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Front Page: Eddie Rosario's Actual Value Is an Offseason Sticking Point


Nick Nelson
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THERE YOU GO AGAIN.

 

 

Rosie is my favorite Twin precisely  because he has sand. Like many of you I wish he would be a more selective hitter. But that's just not his style. And it wasn't Kirby's style, either. Yet Kirby is revered and Rosie is maligned.So I defend Rosie.  He is a special player. 

 

Kirby was the model of consistency. He averaged 4.25 bWAR for 12 seasons. He had 2 seasons over 7 bWAR. Rosario has 10.3 bWAR over 5 season for an average of 2.06. Rosario has only had 1 season where he exceeded 3 bWAR and that was 2018 when he produced that WAR in the 1st half of the season. Since then, he has barley been above replacement value. Sure, stats don't tell everything but don't compare Rosario has not earned the right to be compared to Puckett. I will be just fine watching Rosario play with no discipline when he can produce like Kirby while doing so.

Edited by Major League Ready
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 Seems like both are important. Rosario is a leader on the team and having him has made the Twins better and more successful over the last 3 years.  Rosario isn't the reason we've stunk up the playoffs - the starting pitching is the reason. 

 

 

 

 

I'll take some issue with that.   Berrios gave up 1 earned run in 4 innings.  The pen gave up 7 in the next 3 innings.   Dobnak gave up 1 run and left with bases loaded and the pen let in those three along with 4 more.    Odorizzi gave up 2 earned runs only because of bad defense in 5 innings.    Relievers gave up 3 more is the next 4 innings.   Within these stories are more stories.   Berrios should have been out of an inning but Cron dropped a DP ball.    Relievers might have been a different story if Littell just did what he did all season.      Lets not forget that the offense missed many opportunities and averaged 2 runs a game.    Starting rotation wasn't great but relievers, defense and offense were just as much if not more to blame.

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I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Eddie is exactly the kind of player to go to arbitration with every year until he is either injured or a free agent. Both sides present honest arguments as politely as they can, and when the arbiter decides, you shake hands, smile, and try to be the first one to grab the check and pay for dinner.

 

Whatever that salary number is this year, the Twins can afford it. And whatever Eddie provides in value in 2020, it will almost assuredly be more than you'd get from 145 games of Wade or Cave (and also more than what you'd get from 145 games of any of the prospects).

 

I like Eddie. I like Twins that were Twins from the farm from the beginning and make it to the show succeed, especially with great aplomb. I also will always give credit to RBI. Sure, hitting 4th and coming to bat with people on base have a lot to do with it, but you still have to rise to the moment and drive them in. I also embrace advanced stats, and they don't lie. If our guys, including Nick, see the limitations of his play, so will any team that would trade for him. I also think it is folly to think that national sports writers have a better take on his play than those that see it daily. No way. We see all the warts, and even probably dwell on them to a fault at times, more than we should, and lose site of many of the players positives. (Just visit a game thread on this site, daily!) All this talk could very well be noticed by Rosario, and he could have the best year of his life this coming season, the best focus of his career, and harness the plate awareness he has not embraced, and be more valuable than ever. 

 

I definitely don't trade him right now, unless the return is crazy good. Crazy good. The prospects could pass him, and could be one injury away from the opportunity to be the guy you can no longer not play everyday, ala Arraez. But for this year, until something like that happens, keep Eddie and hope he wakes up, focuses, and has the best year of his career, offensively and defensively.  

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Kirby was the model of consistency. He averaged 4.25 bWAR for 12 seasons. He had 2 seasons over 7 bWAR. Rosario has 10.3 bWAR over 5 season for an average of 2.06. Rosario has only had 1 season where he exceeded 3 bWAR and that was 2018 when he produced that WAR in the 1st half of the season. Since then, he has barley been above replacement value. Sure, stats don't tell everything but don't compare Rosario has not earned the right to be compared to Puckett. I will be just fine watching Rosario play with no discipline when he can produce like Kirby while doing so.

So, my point is not that he is an equal to HOFer Kirby Puckett.

 

I said he is an instinctive player like Kirby was. Remember, Kirby started off as a wild swinging skinny kid that batted lead off. He was known as  a bad ball hitter. His pure talent made it work out for him. 

 

My point is that there are certain players that are instinctive players. See the ball, hit the ball.

Rosie is like that. And his success and failures all stem from the kind of player he is. 

 

Whether Rosario finds a way to become truly special or not remains to be seen. His story is still largely unwritten. But its too bad the Yankees have enough outfielders. I'd like to see Rosario play 81 games at Yankee Stadium. 

 

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My frustration with Rosario is that his plate approach has completely devolved. When at his best he had developed a semblance of patience, but it disappeared entirely over the course of this season (see Cooper's article for specifics). That seems very willful to me, like overconfidence is getting the best of him. 

 

 

This right here.   I recall an at bat during the playoffs and we got two runners on with none out in a tight game.  Eddie came up, swing at the first pitch (which was well out of the strike zone) and he popped out.  Totally took the wind of the sails.

 

So yeah.  He deserves criticism

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Your "frustration" is subjective and immaterial to the team.  Eddie plays for Rocco and the coaches. Eddie does not play for you. Your expectations aside, Eddie brings a lot to the table.  He is a low ball, first ball hitter. If you have watched him these past several years you would know that.  He is not a plink hitter like Luis, and he does not work the count. He looks for a pitch he thinks he can clock and swings away.  Kirby was like that. These guys hit with confidence. All great hitters do.  

I never said he didn't bring a lot to the table. In fact, I made sure to start off the article by pointing out that he does.

 

You can say my opinion is subjective and immaterial, that's fine. But what I'm trying to get across here is that the Twins' front office, and others across the league, are likely to share it. Do you disagree?  

 

To invoke the reference from the article, all these things being said here about Rosario can also be said about Jose Abreu -- to a greater extent, in fact -- and there's a reason he elected not to test the open market at a seemingly prime opportunity.

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RBIs count. 

 

They are, as is every statistic, opportunistic. 

 

Aside from the rare bases loaded walk/HBP, you can't get RBIs unless you swing the bat.

 

Kepler, Polanco, and Cruz, often hit in front of Rosario, and often in that order. They all have good OBP, all higher than Rosario's. Scenario: Kepler draws a walk to lead off. Polanco hits a weak ground ball, getting thrown out but advancing Kepler to second. Cruz strikes out. Rosario hits a single. Kepler scores. Sano Strikes out. Inning over, RUN SCORED. Flip Kepler and Rosario- same scenario, same individual production for each player. Rosario singles, advances on Polonco's out. Cruz Ks. Kepler walks. Sano Ks. Inning over, NO RUN SCORED. 

 

It's just one scenario, right. But it exemplifies the value of the single in comparison to the walk depending on lineup construction. The best a walk can be is equal to a single, but often, a single is far greater than a walk. Kepler's walk total is comparable to Rosario's singles total. If Rosario traded 20 of his singles for 30 walks, it would be a significant bump to his OBP, but his RBI total goes down, probably under 100. 

 

Taking a walk when given it, and having a measured, consistent approach to batting are valuable to a team's success, undoubtedly. These are not a part of Rosario's game. Everyone crushed Mauer, wrongly, for the duration of his career for being one of the best ever at practicing such an approach. He got crushed for not being willing to guess or expand or surprise. Mauer is an all-time Twins great, but he wasn't willing (in his approach to batting) to take a risk or a chance to be a hero. He wasn't willing to gamble on his own natural ability as a hitter in favor of doing the right thing as a batter. I'm a fan of Joe. I loved watching him play. I wish he was in the dugout/on the field for the 2019 run. But, there were many times when I was ready to lose my mind watching Joe take a walk with a runner on when we needed an RBI. And that doesn't mean he was wrong. It does mean I'm happy to have Eddie up there going after that RBI, even when he ends up looking like a fool.

 

It's pretty hard to strike a balance between patience and aggression. I mean, they are pretty antonymous. Most guys are going to sacrifice a fair bit of one for the other. The guys that have it balanced, the best of both, are Mike Trout. So if Rosario could add 20 walks to his 2019 total, without losing any singles, he'd be even higher on that list of MVP candidates, he'd be a lot closer to Mike Trout. 

Great post Sam.

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Rosario is valuable. He can’t be adequately replaced by Cave or Wade.

 

Sadly he doesn’t have excess value beyond his likely contract figure to give him some trade value. I order for a veteran to have trade value they either need to be on a friendly contract or be at a level of play the us in short supply. At this point Rosario doesn’t fit either group. If a team needs a corner OF they can get Garcia or Dickerson over the next two years without giving up any prospect.

 

Eddie is a valuable LF solution until one of the corner prospects is ready. He just isn’t very valuable as a trade chip.

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Rosario is valuable. He can’t be adequately replaced by Cave or Wade.

Sadly he doesn’t have excess value beyond his likely contract figure to give him some trade value. I order for a veteran to have trade value they either need to be on a friendly contract or be at a level of play the us in short supply. At this point Rosario doesn’t fit either group. If a team needs a corner OF they can get Garcia or Dickerson over the next two years without giving up any prospect.

Eddie is a valuable LF solution until one of the corner prospects is ready. He just isn’t very valuable as a trade chip.

Well said 

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Mod note:

 

We’ve already had several debates around Eddie Rosario. In this thread have already been a couple of pet subjects carried over from other threads.

 

Please keep this thread to subject of the OP.

 

How does the delta between metrics used by the FO and the metrics used by the arbitrators impact decisions made in regards to Eddie Rosario?

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Rosario’s no mvp, but I don’t agree with a word you wrote here.. offense is all we have and since the twins don’t seem to want any of the free agents pitchers or hitters.. then we gotta keep our lineup together.. if we trade Rosario for John gray I will be PISSED.. John gray isn’t worth as much as Rosario by a long shot

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Nick needs to realize that how he says things is as important as what he says. The facts and analysis is good. The condescending attitude is offputting and borderline bullying, imo. A writer should never ever start a rebuttal with an LOL at someone who bothered to read and comment.

 

Both sides are arguing the same point. Rosie's success in some areas is incongruent with his abject failure in other areas. Most players that struggle with obp also struggle with k's and getting hits. Rosie didn't. Does that mean that going forward his counting stats are likely to decline to be on par with his advanced metrics and suspect plate approach, or does the power and contract despite ridiculous approach suggest that major step forward is well within reach. What's easier to improve, skill or approach?

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It is not an "opinion" to suggest that creating outs at an almost unparalleled rate on offense, and giving up outs at an almost unparalleled rate on defense, are detrimental to winning baseball games. It is statistically proven.

 

Opinions about a player are shaped by what we see and what we remember. The big flashy highlights and bat flips tend to stick in our heads. Which was basically the point of this article. 

Rosario struck out at a 14% rate. How is that creating outs at an unparalleled rates. BABIP  .273, BABIP was luck hence unlucky Eddie. 

In terms of defense, when do the numbers on defense normalize? Clearly the year Gordon was leading in WAR based on defense showed what the populace thought of defensive WAR.  How do they account for baserunners not taking an extra base or tagging up?   

People remember bat flips stick in peoples heads? This bit of generalization from the person arguing statistics should be the only guide. Unscientifically I would say that the people here are more likely to remember the misses and failures more than any player's success.. Both of us now have a stated opinion on what people remember, neither has a fact.

Edited by The Wise One
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Taking a walk when given it, and having a measured, consistent approach to batting are valuable to a team's success, undoubtedly. These are not a part of Rosario's game. Everyone crushed Mauer, wrongly, for the duration of his career for being one of the best ever at practicing such an approach. He got crushed for not being willing to guess or expand or surprise. Mauer is an all-time Twins great, but he wasn't willing (in his approach to batting) to take a risk or a chance to be a hero. He wasn't willing to gamble on his own natural ability as a hitter in favor of doing the right thing as a batter. I'm a fan of Joe. I loved watching him play. I wish he was in the dugout/on the field for the 2019 run. But, there were many times when I was ready to lose my mind watching Joe take a walk with a runner on when we needed an RBI. And that doesn't mean he was wrong. It does mean I'm happy to have Eddie up there going after that RBI, even when he ends up looking like a fool.

 

It's pretty hard to strike a balance between patience and aggression. I mean, they are pretty antonymous. Most guys are going to sacrifice a fair bit of one for the other. The guys that have it balanced, the best of both, are Mike Trout. So if Rosario could add 20 walks to his 2019 total, without losing any singles, he'd be even higher on that list of MVP candidates, he'd be a lot closer to Mike Trout. 

 

Aggressive within the strike zone is great but there are a high percentage of ABs where Eddie swings at a borderline pitch or a pitch outside the zone on the first pitch or even when he is ahead in the count. There is no selection once he gets two strikes. He is swinging. Being aggressive is not helping. Nobody can hit the crap pitchers throw at him now. He is so skilled that he is still able to hit some of those pitches but he would have Yehlich like numbers if he made opposing pitchers give him something in the strike zone. This is frustrating to watch because I can’t help but wonder what we would have in Eddie if he took more professional ABs.

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Aggressive within the strike zone is great but there are a high percentage of ABs where Eddie swings at a borderline pitch or a pitch outside the zone on the first pitch or even when he is ahead in the count. There is no selection once he gets two strikes. He is swinging. Being aggressive is not helping. Nobody can hit the crap pitchers throw at him now. He is so skilled that he is still able to hit some of those pitches but he would have Yehlich like numbers if he made opposing pitchers give him something in the strike zone. This is frustrating to watch because I can’t help but wonder what we would have in Eddie if he took more professional ABs.

He is very good at striking a baseball and he is very confident in his ability to do so.  As far as learning situational hitting, he has not

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Nick needs to realize that how he says things is as important as what he says. The facts and analysis is good. The condescending attitude is offputting and borderline bullying, imo. 

Bullying?  Really?

 

The overreaction to critical analysis never ceases to disappoint me here.  

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I was thinking, what TD really needs is yet another article attacking Eddie Rosario. Can't get enough of those. 

This is an "attack" in your estimation.

 

He laid out a pretty fair narrative backed with lots of support.  He dedicated a paragraph to how he likes the guy as well and this is your reaction?  How about constructing and articulating your own view before you start with an accusation?

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Nobody has "attacked" Rosario or is guilty of "bullying" here.

 

These kinds of reactions are accusations that are not accurate.  It is an attempt to marginalize the original post and if we are going to be a place centering on discussion that kind of thing should not be accepted.  Instead of torpedoing the guy with an accusation, why not make your own point and try to have a conversation with the dude?  Why insist there is some pernicious agenda against Eddie Rosario?  Most of the stuff Nick said isn't even controversial.  What gives?

 

I think that is silly and I would rather have a discussion with all sides freely expressing themselves.  I swear, some people are just dying to be "offended"

Edited by ewen21
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I am not advocating to trade him, by the way.  I was more interested in trading Buxton and if we didn't get Syndergaard because we thought Buxton was all that and a bag of chips then that was a big BIG mistake.

 

I want to read different takes.  I agree that Eddie is a reckless player in a lot of ways.  I like what he brings to the table, though.  However, at the same time, I would like to see people make their case.  I am not interested in shuttting it down whereas these terse bitter responses seem to indicate the discussion should be shut down.

 

WHY???? This is the hot stove.  Any intelligent input should be good enough whether your or I like it or not

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Is there something mean and nasty about that?

It’s an absolute disgrace to Eddie who has given so much to the franchise and also a disgrace to Twins fans that value his contribution. If we want to talk about trading him sure but let’s recognize how talented he is and accurately reflect the type of talent he should command in the market. I would fully expect a top 25 prospect in baseball along with other strong prospects for an everyday outfielder with 30+ homers and hits for high average. Players like him don’t come around often. If they’re strong in minors, they’re still likely to fizzle and not meet eddies production. We definitely would need a lot. Plus he’s a great clubhouse guy

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How bout pointing out what you felt was so unfair of off-base in the analysis? The harshest things I said here were that he had a "complicated" and "very ordinary season."

WHOA, BRING OUT THE PITCHFORKS! 

It's been addressed ad nauseam in the 15 other threads on Rosario.

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We had a lot of the same indignant responses when Sano was first criticized here. A couple years later the majority of people were pretty down on Sano. It was pretty much the same thing as I recall. Nobody thought he was a terrible player but he did not have the commitment necessary to make him the star he could be.

 

I have great hope that Rosario finally recognizes he could be a far better / far more consistent player if he improves his plate discipline. I believe he wants to be great so badly that he can't help himself. The good news is that it is all together possible he will get sick and tired of pitchers making him look foolish and dedicate himself to taking better ABs like Sano did last year.  You would think Sano's resurgence would be a great lesson for Eddie.

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You trade Rosario if the return makes the 2020 Twins better. I can't see that happening but if possible... Yeah go ahead obviously. 

 

Short of that... He will be on the roster in 2020 and he will help us win games. He has talent and he can really really exhibit even more talent if he improves that plate discipline. 

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We had a lot of the same indignant responses when Sano was first criticized here. A couple years later the majority of people were pretty down on Sano. It was pretty much the same thing as I recall. Nobody thought he was a terrible player but he did not have the commitment necessary to make him the star he could be.

 

I have great hope that Rosario finally recognizes he could be a far better / far more consistent player if he improves his plate discipline. I believe he wants to be great so badly that he can't help himself. The good news is that it is all together possible he will get sick and tired of pitchers making him look foolish and dedicate himself to taking better ABs like Sano did last year.  You would think Sano's resurgence would be a great lesson for Eddie.

Indignant is a good word, but then again so is truculence.  I have not been in on these threads although I have read a lot of it.  Rosario is the kind of player who will never be above the fray due to his cavalier approach.  He has a strong offensive game and he has some tools to go along with it.  He is durable and appears to be popular with his teammates.

 

HOWEVER, there are some very reasonable criticisms that can be made about his game and for whatever reason this makes certain posters upset.  I think maybe it is best to ignore the people who get upset at this juncture unless they want do develop a case against what has been said and I have yet to see anything much in that regard.

 

We are getting to the point where a decision is going to need to be made with him.  Is he a long term Twin?  Not everyone can be or will be.  This team (and its fanbase) really needs to stop believing that the players that come through the system are supposed to retire as Twins can get a special day.  We need to start looking at players as assets and assets can be reallocated or sold off for other assets.  With all the talk about us not getting pitching I am mystified by all this resistance to trading a guy like Buxton or Rosario.  We have the most "depth" in the outfield right now.  If we are not going to trade from those positions where do we trade from?

 

I like Rosario, but my GOD.....can we have a grown up discussion without people being personally offended by the criticism that is drawn up?  None of the actual criticism is controversial

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