Looking At Mets’ LHP Pitching Prospect Steven Matz

steven matz

Matz displaying the changeup grip.

You’ve heard the name before, but 2013 was the first real look at the Mets’ LHP prospect Steven Matz due to him missing significant time recovering from arm injuries.

I recently named him as my Mets’ pitching prospect to watch in 2014, as he seems to be on a path to be named a top-five prospect very soon. When a scout finds a left-handed pitching prospect that bring an electric 95 mph fastball, it’s like a fisherman landing an 800 pound marlin. It’s easy to see why the Mets protected Matz from the Rule 5 Draft, and added him to the 40-man roster—every angler looking to hook an 800 pound marlin would have cast their line into the water.

Not many Mets fans have gotten a chance to see this young man pitch and see why everyone is so excited. Unless you live in the Savannah area, odds are you are limited to the one video that can be found on YouTube that shows Matz throwing about 15 pitches—some better than others.

This is the video from Bullpen Banter that was recorded back in early April, 2013:

It was recorded very early in the season, but I am going to analyze and share for you what I picked up in the video.

Mechanics

Whenever I look at a left-handed pitcher’s mechanics, I hold them up against Cliff Lee. There is some slight cause for concern with Matz’s mechanics, especially coming off significant arm injury in the past. The motion is smooth, but he cuts himself off during the follow-through which causes his arm to recoil back which puts strain on the upper arm. You can see how his arm recoils pretty violently in the video. He does a good job hiding the ball but working on the follow-through will also help him finish his pitches.

Fastball

This is a plus offering for Matz. He kept all the fastballs down in the zone in the video, which is where he will want to live as a pitcher. The command was a little shaky, but as I said earlier, this video was taken very early in the year. With more innings, the command will come. He wasn’t afraid to come inside on the right-handed hitters, and was very aggressive with his fastball which was very nice to see from a guy who brings a mid-90s heater.

Slider

There was only one or two sliders thrown in the video, and they were hung up in the zone. Luckily the batter fouled off one of the hangers, but as Matz pitches against upper-level hitters, they will turn those hangers into screamers. I have heard that Matz has scrapped the slider in favor of a more effective curve ball, but since he did not throw one in the video, I do not have a report on the effectiveness of the pitch.

Changeup

Matz throws a very solid changeup that has plus-potential. He used it very effectively against right-handed hitters in the video, keeping it on the outside of the plate. It has excellent movement—tailing away from the right-handed hitters/in on lefties. He used a nice combination of fastballs on the inside half, and changeups on the outside half to keep the hitters off-balance.

In all, Mets fans should definitely look for great things from Matz in 2014. It’s easy to see why he is creating a buzz and there is a ton of excitement building for the young fireballer again. He struck out over 28% of the batters he faced in 2013 and put up a FIP of 2.63, which is excellent. He will probably start the season in St. Lucie and be a nice replacement as the ace of the staff after Noah Syndergaard set St. Lucie ablaze in 2013.

Bold Prediction: Matz will breeze through St. Lucie and be promoted to Binghamton right around the All-Star break. After spending a month or two in Binghamton, since he is already on the 40-man, he will be a September call-up and pitch out of the bullpen for the Mets in 2014.

Two New York Mets Prospects To Watch In 2014

MiLB: April 29 - St. Lucie Mets at Tampa YankeesThere are two Mets prospects that I will be keeping a very close eye on in 2014, and I would suggest other Mets fans do the same.

It’s not Noah Syndergaard…it’s not Rafael Montero…nope, it’s not even Travis d’Arnaud.

The two Mets prospects everyone should be keeping an eye on in 2014 are T.J. Rivera and Dustin Lawley.

Everyone loves an underdog, and these guys bring something to the table that a lot of other prospects don’t—heart.

Lawley and Rivera are working hard to prove their worth in the Mets’ system after being Division II college ball players. Lawley was selected in the 19th round of the 2011 draft, and Rivera, well he wasn’t drafted at all.

These two men, as unlikely as it is, have established themselves as two of the top offensive threats in the Mets farm system. Lawley has shown off a tremendous amount of power and athleticism, working his way up to Triple-A in only his second full season in professional baseball. Rivera, however, has arguably been the Mets top producing middle infield prospect over the past three seasons.

The Mets continue to use high draft picks on middle infielders, and Rivera continues to outperform them all. One has to wonder when people will start to treat Rivera with the respect that he deserves, and not some undrafted free agent. Will this black eye ever go away?

Lawley, although moving through the system very quickly, also gets overlooked. For all the talk about Cesar Puello, it’s more than likely that Lawley makes his major league debut before Puello. In fact, there is a good chance that Lawley is called up some time during 2014 if he continues raking like landscapers in the middle of the fall.

Rivera’s case is a little more complex. He was asked to convert to hitting leadoff in 2013, which, I can attest, is not the easiest thing to do if you are used to hitting later in the lineup.

During my sophomore year of college, I was asked by my coach to move from right field to center field, and move from the No. 3 hole in the lineup to hitting leadoff. What ensued, was the worst slump I ever had. I was mired in a 1-for-20 spring trip before my coach moved me back to right field and the No. 3 spot in the lineup.

The two changes at once may have been the perfect storm for me. You may be asking why I am bringing up what I went through and how it applies to Rivera’s situation. Here’s why…

Rivera did a fantastic job in the leadoff role with St. Lucie in 2013, and his move to leadoff now has me wondering if this was a two-step process that could have him in the mix as a future leadoff hitting shortstop for the Mets in the very near future.

The Mets already had former second round pick, Matt Reynolds, playing shortstop for St. Lucie, so it was the optimal situation to make a two-step change with Rivera so that he wouldn’t be overwhelmed.

t.j. riveraSecond base is log jammed with talent in the Mets organization. They have Daniel Murphy at the big league level, Wilmer Flores waiting in the wings, and now Dilson Herrera has been added to the mix. On the other hand, shortstop is one of the thinnest positions in the Mets organization. The top shortstop prospects, Gavin Cecchini and Amed Rosario, have yet to play a full season of professional baseball.

Moving Rivera to shortstop isn’t the craziest of notions. The guy has played multiple professional games at shortstop, and the only way to see if this kid can be an everyday shortstop may be to test him out. If anyone can make the permanent transition, my money is on Rivera.

The only knock I hear when Rivera’s name is brought up is how his power numbers have dropped off from 2012 to 2013. There is no doubt in my mind that if you moved Rivera out of the leadoff spot, those power numbers would return. This is a guy that took the move to hitting leadoff seriously, and adjusted his game to be a successful leadoff hitter. He embraced the leadoff role, and excelled in it.

Rivera and Lawley—two guys we may see making their Citi Field debut sooner than later. Both are hard-working guys who seem motivated by having something to prove. The odds are against them, but rather than simply being happy with being able to call themselves professional ball players, they seem to want more than just that. They seem hungry. It makes them easy to root for, and with 2014 just a couple of days away, you might want to write those two names down as guys to watch next season if you haven’t done so already.

If you want to learn a bit more about these guys, watch the video attached below.

The Mets’ Offensive Philosophy and Discipline vs. Patience

wright murphy

The terms “discipline at the plate” and “patience at the plate” come up quite often when discussing hitters’ approaches at the plate—especially if you are a Mets fan. This notion that the organization is teaching their hitters to be more patient is a questionable one to say the least.

The two terms sound like they mean the same thing, but actually are quite different.

Patience refers to working a pitcher, seeing all his pitches, and waiting for the right pitch to jump on. The hitter basically is waiting for the pitcher to make a mistake. Some hitters excel using this strategy, while others flop. Patience naturally leads to a higher propensity to strike out, since you are taking at-bats into deep counts. The count itself is in the pitcher’s favor—three strikes versus four balls—which is more likely to occur?

You have to have an incredible amount of skill and mental toughness to hit using the strategy of patience. I would argue that this skill cannot even be taught. You either have what it takes to hit using this strategy, or you don’t.

Patience should be reserved for top-of-the-order hitters. The batting lineup is designed the way it is for a reason and is technically a division of labor. The top two hitters’ jobs are to work the pitchers and get on base. The middle-of-the-order hitters’ jobs are to drive in the top-of-the-order guys. The tail end of the lineup is generally reserved for defensive minded players, so not much is expected.

You cannot force your 3-4-5 hitter to be patient at the plate. Patience is not a strategy that can be forced on every player and that is why speed is not the only determining factor for guys hitting at the top of the order. Those middle-order hitters should show good plate discipline, but not be patient.

Discipline at the plate is the ability of the hitter to lay off pitches that are close, only swinging at pitches in the strike zone. This can be taught to hitters, and as they gain more experience at the plate, their plate discipline will improve. Of course, as with everything else, some hitters are better than others in this area.

If the Mets were teaching their hitters to have advanced plate discipline, I would think that is a sound strategy. However, forcing hitters to be more patient could turn very skilled top draft picks into career minor leaguers and wash outs.

Baseball America recently listed Brandon Nimmo as having the best strike-zone discipline in the organization. He walked 71 times in 110 games played, good for a 14.8% walk rate. However, Nimmo also struck out 27.3% of the time. After looking at the stats, I would argue with Baseball America that Nimmo is patient at the plate, but doesn’t necessarily have good plate discipline due to the amount he strikes out.

Nimmo’s stats in 2013 would have me believe the Mets should be grooming him for a leadoff spot in the lineup. He has a solid walk rate and on base percentage, and the speed to be a solid table setter in the future. But his strike out rate leads one to believe that he swings at pitches out of the strike-zone too often.

Now let’s look at a couple of guys in the Mets organization that have excellent plate discipline—Kevin Plawecki and Jayce Boyd.

kevin plaweckiPlawecki should have earned the honors of best strike-zone discipline from Baseball America. Plawecki only struck out 8.8% of the time in 2013 with St. Lucie, and for his career, he is a guy that has only struck out about 10% of the time. He doesn’t walk as much, but his low strike out rate is a tell-tale sign of excellent plate discipline. Jayce Boyd is another guy that has about an 11% career strikeout rate but also earns walks at a similar clip.

Boyd and Plawecki both had better wOBA than Nimmo in 2013 as well. This is a more accurate way to determine offensive value than OBP.

So which is better to have, strike-zone discipline or patience at the plate?

The answer is that it depends on what slot in the batting order the hitter is in. For my one and two hitters, I would prefer them to be more patient. I want them to get on base as much as possible, see as many pitches as possible so the heart of my order gets a good look at what the pitcher is bringing which also gets the pitcher tired. We know this comes with a higher propensity to strike out, but it’s a necessary evil.

The rest of the guys in the batting order should have good plate discipline. This means that they aren’t swinging at pitches out of the strike-zone, and not giving away at-bats.

In an article by Mike Puma in the New York Post last April, the title read GM’s Message Gets Through as Mets’ Plate Patience Paying Off.

Dave Hudgens stated in the article that “if you see 150 pitches a game, there is a good chance you are going to win.” Sorry, but seeing 150 pitches in a game doesn’t mean anything if it doesn’t generate runs. If this is so, then why don’t the Mets make the playoffs? Is it because other teams are more patient?

Sandy Alderson goes on to say in that same article that “It’s getting a good pitch to hit, and these guys are sorting through the pitches they are seeing to get something to hit. That approach is what really made us successful offensively in 2011 and the first half of 2012, and then we lost the approach. We couldn’t generate any offense in the second half of last year.”

In other words, Alderson and the Mets’ philosophy is taking the bat out of the hitters’ hands. They have the hitters waiting around for the beach ball to come down the middle of the plate or the pitcher to make a mistake. But what happens if the pitcher makes a mistake on the first pitch? What happens when that meatball comes down Broadway and you have trained your hitters like Pavlov’s dog to see a ton of pitches? Or better yet, what if that golden pitch never even comes?

wright and wilponDavid Wright has a much better idea of what the philosophy should be, and what he describes is a hitter having good plate discipline and not necessarily patience: “You want kind of a controlled aggressive,” Wright said. “If you get a good pitch early in the count, we want you to pull the trigger, but you can’t go up there with the idea of trying to draw a walk. I think that’s the result of having a good at-bat and having a plan.”

Thank goodness he understands. It’s probably why he performs so much better than the rest of the team offensively.

The Mets were tied for third in the major leagues with strike outs in 2013—1384 total. That number was good for one in every four at-bats. The Mets also had the sixth-lowest OBP in baseball last season (.306).

What that means is that being patient for the Mets, is not attributing to the team getting on base more, or scoring more runs. Trying to force the philosophy on players is not going to make it work.

A smart man that runs a team will evaluate the players on the roster, and then adapt a strategy that is best for those given players. This is why teams with lesser talent sometimes break through and have outstanding seasons. The Mets offensive philosophy cannot be unilateral. If you force Robert Griffin III to be a pocket passer, he won’t be as effective of a player—if you want a pocket passer you draft or trade for one.

The same rules apply in baseball. The Mets need to build an offensive philosophy around the players they have on the roster and not expect everyone to just be able to conform because they have proclaimed this as the philosophy. Either they adapt the philosophy to the current players, or bring in the players that will fit with the philosophy. That is the only solution.

While I know there is disdain amongst the fan base with regards to players who get walks, keep in mind that seven out of the top ten teams in the league in walks made the postseason in 2013. While the Mets’ team philosophy may not be the best fit for the current players on the roster, they may be on to something with regards to walks and plate discipline which contributes to overall team success.

Rafael Montero Is Even Better Than Everyone Thinks

montero

Rafael Montero is good. This isn’t breaking news. But with how quickly his name comes up in trade talks makes me wonder if people truly understand how good he really is.

Let’s be honest—unless you subscribe to MilbTv, or live in one of the areas where Montero has played the past couple of years, it’s safe to say that most people have never seen him pitch. What they know about Montero comes from the limited footage that can be found on YouTube, or from reading their favorite baseball sites.

I’m here to tell everyone that Montero should not be looked at as a trade chip (unless it’s an offer that the Mets can’t refuse). He’s a keeper.

I’m not going to give an in-depth breakdown of why Montero is so good. Mets fans know what he brings to the table. But what I will do is add some reasons for you to take into consideration that will make you realize that Montero is, in fact, better than we think.

Not wasting any time, let’s look at what Montero did for Las Vegas, last season. As you probably already know, Las Vegas plays their games in the Pacific Coast League (PCL), which is generally known as a “hitter’s league.” When pitchers are assigned to the PCL, they know in advance that their sexy stat lines won’t be so sexy anymore.

Pitching in the PCL can alter the way pitchers pitch. Knowing that it’s a hitter’s paradise, pitchers try to stay away from pitching over the fat parts of the plate. By doing this, they tend to walk more batters. As they walk more batters, they are forced to keep their pitches in the hitter’s red zones, and hitters begin to tee-off. It’s sort of a lose-lose situation. This is something to keep in mind when looking at Zack Wheeler‘s roller coaster performance in Vegas last season.

Speaking of Wheeler, let’s look at what he did last season in Las Vegas. He pitched 68.2 innings, compiling a 9.57 K/9, 3.54 BB/9, 1.18 HR/9, 71.1% LOB, 2.89 BABIP, and 4.04 FIP. The average FIP for a pitcher in Triple-A was 4.31 back in 2012 (2013 number was not available). This average takes into account the International League and the PCL. While the average FIP changes every season, you can see that Wheeler is pretty close to average with regards to his FIP.

Now let’s look at Montero’s numbers from Las Vegas. He pitched in 88.2 innings, compiling a 7.92 K/9, 2.54 BB/9, 0.41 HR/9, 71.8% LOB, .316 BABIP, and 2.87 FIP. According to Fangraphs, 2.9 is an excellent FIP—Montero is slightly below that.  That’s probably based on the major leagues, and Montero put up an excellent FIP in a hitter-happy league. In fact, among pitchers who pitched a minimum of 80 innings in the PCL last season, Montero had the third-best FIP in the league. His FIP was better than prominent pitching prospects Tyler Skaggs, Michael Wacha, and of course, Zack Wheeler.

Here is a look at how Montero stacked up statistically against the other prominent pitching prospects mentioned in the previous paragraph:

Screen Shot 2013-11-24 at 3.49.23 PM

Table created on Fangraphs.com.

After looking at these numbers, why would you want to trade Montero? Amongst the top prospects listed above (all in the PCL in 2013), he has the best FIP, second-best ERA, second-lowest BB/9, the lowest HR/9, second-best BB%, and his LOB% was second-best as well.

While other pitchers’ numbers tend to hit a downward trajectory in the PCL, Montero didn’t skip a beat. While other pitchers try to pitch around hitters in the PCL, Montero kept coming at them, and won the majority of the battles. Heck, his numbers stack up against some of the top pitching prospects in the game.

The results can only mean one thing: Montero is better than we all think.

You can make a strong case that the Mets should save their money with regards to pitching this off-season, and give Montero a spot in the rotation in 2014. The team can then use that money they would have spent on a stop-gap pitcher, and focus on attaining bats, which they so desperately need.

Unfortunately that won’t happen. I would hope a trade involving Montero is unlikely as well.

The team will probably start Montero in Las Vegas once again in 2014. But one thing is for sure, Mets fans will see Montero at Citi Field this coming season.

The New York Mets And Their Mysterious Arizona Fall League Strategy

AFL13

I always thought that the Arizona Fall League was a place where teams sent their top prospects to play against the top prospects of other teams. The reasoning behind this is to get them playing against the best competition available, which would be beneficial to their development. In fact, on the AFL official website, it states “given the top prospects who play here, every game in the AFL is like a future All-Star Game. It’s a definite destination for baseball fans and families who want to see great action on the diamond.”

Most teams send a wide range of prospects, but the majority of them rank in the top 20 of their organizations. The stands are packed with scouts who are all their to see and evaluate. This season, the AFL features Byron Buxton, who many consider the top prospect in all of baseball. In previous years, we have seen Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Albert Pujols, David Wright, and many other top players in the game grace the AFL fields in October.

The question is why do the Mets continue to use this league as an extension of the regular season for players that missed time, rather than send their top prospects?

Hansel Robles is the highest ranked prospect that was sent to the AFL this season. Robles is currently ranked as the Mets’ No. 20 prospect on MLB.com, but depending on who you ask, that ranking could be lower. Don’t get me wrong, the five players they sent are nice players, but they aren’t considered the cream of the crop.

I had a brief discussion with Metsblog’s Michael Baron on Twitter yesterday, and we both have differing views on what the AFL is about. He argued that it was a way for the Mets to get the players they sent extra at-bats since they missed time due to injuries, and to further evaluate players. I argued that while it is about evaluating players, the AFL is supposed to be reserved for the top talent in the minor leagues.

The Mets obviously side with Baron’s idea of what the AFL is all about, while the majority of other teams in baseball seem to side with my view.

cory vaughn

If it were up to me, I would be sending guys like Kevin Plawecki, Jayce Boyd, and T.J. Rivera to see what they can do against upper-echelon prospects of other teams. I would also had sent Cesar Puello.

Having these guys play against other top players would be incredibly beneficial to their development, and a way for the Mets to showcase some of their top talent.

Unfortunately, a lot of the Mets top talent is still in the lower levels of the minors, and you can only send one player that is below Double-A to participate in the AFL.

I scratched my head when I saw the players that the Mets sent this year. I understand that with strict innings limitations, they are limited with the pitchers they can send. I understand sending Cory Vaughn, but if they are trying to get players that were injured during the season more time, then why not send guys like Travis d’Arnaud, Brandon Nimmo, and Michael Fulmer? Those guys could all use the extra work and they fit the bill of being top prospects in the organization.

While fans of other teams in baseball get to watch their teams’ top prospects playing AFL games on MLB Network, Mets fans get to watch players that the Mets send to get more at-bats. The Mets must’ve missed the memo that “every game in the AFL is like a future All-Star Game.” The AFL is a showcase league, and the Mets can’t even get that right.

Latest Fangraphs’ Scouting Report On Mets’ Prospect Amed Rosario

german ahmed rosarioNathaniel Stotltz, of Fangraphs, did an excellent scouting report on the very talented Amed Rosario. Rosario is a shortstop that many consider to be one of the top prospects in the organization. Extremely young and raw, he’s still 17 (18 this month), he was tabbed as the Appalachian League’s top prospect in 2013.

Here are some highlights regarding what Stoltz said about Rosario:

Defensively

“While it’s too early to say that he’ll definitively stick at shortstop–so much of that depends on how his body evolves–it’s safe to say that Rosario will have some defensive value. At worst, he’s probably an average defensive third baseman…”

Offensively

“A major part of the problem is Rosario’s tendency to lose his posture during his swing, extending his hands too far and leaning out at the ball…”

“In the home run clip, Rosario stays very stable and upright, allowing his hands to rip through the hitting zone and sting the ball. Here, his right shoulder is dipping down all the way through the swing, giving him less explosion through the ball and looping underneath it. It’s obviously very tough to do anything with inside pitches from this position, and when Rosario dips his shoulder like this, he’s cutting off a lot of the advantages that his quick hands give him.

Thankfully, this is very fixable, and Rosario has years to fix it. If he can be more consistent in his posture and cut out the shoulder movement, his bat speed should play more consistently and make him above-average in both contact and power…”

“Like most young hitters, Rosario will occasionally get over aggressive and pull off the ball…”

“It seems that most of Rosario’s contact to the left side is on the ground, whereas his line drives and fly balls come to center and right…”

My Thoughts

Stotltz hits the nail on the head with this scouting report. I would have liked for him to expand a little more on what may be causing these issues, but he does a great job nonetheless.

Rosario is young–most kids that are turning 18 are seniors in high school. It’s not completely out of the ordinary to see young hitters dipping their shoulders trying to make contact with outside pitches and off-speed pitches. This is why he flares a lot of hits to right field.

It’s also not out of the ordinary to see young hitters try to pull outside pitches. This will cause a ton of ground balls to the left side of the infield, which is shown in Rosario’s spray chart.

A lot of Rosario’s problems are due to pitch recognition. As he gains more experience, he will recognize the pitch better and be able to stay on top of the ball and drive it to the opposite field.

Stotlz hints to another red flag that Rosario is having trouble with pitch recognition where he states “watch how long Rosario waits before he starts his swing. He has very impressive bat speed, and thus can sit back on pitches for much of their flight path and still get his bat to the ball.” Rosario is likely waiting longer to start his swing because he is having trouble recognizing what pitch is being thrown.

He will get jammed a lot, as this leaves him vulnerable on the inner-half, but it is not something I would be overly concerned about. If Rosario is still having these issues in two years, then I would start to worry. Minor mechanical issues aside, Rosario is a kid that Mets fans should definitely keep their eye on over the next couple of years.

Latest Fangraphs’ Scouting Report On Mets’ Prospect Amed Rosario

german ahmed rosarioNathaniel Stotltz, of Fangraphs, did an excellent scouting report on the very talented Amed Rosario. Rosario is a shortstop that many consider to be one of the top prospects in the organization. Extremely young and raw, he’s still 17 (18 this month), he was tabbed as the Appalachian League’s top prospect in 2013.

Here are some highlights regarding what Stoltz said about Rosario:

Defensively

“While it’s too early to say that he’ll definitively stick at shortstop–so much of that depends on how his body evolves–it’s safe to say that Rosario will have some defensive value. At worst, he’s probably an average defensive third baseman…”

Offensively

“A major part of the problem is Rosario’s tendency to lose his posture during his swing, extending his hands too far and leaning out at the ball…”

“In the home run clip, Rosario stays very stable and upright, allowing his hands to rip through the hitting zone and sting the ball. Here, his right shoulder is dipping down all the way through the swing, giving him less explosion through the ball and looping underneath it. It’s obviously very tough to do anything with inside pitches from this position, and when Rosario dips his shoulder like this, he’s cutting off a lot of the advantages that his quick hands give him.

Thankfully, this is very fixable, and Rosario has years to fix it. If he can be more consistent in his posture and cut out the shoulder movement, his bat speed should play more consistently and make him above-average in both contact and power…”

“Like most young hitters, Rosario will occasionally get over aggressive and pull off the ball…”

“It seems that most of Rosario’s contact to the left side is on the ground, whereas his line drives and fly balls come to center and right…”

My Thoughts

Stotltz hits the nail on the head with this scouting report. I would have liked for him to expand a little more on what may be causing these issues, but he does a great job nonetheless.

Rosario is young–most kids that are turning 18 are seniors in high school. It’s not completely out of the ordinary to see young hitters dipping their shoulders trying to make contact with outside pitches and off-speed pitches. This is why he flares a lot of hits to right field.

It’s also not out of the ordinary to see young hitters try to pull outside pitches. This will cause a ton of ground balls to the left side of the infield, which is shown in Rosario’s spray chart.

A lot of Rosario’s problems are due to pitch recognition. As he gains more experience, he will recognize the pitch better and be able to stay on top of the ball and drive it to the opposite field.

Stotlz hints to another red flag that Rosario is having trouble with pitch recognition where he states “watch how long Rosario waits before he starts his swing. He has very impressive bat speed, and thus can sit back on pitches for much of their flight path and still get his bat to the ball.” Rosario is likely waiting longer to start his swing because he is having trouble recognizing what pitch is being thrown.

He will get jammed a lot, as this leaves him vulnerable on the inner-half, but it is not something I would be overly concerned about. If Rosario is still having these issues in two years, then I would start to worry. Minor mechanical issues aside, Rosario is a kid that Mets fans should definitely keep their eye on over the next couple of years.