Rosario, 17, was signed by the Mets as an International Free Agent last July for $1.75 million.
In 226 plate appearances over 56 games this year for Kingsport, Rosario hit .241 with a .279 OBP. He hit 3 home runs, scored 22 runs, and drove in 23.
A quick glance at his stats this year would make someone wonder why Baseball America is so high on him. Here’s why…
At 17 years old, Rosario was the youngest player in the Appalachian League. He’s being ranked on his tools and projection, not the numbers he produced this year over a small sample size in his professional debut.
According to Baseball America, Rosario is already an elite defender at shortstop (plus range and plus arm). Offensively, scouts believe that Rosario has 20-25 home run power (one scout thinks he can be a star), and plus speed.
Here’s what Baseball America had to say about Rosario a few days before the Mets signed him last year:
Rosario might be the most divisive player in Latin America. He has a long, lanky build, good bat speed and raw power in batting practice along with average speed. Some scouts like Rosario enough to have him ranked as the top prospect in the Dominican Republic, seeing him as a true shortstop with power who can hit in games. Supporters like his fielding instincts, hands, arm strength and ability to make the barehanded play.
Other scouts see an upright hitter with a leg kick that gets him out on his front foot against offspeed stuff and leads to strikeouts with his uppercut stroke. His body has a lot of room to fill out, so he may end up at third base, but some scouts aren’t sold on his infield actions and see him as a corner outfielder.
Scouts are united in their appreciation of Rosario’s makeup…if a team sees a true shortstop with an impact bat, Rosario could end up the highest-paid player in the Dominican Republic.
Rosario will likely play in extended spring training next year, before being assigned to short-season Brooklyn (A). Some scouts believe he could skip short-season ball and be assigned to Low-A Savannah, but I wouldn’t peg that as being likely.