Shipley: Recent infield-convert Rosario could move fast
Perhaps recognizing the changing landscape of what is expected from the second base position, transitioning into more of an offensive role, the Twins have moved left-handed hitting Eddie Rosario from the outfield to the keystone spot.
The Pioneer Press's John Shipley spoke to Twins' minor league director, Jim Rantz, regarding this decision. The pathway to the majors will be the quickest for him at second base:
And it seems that the Twins are focusing their efforts on getting him acclimated to the positions and setting him up for success by having Tom Kelly and Paul Molitor work with him on developing his infield skills:
"He's got a chance to move up in the system with his offense," Twins minor league director Jim Rantz said. "If he learns his second base, it should be pretty quick."
It also seems that despite his power outburst in Elizabethton last year - hitting 21 home runs after tagging just five in the Gulf Coast League - the Twins are not really anticipating that to continue with him as he continues to advance in the system:
"And he's taken to it. He likes it," Rantz said. "If you have the player buying into it, it's a lot easier making the transition. But again, it's all about his offense. He's athletic enough to make the transition, and he's working with a hall of famer over there. That will help."
From this video, you can see he gets the barrel of the bat through the hitting zone very quickly. It may not translate to 30 home run power, but he could certainly provide some pop at a position that has been historically void of power for the Twins. And, if he adapts to second well, that could happen sooner rather than later
Where Sano still winds up and puts his weight into a ball, Rosario gets his hands through the strike zone with remarkable speed. That's where the power comes from, and though it's unlikely Rosario will be Jeff Kent or Ryne Sandberg - rare, power-hitting second basemen - the Twins believe he will hit for average in the majors.