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  • Eddie Rosario and Redemption

    Despite being perpetually trapped in the shadows of Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano within the Twins' system, Eddie Rosario had firmly established himself as a true upper-tier prospect by the end of the 2013 season.

    At the age of 21, he had cruised through Single-A and Double-A, batting .302/.350/.460 between the two levels all while working on the defensive transition from outfield to infield. His bat was so good, and his athleticism so outstanding, that it appeared he may have a chance to make an early impact for the Twins here in 2014.

    My, how things change.

    As we all know, Rosario was tagged with a 50-game drug suspension during the offseason, costing him a crucial chunk of development time just as he was preparing to graduate to the highest level of the minors.

    He was a no-show at spring camp while dealing with "personal issues." And as the season got underway, with Rosario completely out of the picture, Brian Dozier turned his hold on second base into a tight grip, emerging as one of the better players in the majors at the position.

    So when Rosario finally returned from his ban late in May, he returned to a dramatically different set of circumstances from the ones that prompted the Twins to experimentally try to switch him from center field to second base a couple seasons ago in an effort to more quickly move his bat up to the majors.

    Back then, center field was overloaded and second base was a position with no clear future.

    My, how things change.

    The embattled Rosario started playing games again at the end of May, opening in Ft. Myers where he got back up to speed with a quick eight-game stint before heading back to New Britain. He's played a bit of second base, but is back to playing mostly in center, where there is now a huge hole in Minnesota.

    And while the Twins have plenty of quality arms available in the high minors to supplement their pitching staff, they are lacking reinforcements for their scuffling offense at Triple-A. Josmil Pinto and Deibinson Romero are really the only intriguing bats at Rochester, and Pinto will likely remain there indefinitely to work on his defensive game.

    With the Kendrys Morales signing, the Twins made a loud statement that they are in "win-now" mode, with more of their decisions being driven by a desire to improve the current club. If offense continues to be an issue and they find themselves needing a boost later in the summer -- particularly in center field -- they may find that Rosario is in fact their best option.

    My, how things change.

    He needs to demonstrate complete mastery of the Double-A level -- and perhaps even the Triple-A level -- before the Twins would consider bringing him up, but Rosario is one of the most dynamic hitters in the organization and could provide a critical infusion into the lineup in the second half. As far as his stock has fallen in the past eight months or so, he'd be able to revive it substantially by coming up and making a positive impact for a Twins team that is trying to compete in a weak division.
    Comments 30 Comments
    1. glp_vt's Avatar
      glp_vt -
      Could definitely see the intrigue if Hammer's traded at the deadline. You have a potential platoon of Hicks/Rosario in center. Both could also be strong fourth outfielders if Hicks starts hitting for more power.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      We've talked about it quite a bit the last two or three weeks on the Twins Hangouts podcast. I would be shocked if Rosario isn't a September call-up and actually almost expect him to come up a little before that to play CF. I'd then think he'd be the favorite to start 2015 as the Twins centerfielder.
    1. Badsmerf's Avatar
      Badsmerf -
      I have mixed feelings about him moving back to CF. I really want his bat at 2b. I get that Dozier has been pretty good, but I'd try him at SS again. Especially since Buxton isn't too far away. On the other hand, the Twins have a huge hole in CF right now and Rosario fills it.
    1. drivlikejehu's Avatar
      drivlikejehu -
      I don't see any reason to think he's close to being ready. He has plate discipline problems and only OK power. He hasn't been playing CF regularly due to the 2B move years ago. If he earns the promotion, great, but I'd be surprised.
    1. jorgenswest's Avatar
      jorgenswest -
      I have been reading through some reports on Rosario from the time he made the switch.

      At that time, it was felt that he did not have the arm for RF, the range for CF or the bat for LF. His bat and arm would fit 2B. Since then, his bat has remained strong as he progressed from Elizabethton to New Britain. He can bring it to LF. I don't see how he would have improved his range for CF.

      He he still might be the best option for the a Twins in CF later this season, but the Twins really need Buxton long term.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      We've talked about it quite a bit the last two or three weeks on the Twins Hangouts podcast. I would be shocked if Rosario isn't a September call-up and actually almost expect him to come up a little before that to play CF. I'd then think he'd be the favorite to start 2015 as the Twins centerfielder.
      Apocalypse warning......Seth and I agree for a second time this week...
    1. troyhobbs's Avatar
      troyhobbs -
      I don't think 2B was ever a perfect fit for Rosario anyway (Polanco is probably better suited for future 2B). He should be our LF of the future but could probably hold down CF for a season or whatever it takes until Buxton is ready. I've never seen or heard anything negative about his bat. By all accounts the kid can rake, I look forward to watching him on a regular basis.
    1. SD Buhr's Avatar
      SD Buhr -
      If Rosario and Vargas are playing together in Target Field by August-September and doing reasonably well, with Buxton & Sano on the doorstep, it could set off an off-season frenzy unlike anything we've seen in Twinsville in some time.
    1. DuluthFan's Avatar
      DuluthFan -
      I laugh at the thought that Rosario doesn't have the range to play center field. As long as he can hit, anyone can pretty much play in the Twins center field. Santana is currently the major league center fielder for the Twins. He is getting regular starts over players who have outfield experience. He had very little outfield experience before playing this year. His inexperience has shown in his routes to fly balls. He is getting regular playing time because he can hit. If he wasn't hitting the Twins would play a more defensively adept player. With time he should learn the position better, but right now he is playing because of his bat, not his defense. So the thought of Rosario not having the range to play center is just not realistic. If Parmalee was hitting .300+ he would be in the outfield rather than on the bench.
    1. PseudoSABR's Avatar
      PseudoSABR -
      The Twins are going to have bevvy of guys who will be able to play both the infield and the outfield under team control for the foreseeable future; that kind of flexibility I think could really pay off over the long haul of unexpected injuries and decline.
    1. kdrupp09's Avatar
      kdrupp09 -
      Quote Originally Posted by PseudoSABR View Post
      The Twins are going to have bevvy of guys who will be able to play both the infield and the outfield under team control for the foreseeable future; that kind of flexibility I think could really pay off over the long haul of unexpected injuries and decline.
      I agree this flexibililty will be helpful in the long run, although it does make for some interesting defense in the short term.
    1. JustcallupSANO's Avatar
      JustcallupSANO -
      I feel like the he has a much better career as a 2B but he's blocked by Dozier and possibly Polanco and if we moved Dozier back to SS then Brian blocks Gordon or Santana. He has a future in the OF at LF but I feel like there are other options like Adam Walker, Max Kepler and Jason Kanzler who have more experience in the outfield. He's blocked by #1 prospect Byron Buxton in CF. And in RF lies Arcia. For 4th outfielder is Hicks and Danny Ortiz. Could Rosario be in a big trade bundle to get an upgrade in the pitching department this year?
      I think he could because we have depth in OF/2B. Lastly you get his full potential as a player at 2B and better trade value.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by Badsmerf View Post
      Buxton isn't too far away.
      How sure are you about that? I think that best case scenario with Buxton is to have a healthy season in AA next season and fight of a 25 man roster spot in 2016.

      That said, I'd still keep Rosario at second base and sell high the off-season on Dozier, but the Twins will not do that. Hicks will be fine as the Twins' starting CF in 2015. His OBP his season is higher than Span's last 3 seasons with the Twins and he has the glove and the arm to play there.

      It is hard to form opinions about MLB readiness based on A+ numbers. For reference: Buxton is where Meyer was 2 seasons ago.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Danny Santana is going to be the odd man out between he, Dozier, and Rosario. It's hard to imagine all three on the same roster by mid-2015.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
      Danny Santana is going to be the odd man out between he, Dozier, and Rosario. It's hard to imagine all three on the same roster by mid-2015.
      you are missing someone Shane

      #FreeEduardoEscobar.
    1. jm3319's Avatar
      jm3319 -
      That's a hell of a dip he's got in his lip for that picture. Twins might wanna chat with him about that.
    1. jimbo92107's Avatar
      jimbo92107 -
      What an embarrassing society we live in. Memo to future generations: I apologize for all the morons that think pot is a big deal. Guy tokes a joint and gets treated like he robbed a string of convenience stores at gunpoint. When will America grow up and smoke a little perspective?
    1. DocBauer's Avatar
      DocBauer -
      Wow. Isn't it interesting that instead of talk about scrambling to fill roster spots we're actually talking about room for too many young talents?

      My theory; we have Hicks for CF next season, possibly a re-signing of Fuld for a reserve spot, but the Twins aren't stupid, really, despite some mistakes made in addressing the OF/CF situation, and they will make a move for a solid, temp, fill in, 4th OF type for competition.

      It doesn't matter how good Buxton is, and will be, you also have to fill out the ML roster. Rosario will spend a good chunk of the second half of the season in Rochester, in CF, with some action at 2B to keep up his versatility. 2015 will see him in competition with Hicks, a FA, possibly Fuld as well, and Dozier as another multi-use option. Santana will also compete at SS with Escobar. If he keeps hitting and providing excitement, he probably wins that battle and Escobar teams with Nunez to give us some great bench options.

      Rosario was/is a CF by trade. He might not be Buxton, but he's got the ability to play there, at least initially. From there, he could reposition to an excellent defensive LF who provides some very versatile offense. Yes, there is some question about patience and OB%, which is true of a lot of young players. But this kid is flat out a potentially quality hitter. He's got big doubles potential and the ability for some triples as well. A little more polish, he should be at least a decent SB threat. Plus his speed just plays well on the bases. HR power? It's hard to predict. I don't know if he'll ever hit 20 consistently, as he did in E-Town,or ever. But don't forget his youth, his athleticism, or the fact that he's been promoted as aggresively as any young Twins prospect. Given a little time and adjustment to his level, I believe he can be a consistent double-digit HR performer. All of this plays to a quality offensive performer at the top of the order, or at worst, bottom third dangerous threat.
    1. Major Leauge Ready's Avatar
      Major Leauge Ready -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
      Danny Santana is going to be the odd man out between he, Dozier, and Rosario. It's hard to imagine all three on the same roster by mid-2015.
      That makes no sense to me. With a little polish Santana looks like he will be a great SS and with a little more plate discipline, a great lead-off hitter. Plus, he can be your back-up CF when Buxton needs a day off. Why would you get rid of him.

      I guess you are assuming they move Dozier back to short in this scenario. I don't see it. He is a great 2B and not so good SS. So, it comes down to how well can Rosario play 2B. To me the options are ....
      1) Sell High on Dozier. I agree with Thyros provided if the return is high enough.
      2) Trade Rosario
      3) Give Rosario time at the ML level in CF/LF/DH and 2B. Determine what to do in 2016.
    1. tarheeltwinsfan's Avatar
      tarheeltwinsfan -
      Quote Originally Posted by jimbo92107 View Post
      What an embarrassing society we live in. Memo to future generations: I apologize for all the morons that think pot is a big deal. Guy tokes a joint and gets treated like he robbed a string of convenience stores at gunpoint. When will America grow up and smoke a little perspective?
      I respectfully disagree with your position on pot use in America. I am not embarrassed to be an American. I also am not a moron. I have a degree in economics from UNC and a law degree from UNC. I will admit, there is too much emphasis on escaping reality through alcohol and drugs and too many people thinking, "what can the government do for me", when there should be more emphasis on hard work in a free society to keep America strong and safe and to keep the American dream alive and healthy for us and our children. If Rosario had robbed a string of stores at gunpoint, he'd be in prison, rather than being paid to play baseball. I am the happiest I have ever been in my life. I hope you find the peace and happiness which I have. I'll be glad to share more with you about this it if you wish. You may email me at [email protected]
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