's Avatar
      ericchri -
      I kind of expect his numbers to go down a bit, but that doesn't mean getting worse as a player. And I expect his defense to be better with a full season already under his belt and the initial learning curve out of the way. He's one of the most intriguing prospects for me. If he shows the ability to stick at second and keeps hitting like he has been, he immediately shoots up into the potential star category. As frustrating as I expect the major league season to be, he's one of the players I'm really hoping to see take that step up a level to show he's going to be legit and make following the Twins minor leagues a blast this year.
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      Eddie will get BETTER! After 2013 we will have a different Top 10 prospects list with Rosario rated AHEAD of Sano.
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      What Eddie has that Sano does not: speed, ability to play defense up-the-middle, ability to not strikeout so dang much, better batting average.
    1. Jim Crikket's Avatar
      Jim Crikket -
      I'll say better, simply because another year playing almost every day at 2B should make him better at that position. If he can just maintain his offensive productivity as he moves up a level, that would in itself constitute being "better."
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      He was a 4th round pick, not third.

      I'm probably less optimistic about Rosario than any of our other top prospects. I'm concerned about his declining OBP last year, esp after he came back. Hope I'm wrong. I think, of all our prospects, he could be the biggest X-factor in that other teams don't have a big time second base prospect and, if he pans out, he'll give the Twins a very rare and valuable player.
    1. Gotwinsgo's Avatar
      Gotwinsgo -
      He was getting thrown out a bunch before he got hit in the face. Go back and look at the first half. He actually hit prospect cold sheet because of that.
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      Who cares how much he got caught stealing?...his offensive numbers were great, and he is gonna be a stud moving forward. Will probably play all of 2013 in Ft. Myers while he learns 2B
    1. jmlease1's Avatar
      jmlease1 -
      I think the common perception will be that he'll dip a little, but I think he'll actually be slightly better when you account for ballpark factors, etc. (His OPS may drop some, but his OPS+ will probably be fairly consistent) I think we'll see the improvement more on the defensive side as he shows greater comfort at 2B.
    1. jtrinaldi's Avatar
      jtrinaldi -
      Rosario is the best pure hitter in the Twins system, however Sano is the better overall prospect because of his power
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      Quote Originally Posted by jtrinaldi View Post
      Rosario is the best pure hitter in the Twins system, however Sano is the better overall prospect because of his power
      Could Rosario put up similar power numbers to Sano next year in Ft. Myers? Kinda like 2011....And if Eddie can....why would Sano be considered a better prospect?
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by mnfanforlife View Post
      Could Rosario put up similar power numbers to Sano next year in Ft. Myers? Kinda like 2011....And if Eddie can....why would Sano be considered a better prospect?

      No, he couldn't... I don't think. Just not as much power as Sano... he'll likely have a higher batting average, and OBP will be close, but Sano will have higher SLG (although Rosario could rack up a ton of doubles).
    1. Steve Lein's Avatar
      Steve Lein -
      Eddie won't put up the power Sano will. This was already demonstrated last year in Beloit (28 HR's vs 12 HR's). BUT whereas Sano will hit more out of the yard, Rosario will rack up more doubles, so I'd expect their XBH totals at the end of the year to be very similar.

      And as pure hitters go, I'll still take Arcia's bat over Eddie's for tops in the system.
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      I don't think Arcia will be in the "system" much longer. At least not the minor league system.
    1. mlhouse's Avatar
      mlhouse -
      Very good prospect, particularly if he can grow into a 2nd baseman. I expect the slugging percentage to decline, but I want to see the OBP go up the .370 range. Rosario projects to be a top of the order hitter and the ability to be more selective needs to be developed.
    1. AM.'s Avatar
      AM. -
      Worse, because each successive league in the majors is about 15% better, and the amount a player improves each year is likely 5% or under.

      I'm also optimistic about Rosario being the Twins 2B of the future, and eager to see what a year under his belt at 2B and an injury free one to boot looks like.
    1. AM.'s Avatar
      AM. -
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Big fan, cannot wait to see him in MN someday. I think he will be about the same.
    1. kab21's Avatar
      kab21 -
      I'm going to be the pessimist and say that Rosario shows that he is merely a good prospect with moderate upside. He'll be good and could end up as a solid MLB'er.
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