Amed Rosario didn’t really have the breakout year anyone was hoping for in 2018. His minor league career suggested a hitter with the capability to hit around .300 with a .350 OBP which made his .256 AVG and .295 OBP all the more disappointing. Nevertheless, a middle-infielder who steals 24 bases is someone to keep an eye on in all formats.
Rosario’s season was a tale of two halves. In 90 games before the All-Star break he slashed .246/.289/.379 with discouraging counting stats across the board: 4 HR, 23 RBI, 33 R and 6 SB (with 5 CS). In the second half, however, something seemed to click for the young Mets SS. In the 63 games he bumped up his slash line to .268/.302/.383 and beat all of his first half counting stats: 5 HR, 28 RBI, 43 R, 18 SB (6 CS).
Rosario showed that he can provide some fantasy value with a strong finish in 2018, but there are some serious red flags to his game. His chase rate is an absurdly high 41.2% for someone who doesn’t have much power potential – second only to Javier Baez’ 45.5% among shortstops. Rosario is an aggressive hitter, he gets a hack off against 53.8% of pitches, which would be fine if he was attacking the right pitches.
The problem is that among the same list of shortstops he only ranks 10th in swing rate against pitches in the zone at 69.4% (sandwiched between Nick Ahmed and Freddy Galvis). So, he swings at more pitches outside the zone than most, swings at fewer pitches inside the zone than most and just to top it all off he has a 12.9% swinging-strike rate so he whiffs more than most too.
We have seen a small sample of what Rosario can do, the question is whether or not he will build on it. Can he make adjustments to limit his chase-rate? Can he start attacking more pitches in the zone? Now may not be the time to invest in Rosario, but he is a name to watch closely in Spring Training and early next season.