Amed Rosario, who is expected to be the Mets' starting shortstop this coming season, is already in St. Lucie working on improving his strike zone recognition and patience at the plate.
"I've been working hard, steadily, every single day,'' Rosario told The NY Post through translator Melissa Rodriguez. "Coming into this year, I've really been focusing on my strike zone, trying to make that smaller and, of course, trying not to go for some of those bad pitches."
As a 21-year-old in what was his first taste of the majors, Rosario hit .248/.271/.394 with four HR, four doubles, four triples, and seven stolen bases, but walked just three times in 170 plate appearances. He also struck out 49 times -- a rate of 28.8 percent. For comparison, Yankees OF Aaron Judge -- who was challenging the all-time strikeout record last season -- struck out 30.7 percent of the time.
Aside from the 2016 season, when he walked 40 times in 120 games in Double-A, Rosario's walk rate has always been quite low. However, the strikeouts didn't become a serious issue until he reached the majors -- where he averaged more than a strikeout per game.
"I think it's been going really well," Rosario said about making adjustments. "I've been doing steady drills and all of last week I worked with [hitting coach Pat Roessler]. Nothing is impossible, so we'll see what happens.''
Rosario also told the Post he's been training with Yoenis Cespedes, who he said is "super focused on staying healthy," and that he and Cespedes have a fun rivalry going over who would be who in a foot race.
While he's working on his offense, Rosario's defense at shortstop was above average last season in the majors, as he was worth 1 DRS, per FanGraphs. Extrapolated over a full season, it would come to roughly 4 DRS.