It is extremely frustrating that we have a Gold Glove, All-Star-caliber second baseman on the roster, who unfortunately will be playing third base in 2020. I kind of understand having to take on Robinson Cano and his $96,000,000 over the next four seasons in order to get Edwin Diaz last winter.
Diaz was so dominant in 2018 and I was very excited to bring him on board. But between Mickey Callaway’s misuse and Diaz’s inability to handle the New York pressure, we all saw how that trade turned out in 2019. I will talk more about that when I get to discussing the bullpen.
Back to second base, I do hope that Robinson Cano can prove in 2020 that his career is not tainted by his 2018 PED suspension, can stay healthy and productive for the entire season, and maybe show a little more hustle running the bases.
All that being said, I still don’t understand why second base has been such a problem position historically for the Mets. It doesn’t help that we continue to bring in players way past their prime to play the position, in hopes that they are going to produce as they did while still in their prime (ala Roberto Alomar and Carlos Baerga).
It is time for Amed Rosario to hit the classroom, the baseball classroom. The man has all the tools needed to be one of the best shortstops in the game but seems to lack the baseball IQ to put all the tools together and go from a promising player to a great player.
So what can he do to get to that next level?
First, he needs to learn to more closely study the hitters of the National League. For someone with so much raw speed, he should have plus range and be able to cover from deep in the shortstop hole to past the second base bag on the first base side.
But based on my observations from the last couple of years, too many ground balls just get past his glove and roll into the outfield. He seems to always get a late jump on the ball off the bat.
This must drive the pitchers crazy and I think learning more about the hitters’ tendencies and having better defensive placement should help with this problem. It is crazy to think that a player like Derek Jeter, who had limited range and less speed, seemed to cover more ground than Rosario.
On the offensive side of the ball, Rosario needs to significantly improve his plate discipline. I am not saying he needs to walk 100 times, but there are still too many at-bats where he looks completely lost at the plate and strikes out on three bad pitches out of the strike zone.
Looking at his 2019 stats, someone with Rosario’s speed should be able to steal 25 plus bases and score 100 runs with his eyes closed. He didn’t do either and in 2019 Rosario did not even score 80 runs and led the league in caught stealing. If he can improve in both of those areas, he can really add another dimension to the Mets offense.