It appears Amed Rosario is turning a corner in his development and becoming a shiny silver lining to what has otherwise been a lost season for the Mets.
Rosario had three hits and three RBI against the Phillies on Sunday and is now batting .398 during his last 10 games, while driving in 11 runs and belting two home runs. In addition, he's tied for second in the NL with eight stolen bases since the All-Star break and has been successful in 13 of his last 15 stolen base attempts.
Overall in August, he is hitting .292/.333/.431 with two homers, four doubles, and five stolen bases.
Rosario has also been playing much better in the field, squashing any talk of him playing center field, which -- for whatever reason -- popped up in conversation late last month.
"He's doing a great job with his development," Mets manager Mickey Callaway said in early August. "I think he's going to pay dividends in the end."
Rosario is batting only .247 this season with a .290 on base percentage. However, he's hit 20 doubles, six triples, six home runs, and scored 54 runs. Equally important, he's striking out less and walking more than he did during the first 400 plate appearances of his career.
For Rosario take his production to the next level, he either needs to start swinging at fewer pitches outside of the strike zone or start making more contact on the pitches he is swinging at, otherwise he's going to always struggle with batting average and drawing enough walks to pump up his OBP.
Nevertheless, he's still just 22 years old, full of energy, learning from his time on the big league roster and getting better and better with every month that ticks off the calendar.
He was a highly touted prospect charged with establishing himself during a dramatic, downward spiral on a team in New York, which is never an easy task. That said, during the past month or so, and especially during the last week and a half, he's showing why everyone that watched him in the minor leagues believed he had the ability to be a dynamic, top-of-the-order hitter.
Rosario has shown flashes of realizing his potential, but has also understandably looked overmatched and slightly confused at times in the field. As I wrote a few weeks ago, he reminds me more and more of a young Jose Reyes, who similarly struggled at the start of his career with finding his footing. Reyes played with a similar reckless abandon, which is part of what made him so intriguing and also frustrating. It wasn't until Jose's third season, or around 120 or so games, that he started to find his role and develop a consistent presence on field.
Rosario just played the 163rd game of his career, during which he's hitting .247 with 10 HR and 0.8 WAR. This is significantly less than where Reyes was at a similar point in his career, let alone current, young, elite shortstops such as Carlos Correa and Francisco Lindor, who Rosario was often compared to when in Triple-A.
There is no rule or set path to becoming a star in MLB, though. And while Rosario may physically resemble the above players, he's his own 'snowflake,' and will develop at his own rate and become his own star.
For instance, whereas he was getting picked apart on inside pitches during the first three months of this season, Rosario is now striking out less and drawing more walks, while getting a tad more lucky on balls put in play. He's also improved his base running, which is a huge asset given his speed. Hits are finally starting to fall, and by combining all of the above we are finally getting a glimpse at the player we all felt Rosario could be...