The New York Mets have reportedly discussed the idea of moving shortstop Amed Rosario to center field at some point. Is this really the right thing to do?
In a recent article published by the New York Post, the idea surfaces that the New York Mets have had internal discussions about moving Amed Rosario to center field. Although they ensure that this idea is far from happening, the notion creates a mixed bag of potential.
With only about a month and a half left in the season, the Mets have a lot of questions to answer going into 2019. Yoenis Cespedes is expected to miss half the season next year, leaving the outfield front and center on their to-do list.
Experimenting with putting Rosario in center field is an intriguing concept. There are reasons why it could work, but there are also reasons why it wouldn’t be necessary.
Rosario is definitely talented enough to play center field. His athletic ability and speed should allow him to cover most outfield parks in the major leagues. The benefit of moving him now is it would allow him to acclimate and get used to tracking down fly balls. Another reason why the move could work is that of the potential log jam coming soon in the infield.
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The new top overall prospect for the Mets Andres Gimenez was promoted to Double-A last month. Gimenez was once considered all glove and no offense until he broke out this season offensively hitting for a .282 average and an OBP of .348 in 86 games for the Single-A Saint Lucie Mets. He also added 6 home runs and 30 RBI’s. He’s kept his bat going as he’s hitting .317 in 17 games played in Binghamton.
The combination of Gimenez and a potential new second baseman would make Rosario the odd man out. Jeff McNeil is trying to keep the second base job in his grasp as other names are also available on the free agent market this offseason. It is not clear what the Mets will do with the second base. But should they choose to keep McNeil or sign a new one, Rosario is left without a spot.
Rosario playing center would allow Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo to return to playing the corner outfield spots. The three of them together could provide the Mets with a very good defensive outfield for years to come. Center field is also a position where the Mets do not really have a prospect waiting in the wings. Newly drafted Jarred Kelenic got off to a hot start in rookie ball but is still ways away from making his big league debut.
The other options for the Mets in center field would most likely be defense first options like Juan Lagares or potential fits like Austin Jackson. If Rosario can stay consistent at the plate enough and learn some more plate discipline, it could give them a true leadoff hitter.
On the flip side, moving Rosario to center could also be a waste of time. After all, Nimmo plays a good defensive center field. With Jay Bruce being under contract there may not even be a spot for Rosario in the outfield next year.
Plus, even though Gimenez is lighting it up, realistically his timeline is still maybe a year or two away.
If they did move Rosario to center now it would also make the Mets look for a stop-gap option at shortstop during free agency while Gimenez continues to develop. It is worth noting though that such players are available such as Freddy Galvis and former Met Asdrubal Cabrera.
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Whatever the Mets decide to do Rosario in the final months of the season it’ll sure be interesting to see.