Minnesota Twins News & Rumors Forum
  • TD Top Prospects: #7 Eddie Rosario

    Age: 21 (DOB: 09/28/1991)
    2012 Stats
    (RK/A):
    .299/.347/.499, 13 HR, 74 RBI, 62 R, 11/22 SB
    ETA: 2015


    So far, Eddie Rosario’s minor league career has been largely overshadowed by Miguel Sano.

    It’s a common phenomenon with any pairing. One emerges as the fan favorite and the other continues doing valuable if underappreciated work. Maris had Mantle. Oates had Hall. Colmes had Hannity. The guy on the left of Milli Vanilli had the guy on the right of Milli Vanilli.

    Having been teammates dating back to 2010 when both players joined the organization, it is Sano who has been grabbing the headlines and basking in the attention of the national prospect junkies. It starts physically where, unlike the imposing physique of Sano which casts a big shadow, Rosario’s six-foot-nothing, buck-seventy frame does not garner as much attention. Nevertheless, Rosario has put together an auspicious start to his professional career – thanks to remarkable bat speed and square contact.

    In 2011, he slammed 21 home runs to lead the Appalachian League as a 19-year-old. It had been eight years since someone had socked more than 20 home runs in the short-season league. “Since I was a kid, I’ve always hit the ball hard,” Rosario told reporters prior to the 2012 season. “Now that I’m a professional player, I realize that it’s because I have a really fast swing; I have quick hands, and usually hit the ball on the barrel. I’m aware of that now. When I was a kid, I just knew I always hit the ball hard.”

    Evaluators noted that Rosario lacked the speed to continue to play at center field and did not possess the arm for a corner outfield position like right field. Recognizing the pipeline was filled with high quality outfield talent coupled with a dearth of middle infield candidates, the Twins requested that he grab an infielder’s glove.

    This transition could be very advantageous to Rosario and the Twins. Without many options head of him, his path to the major may have been shorten – provided he learns the position in a timely manner.

    The Good:
    Rosario has proven that he is an above-average hitter in his three seasons thus far. In addition to strong numbers stateside, he turned heads while playing in Puerto Rico this winter. In fact, MLB.com’s Peter Gammons tweeted that one general manager rated Rosario as the top prospect within that league based on his performance.

    Mechanically speaking, Rosario, who keeps his hands low in his set, exhibits a small, downward hitch in his swing at his load point (he has a north-south load rather than an east-west one). This added movement will likely need to be reduced in order to avoid being exploited but to this juncture of his career, he’s succeeded. More than that, his strikeout totals dropped noticeably – from 20% in 2011 to 16% in 2012 – even while moving up a level. His level swing allows the bat to stay through the hitting zone extremely well and, because of his plus bat speed, he is able to get the ball to jump hard off of the lumber.

    The Bad:
    Rosario didn’t match the output in 2012 when advancing to the Midwest League, but that was expected. After all, his approach is not a basher like Sano rather Rosario is a line drive, gap-to-gap guy with a high average potential. This trend will likely continue as he graduates to the Florida State League – a place where the heat oppresses the offense – so temper expectation accordingly.

    In the field, he will need to make strides at the keystone and grow more comfortable around the base during double-plays and going to his backhand. That said, reports from the fall instruct league were mostly positive. “He made improvements last season, but it’s still a work in progress, since he doesn’t have a lot of experience there,” commented Brad Steil, the Twins’ Director of Minor League Operations. “He’ll need to continue working on all aspects of his defense. His instincts and feel around second base will improve with experience.”

    Asked to participate on Puerto Rico’s World Baseball Classic team, Rosario will shift back to the outfield during the exhibition event.

    The Bottom Line:
    As a high average hitter with good pop, his bat projects extremely well as at second base - a position that has slowly transformed into an offensive-oriented one. Consider this: Since 2000, the Minnesota Twins’ collection of second basemen has produced a baseball-worst .672 OPS. With little ahead of him in terms of middle infield talent, a strong 2013 season could make Rosario one of the organization’s top movers-and-shakers.

    [TD’s Top Ten Prospects: #10: Max Kepler]
    [TD’s Top Ten Prospects: #9: Trevor May]
    [TD's Top Ten Prospects: #8: J. O. Barrios]
    This article was originally published in blog: TD Top Prospects: #7 Eddie Rosario started by Parker Hageman
    Comments 17 Comments
    1. glunn's Avatar
      glunn -
      Great post, as usual. Could his upside be as high as Rod Carew?
    1. Han Joelo's Avatar
      Han Joelo -
      Nicely done. It seems like his hitting approach has produced improved numbers--homers aside--as he moves up.

      Your opening had me laughing--the Hannity to his Colmes? Nice.
    1. beckmt's Avatar
      beckmt -
      Hopefully he will tear up the FSL and make it to New Britain this year. Nice article.
    1. Kwak's Avatar
      Kwak -
      Wow, Rosario is moving up to Class A and there is little ahead of him? 2B should be a relatively easy position for the Twins to find talent--I wonder why the cupboard is barren between Ft. Myers and Minnapolis? Good Luck to Rosario the Twins are basically desparate to find a good 2B.
    1. FrodaddyG's Avatar
      FrodaddyG -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kwak View Post
      Wow, Rosario is moving up to Class A and there is little ahead of him? 2B should be a relatively easy position for the Twins to find talent--I wonder why the cupboard is barren between Ft. Myers and Minnapolis? Good Luck to Rosario the Twins are basically desparate to find a good 2B.
      The middle infield pages of the organizational depth chart binder have been stuck together, and thus forgotten about, for the better part of the last 2 decades. (Andy McPhail had an unexpectedly shaken-up Diet Fresca blow up on him while browsing it back in '93.)
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      I was fortunate to see Rosario play 6 games last year. I think 5 of them he was at 2B and the other he was in CF. He absolutely has some of the quickest hands I've seen. I think there are a lot of swing/stance comparisons to Denard Span. Very quick hands, able to wait back, uses the whole field. But at the same time, if he gets a pitch, he will also take a huge cut, trying to hit it 450 feet to right field. I didn't see him connect on any of those, but based on his 2011 season, and hitting quite a few HR in Beloit last year, he will often.

      I also agree that he has that extra hand movement. He's able to get away with it now, but it will likely need to not be there as he gets older and moves up the system.

      Defensively, all reports I'd heard about him as a CF in E-Town were that he has very good range (certainly not in the Hicks/Benson/Buxton category though), and I saw a pretty impressive throwing arm, certainly enough to play CF if that were necessary.

      When I saw him at 2B in early June, he was a statue. Very little range and instinct. But when I saw him play there in early August, he was much improved. Still work to do, but he turned a couple of nice DPs and showed more range. Again, I see no reason to think that he can't continue to improve and become an adequate defensive 2B in time.

      He certainly is not lacking in confidence, and his performance in the Puerto Rican Winter League has him as a known commodity in his country. He has great potential.
    1. LimestoneBaggy's Avatar
      LimestoneBaggy -
      You lost me at "Colmes had Hannity", but then you brought me back with the Milli Vanilli reference.
    1. Parker Hageman's Avatar
      Parker Hageman -
      I think there are a lot of swing/stance comparisons to Denard Span.
      I just wanted to address this super quick as I saw it in your write-up on the For Better Or Worse on Rosario. I just want to make sure we are not projecting Rosario's potential numbers to be like Span's numbers based on a few similarities between the two.

      The initial hand position and the lack of a east-west load in particular are shared among Span and Rosario. However, with Rosario, you see a much longer swing - albeit just has quick - whereas Span is much more of a point A-to-B type of swinger. And, unlike Span, Rosario has a pronounced stride where Span does not. Rosario, as you said, has the tendency to uncork vicious swings on occasion. This is something Span really has never done. So, unless the Twins/Rosario make some changes to reduce the hand/stride movement, I would expect Rosario to project to have greater power and less connectivity than Span.

      Defensively, all reports I'd heard about him as a CF in E-Town were that he has very good range (certainly not in the Hicks/Benson/Buxton category though), and I saw a pretty impressive throwing arm, certainly enough to play CF if that were necessary.
      It could be that the evaluations of Rosario were based on the curve set by Hicks/Benson/Buxton but because the reports were coming from Baseball America, I am assuming they either spoke to scouts or someone in the organization when they said that Rosario did not have the speed for center or the arm for a corner OF position.

      Could his upside be as high as Rod Carew?
      A man can dream but I don't think he will be as good as Hall of Famer Rod Carew.
    1. mlhouse's Avatar
      mlhouse -
      One reason for the drop in extra base hits last year was the fact he only played in 100 games. IN 449 total plate appearances he had 35 doubles, 4 triples, and 13 homre runs. If you look at that in a 600 plate appearance terms, that projects to 46 doubles and 17 home runs.

      If he can continue to develop as a second baseman and his hitting stays on this path he could easily be considered the TOP prospect in our system.
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      > Consider this: Since 2000, the Minnesota Twins’ collection of second basemen has produced a baseball-worst .672 OPS.

      Huh. Off the top of my head I would have guessed such a number to be perfectly acceptable if the defense was good. Not major-league worst. Offense has been down a bit the past three years so averages of 12 years may be suspect, but it still looks like this armchair-GM needs to raise his standards a bit.
    1. Linus's Avatar
      Linus -
      Quote Originally Posted by glunn View Post
      Great post, as usual. Could his upside be as high as Rod Carew?
      More ice, more mix.
    1. roger's Avatar
      roger -
      I have been a big fan of Rosario since I believe he led the GCL in stolen bases a couple years ago. This was a great read Parker, thanks!

      The few times I have seen him play, he reminds me a lot of a young second baseman in the Braves organization when I was a kid. Similar build, similar speed, very quick hands/swing with the ball exploding off his bat. That young man was a second baseman in the minors who switched to the outfield for the Braves. Appears Rosario may go the reverse route. Anyway, that is what I see in Rosario and if he ends up being 75% of that player he will be a superstar!
    1. AM.'s Avatar
      AM. -
      Did you just make a Henry Aaron-Rosario comp?
    1. FrodaddyG's Avatar
      FrodaddyG -
      Quote Originally Posted by AM. View Post
      Did you just make a Henry Aaron-Rosario comp?
      Celebrity Jeopardy - "And the show has reached a new low..." - YouTube
    1. roger's Avatar
      roger -
      Quote Originally Posted by AM. View Post
      Did you just make a Henry Aaron-Rosario comp?
      Yes, very similar young men at the same age.
    1. drjim's Avatar
      drjim -
      I personally prefer the Rogers Hornsby comp to the Hank Aaron comp. Twins need 2b not of.
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      Quote Originally Posted by drjim View Post
      I personally prefer the Rogers Hornsby comp to the Hank Aaron comp. Twins need 2b not of.
      Wow! Ballsy. I cannot agree 100%, but I like your 75% comment above.

      I love Eddie's potential. He is tough, smart, and polite (I hear): http://twinsdaily.com/entry.php?b=2528
©2014 TwinsCentric, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Interested in advertising with Twins Daily? Click here.