Earlier this week, the Mets reassigned their two highest-rated position prospects -- SS Amed Rosario and 1B Dominic Smith -- to Minor League camp, reducing the number of players in big-league camp competing to be on the Opening Day roster.
Mets manager Terry Collins later said that while Smith may be in need of more work, Rosario is very capable of making his big-league debut with the Mets this season.
"I don't think there's any question," he stated.
I agree, TC. I don't think it's guaranteed to happen, but I do think there's a chance.
Rosario (61) throws to first during spring training at Champion Stadium. Credit: Dill-USA TODAY Sports
If everyone on the 25-man roster is healthy and performing, Rosario and Smith will likely stay put at Triple-A where they can get consistent playing time. However, if, say, Lucas Duda is forced to miss a month or two at the same time Wilmer Flores or Jay Bruce is needed at another position, the Mets might be forced to promote Smith.
Similarly, if Asdrubal Cabrera ends up injured, while Jose Reyes is needed at third base and Flores is needed at first base or second base, Rosario would likely be tapped to handle shortstop.
In the meantime, if you're a fan of Rosario, you'll still likely see him get at-bats during Grapefruit League games, despite being cut from big-league camp. For instance, Smith was cut a few days earlier and ended up playing in Tuesday's game against the Astros.
Smith, who is considered the organization's second-best prospect, according to MLB.com, is hitting .194 with a .324 OBP and four RBI in 31 at-bats and 17 games this sping.
"He is an extraordinarily disciplined, calm hitter," ESPN.com's Keith Law recently said of Smith. "There's still untapped power here, but given the progress Smith has already made in games this year, I expect 20-plus homers from him this year or next."
Dominic Smith (74) takes a practice swing before batting practice in St. Lucie (Photo: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)
Meanwhile, Rosario was ranked among the five-best prospects in baseball this spring, according to lists published by MLB.com, ESPN and FanGraphs.
In 30 at-bats and 14 games during Grapefruit League action this March, Rosario hit .267 with a .267 OBP, one double and three RBIs, while making several impressive plays in the field.
"I think he's got a chance to be a great player," Collins concluded. "He's got great poise, he plays with energy, he's got tremendous hands, he's got arm strength. He showed it in batting practice, but he didn't show it in the games -- he's got great power. He's got a chance to be really, really good."
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. He recently left his position as Executive Editor and Dir. of Digital Content for SNY.TV to help sports brands build their own digital content businesses...