The Mets are satisfied with what they have seen so far from Amed Rosario, Mets assistant GM John Ricco recently said.
"He's a young player who is certainly doing more than hold his own at the big-league level, but I think in the future as he gets his feet under him, you're going to see better and better things," Ricco told The Record's Matt Ehalt. "He's a young player in the big league who's learning but also competing.'
I can't say that I'm satisfied with the 81 games that he's played to date, but I still see plenty of potential and understand why he was the game's top prospect just a year ago.
By doubling what he's done during his career, which just so happens to result in 162 games, he nets out to be a .240 hitter, with a sub-.300 OBP, 8 HR, 40 RBI, 20 doubles and 0.4 WAR.
Rosario is on pace to finish this season among the least productive shortstops in the league. Similarly, his career .365 slugging percentage is 24th among shortstops with more than 200 at-bats since he was promoted August 1 last season.
At the same time, it's just 81 games, he's 22 years old, and playing on the biggest stage in the world. With all due respect to Francisco Lindor and Carlos Correa, Rosario isn't debuting in Cleveland or Houston. Rosario entered the big leagues as the game's top prospect in a market where teams are expected to be a postseason contender even when people don't believe they can be.
It's not as easy task. Just ask Xander Bogaerts, who entered the league at 20 years old and had the same number of hits as Rosario through 81 career games, during which he was scrutinized by Boston fans for not instantly meeting expectations.
Bogaerts, now 25 years old, is one of the league's premier shortstops, already with 1.0 WAR this season despite playing in just 25 games after starting the season on the disabled list.
Rosario clearly has the physical ability to be just as productive as Lindor, Correa, or Bogaerts. He has a knack for turning singles in to extra bases, he has good instincts, and he's incredibly quick with his feet as well as his hands. I can see why he was a highly-touted prospect.
Unfortunately, he seems incapable of drawing walks and he has yet to show any sort of consistent power. The thing is, he's better than this. He's just doing it slowly and not in a dramatic way.
"He's a maturing, young hitter that's starting to command the strike zone better and I think he's starting to come in and find out what his potential is," hitting coach Pat Roessler said last week in Cincinnati. "I think he's got a lot of room for growth. While some rookies might be close to finished products, he's got some room for growth and we know that."
The fact is, in the last month, Rosario is not chasing as many pitches out of the strike zone and he's making more contact. And, the balls he is hitting are being hit with more force and in the air.
My hunch is that he's going to see a significant boost in power in the second half of this season. And, when all is said and done, he'll net out around 5-10 home runs, 20-30 doubles and a .250-or-so batting average, which will be a more than acceptable second half and a great jumping off point for next season and what I believe will be a fun career...
Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is lead writer of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. He also hosts the MetsBlog Podcast, which you can subscribe to here. His new book, The New York Mets Fans' Bucket List, details 44 things every Mets fan should experience during their lifetime. To check it out, click here!