Nathaniel 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:
“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…”
“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…”
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.