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.
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.
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%.
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