• TD Top Prospects: #5 Eddie Rosario

    Eddie Rosario's path through the Minnesota Twins farm system has directly mirrored that of Miguel Sano. When Rosario was the Twins 4th round pick in 2010 out of Puerto Rico, he spent the summer as Sano’s teammate in the GCL. The next summer, the two put up incredible numbers at Elizabethton. Rosario led the league in most categories including home runs and was named the league’s Most Valuable Player. They were together in Beloit in 2012. In 2013, the two started in Ft. Myers before being promoted to New Britain on the same day. No wonder that a player who has hit .307/.358/.510 (.867) over his four-year minor league career is often overlooked and overshadowed.

    Of course, as spring training is soon to begin, there is another, darker shadow Rosario will need to overcome.

    The Good


    Eddie Rosario is an offensive talent. Listed at just 6-0 and 175 pounds, Rosario has incredible quick and strong hands and can generate a lot of bat speed. Though he has never approached the 21 home runs he hit in the small parks of the Appalachian League, he is capable of 12 to 15 home runs a year. He profiles as a guy whose line drive swing will turn into a lot of doubles. He has very good speed and can turn doubles into triples.

    Because he has such quick hands, he is able to allow the ball to travel a little deeper over the plate. At his best, he is drilling line drives to the opposite field. However, he has the ability to turn on a good fastball and pull it a long way.

    Rosario has very good speed. He also is a terrific defensive outfielder,including the ability to play centerfield, with good range and a very strong arm.

    The Bad


    Rosario is a very good defensive outfielder but for the last two years he has been primarily playing second base. You see, two years ago at this time, the Twins lacked any second base prospects, so they took the athletic outfielder and moved him to second base. The transition has not affected Rosario's offensive output. To be fair, there have been mixed reports on Rosario’s defense. Playing on the major league caliber infield of Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers, most reports called Rosario’s defense adequate. Other reports indicate that Rosario is unlikely to ever be anywhere near an adequate defensive second baseman. Of course, his perceived value (relative to his position) would be much higher as a second baseman than as a corner outfielder.

    Rosario tends to put together some quality at-bats, though he is not one who wants to walk. In MLB in 2013, the average Isolated Discipline (IsoD, on base percentage minus batting average) was 0.065. Rosario’s was 0.060 at Elizabethton, but at every other level his IsoD was between 0.046 and 0.049.

    As mentioned, Rosario has good speed. In his two rookie league stops, he stole 38 bases in 50 attempts (78%). However, the last two seasons, in full-season leagues, he is just 21 of 42 in steal attempts, a rate of just 50%.

    The Ugly


    Obviously there is one topic that has to be addressed when talking about Eddie Rosario. Last month, he was given a 50-game suspension for testing positive for a drug of abuse. The 50 game suspension means it was his second positive test. The bigger concern is not so much the suspension. In my mind, the concern is that he had the first test, knew what a second failed test would mean, and still did it. A 50 game suspension is a slowing down of his development. Sure, he played another 70 or so games this past offseason between the Arizona Fall League and the Puerto Rican Winter League. His winter team finished second in the Caribbean Series this past weekend. The frustration is simply be that it was unnecessary.

    The suspension is obviously not ideal. Hopefully losing game time will make him think and realize the opportunity he has. His prospect status, as a 22-year-old who has put up tremendous numbers, should not be altered by the suspension. His future remains as bright as ever.

    Rosario also missed a few games in 2013 at Ft. Myers after being benched by Manager Doug Mientkiewicz.

    Rosario is incredibly talented, especially as a hitter. He has been included in some national Top 100 lists this offseason and is likely right on the border of those in which he didn’t make the list. As a second baseman, his offense has the potential to stand out a little.

    On the field, 2013 was a good year for Rosario. He began with 52 games in Ft. Myers. He hit .329/.377/.527 (.903) with 13 doubles, five triples and six home runs. Like Sano, the day after the Miracle clinched the first-half title, Rosario was promoted to New Britain. In 70 games with the Rock Cats, he hit .284/.330/.412 with 19 doubles, three triples and four home runs. That all came after being named to the Puerto Rican WBC team in which he started half the games in left field.

    2014 is going to be an interesting year for Rosario and the Twins second base depth. Brian Dozier is looking to show that his performance starting in late May is something he can sustain. Rosario will miss 50 games before likely heading back to New Britain, probably after a handful of games in Ft. Myers. On his heels is Jorge Polanco, another Top 10 Twins middle infield prospect.

    Previous 2014 Twins Daily Top Twins Prospects:


    #10 – Trevor May
    #9 – Lewis Thorpe
    #8 – Jorge Polanco
    #7 – Josmil Pinto
    #6 – Jose Berrios
    #5 – Eddie Rosario
    Comments 49 Comments
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Good point jokin.......I'd take a great hitting, marginal fielding, 2B over what most teams have there. But even if Dozier becomes that guy........Rosario is a much better option in the OF than Hicks appears to be, and possibly better than Arcia, imo.
    1. tobi0040's Avatar
      tobi0040 -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      I don't think there is any consensus he can't stick at 2B. He's been doing it for only 2 years.

      I don't get how being an "average" corner OF is not valuable to this team. Arcia might be best as a DH. Or maybe Hicks can't hit at all. Or maybe both!

      The only way I'd trade him is for an elite arm, or an elite SS.
      I never said that he would not provide value to this team as a corner OF. A LF with 40-50 extra base hits under control would be valuable. The point is if he is an average LF here versus an above average CF somewhere else (a position always in short supply), his value to us maybe higher by trading him for a good SP, SS, or some other position in need.
    1. birddog's Avatar
      birddog -
      I saw Rosario in spring training last year and loved his bat speed. He is very athletic so I agree we can't give up on his defense at 2B as he will only get better. Once Dozier is fully acclimated to the majors and proves his bat warrants he stays in the lineup, is it possible the Twins move him back to short since we are now without young shortstops in the minors? His confidence at the plate should carry out to the field so he should be a much better SS than in his first stint. I fully agree that if Rosario is traded, it is only for a can't-miss prospect or a proven player; however, I expect to see this exciting young player as one of our major cogs for the future.
    1. Dantes929's Avatar
      Dantes929 -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      I don't think there is any consensus he can't stick at 2B. He's been doing it for only 2 years.

      I don't get how being an "average" corner OF is not valuable to this team. Arcia might be best as a DH. Or maybe Hicks can't hit at all. Or maybe both!

      The only way I'd trade him is for an elite arm, or an elite SS.
      I agree completely. Average corner offensively and above average defensively makes him an above average corner outfielder. I also agree that his future may be tied to the performance of Hicks and Dozier but I agree with your trade parameters. Last year we did not have a single outfielder that was even close to "average". Arcia was closest and as mentioned above he is probably best suited to DH.
    1. tobi0040's Avatar
      tobi0040 -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      Good point jokin.......I'd take a great hitting, marginal fielding, 2B over what most teams have there. But even if Dozier becomes that guy........Rosario is a much better option in the OF than Hicks appears to be, and possibly better than Arcia, imo.
      I am much higher on Arcia. They are both the same age and what Arcia has done the last two years is quite impressive:

      2012 - .928 OPS at A+/AA
      2013 - .1020 OPS at AAA/ .734 OPS MLB. Only M and M had a higher OPS with regular at bats on the Twins.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by birddog View Post
      I saw Rosario in spring training last year and loved his bat speed. He is very athletic so I agree we can't give up on his defense at 2B as he will only get better. Once Dozier is fully acclimated to the majors and proves his bat warrants he stays in the lineup, is it possible the Twins move him back to short since we are now without young shortstops in the minors? His confidence at the plate should carry out to the field so he should be a much better SS than in his first stint. I fully agree that if Rosario is traded, it is only for a can't-miss prospect or a proven player; however, I expect to see this exciting young player as one of our major cogs for the future.
      I would think that the Twins would be very hesitant to try Dozier again at Short, given the previous disaster there- although they might act on your logic for doing so- if Rosario can really force the issue. I think with the overhanging suspension issue, this is shaping up to be a huge year for Rosario in terms of the Twins future plans for him (or lack thereof). He's one of the Big 4 who I will be watching for progress reports on a daily basis- I hope this whole bad experience for Eddie puts the world's biggest chip on his shoulder...and come late May....the Eastern League pitchers pay dearly for that chip....followed by a similar experience for the IL hurlers in August....and then a September call-up.
    1. Dave T's Avatar
      Dave T -
      Arcia is not a good outfielder, and his long-term position might be DH. If Hicks can't hit, I say move Rosario back to the outfield.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Quote Originally Posted by tobi0040 View Post
      I am much higher on Arcia. They are both the same age and what Arcia has done the last two years is quite impressive:

      2012 - .928 OPS at A+/AA
      2013 - .1020 OPS at AAA/ .734 OPS MLB. Only M and M had a higher OPS with regular at bats on the Twins.

      As a hitter, I'm much higher on Arcia. As a complete player, that has to field....well, I'm not sure yet.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by tobi0040 View Post
      I am much higher on Arcia. They are both the same age and what Arcia has done the last two years is quite impressive:

      2012 - .928 OPS at A+/AA
      2013 - .1020 OPS at AAA/ .734 OPS MLB. Only M and M had a higher OPS with regular at bats on the Twins.
      At the plate, I agree, although Arcia had a .245 point difference in his L-R splits in the minors, versus Rosario's .111 point difference. And Rosario did have a .904 at Ft Myers. Let's see if he hits the ground running in late May at New Britain. Plus Arcia projects longer-term as a DH, while Rosario would be a Plus-Glove as a Corner OF.
    1. tobi0040's Avatar
      tobi0040 -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      As a hitter, I'm much higher on Arcia. As a complete player, that has to field....well, I'm not sure yet.
      That is a fair point. If you have an OF of Buxton and Hicks you can probably live with Arcia in the OF, otherwise a DH.
    1. oldguy10's Avatar
      oldguy10 -
      Mentioned in this thread is that the Twins have no decent shortstop prospects, however I count three at least with varying degrees of ability, Santana, Polanco and Goodrum, who knows if any of them will be decent down the road or not but at least they are in the organization.
    1. halfchest's Avatar
      halfchest -
      Re: Arcia's defense.

      I know he didn't look good out there this year but I'm still expecting some improvement from him. Will he ever be a plus defender? I doubt it but I think he could be average. He's got some speed at least and he actually played some CF in the minors which makes me think he's got to be better than what we saw last year. He was also playing LF most instead of RF where he spent most of his time in the minors. In fact when checking it quickly, I also noticed that he has played twice as many games in CF than he has in the LF. So stick him in right next year and see if he improves.
    1. chuchadoro's Avatar
      chuchadoro -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
      I think it's weed. He says it was painkillers.
      Eddie should know that weed has no place in baseball since the "Amphetamine Era" was courageously ended by MLB after a short 60 year reign as the player's drug of choice. Also, how did Eddie get busted? Did Selig pay off Eddie's dealer to acquire his records?

      On a more serious note, Eddie has made a few mistakes but isn't deserving of the sanctimonious tsk-tsking that sometimes follows these stories. I'm not too concerned he's going to become a Tampa Bay-era Josh Hamilton. Also, Rosario should stick at 2nd until if/when it's absolutely clear he can't play there. Rosario could adjust to a corner OF spot very quickly. He's not going to look like a meandering Parmelee just because he spent an extra year or two at 2nd.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by oldguy10 View Post
      Mentioned in this thread is that the Twins have no decent shortstop prospects, however I count three at least with varying degrees of ability, Santana, Polanco and Goodrum, who knows if any of them will be decent down the road or not but at least they are in the organization.
      Polanco could very well be the guy that takes Dozier's spot away from him- probably not a SS. Santana appears that he will be a slightly better version of Florimon and takes the job away by default. Goodrum spent 3 years in Rookie ball- a red flag?, but he did have a very decent year at Cedar Rapids, Sickels took a liking to him and his athleticism- "2nd only to Buxton". which intrigued me quite a bit when I saw him play and I couldn't argue with Sickels on that point . A 6'4" athletic SS with a strong arm and good plate discipline is well worth keeping an eye on as he moves up to Fort Myers.

      Call out to Jim Crikket for his more knowledgeable review of Niko.
    1. birddog's Avatar
      birddog -
      I have read that Santana, Polanco, and Goodrum--all excellent prospects--are much more likely to end up at 2B than at SS. I certainly hope that is not the case.
    1. Cris E's Avatar
      Cris E -
      A real SS prospect would be very welcome. All the guys mentioned there are glove-first, maybe-enough-bat or probably-a-2B guys rather than genuine top shelf SS talent. Eventually one of Hicks and Rosario should be packed up and send out for a solid SS.

      A lot will ride on if missing a third of this season affects Eddie's progress at 2B. He's still got work to do and if he wants to be part of the action in 2015 this was a really bad time to sit out.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      I think he ends up in LF at some point. Here's a hypothetical lineup in 2017:

      1. Buxton (8)
      2. Rosario (7)
      3. Mauer (3)
      4. Sano (5)
      5. Arcia (DH)
      6. Pinto (2)
      7. Polanco (4)
      8. Turner (6)
      9. Hicks (9)
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
      I think he ends up in LF at some point. Here's a hypothetical lineup in 2017:

      1. Buxton (8)
      2. Rosario (7)
      3. Mauer (3)
      4. Sano (5)
      5. Arcia (DH)
      6. Pinto (2)
      7. Polanco (4)
      8. Turner (6)
      9. Hicks (9)
      Turner at SS ought to be ineresting. But I think the rest of your prediction is quite likely.
    1. tobi0040's Avatar
      tobi0040 -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
      I think he ends up in LF at some point. Here's a hypothetical lineup in 2017:

      1. Buxton (8)
      2. Rosario (7)
      3. Mauer (3)
      4. Sano (5)
      5. Arcia (DH)
      6. Pinto (2)
      7. Polanco (4)
      8. Turner (6)
      9. Hicks (9)
      That looks like a $35-40M lineup, at least for a little while. Makes you wonder what kind of a rotation we can put together with Nolasco here and potentially Meyer/Kohl/Gibson, etc. under control. Assuming two of those three stick, we could sign two very good pitchers to complete the rotation.

      Definitely very early, but if Turner's write up is accurate, I think that guy is gone prior to us picking. Very good defensively and will stick at SS, good on the bases, hit for average with some pop.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Quote Originally Posted by tobi0040 View Post
      That looks like a $35-40M lineup, at least for a little while. Makes you wonder what kind of a rotation we can put together with Nolasco here and potentially Meyer/Kohl/Gibson, etc. under control. Assuming two of those three stick, we could sign two very good pitchers to complete the rotation.

      Definitely very early, but if Turner's write up is accurate, I think that guy is gone prior to us picking. Very good defensively and will stick at SS, good on the bases, hit for average with some pop.
      Yeah, I chose Turner because I couldn't see the shortstop of the future within the organization. I've seen mock drafts with him slipping as far as sixth. Fingers crossed.
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