This offseason we went a different way with our New York Mets Top Prospect list. We are starting with our #1 and ending with our #30 prospect here on MMO and #100 on MetsMinors.net.
Overall in 2016, the Mets system had a great year when it comes to developing young talent, drafted players you will see in the Top 30, and a few guys that had breakout seasons placing them in our countdown.
So we will start of with our #1 prospect and to nobody’s surprise it’s shortstop Amed Rosario.
#1 Amed Rosario
Ht: 6’2″ Wt: 170 Level: Hi-A St. Lucie Mets & Double-A Binghamton Mets
B/T: R/R Age: 11/20/95 (21) Age Dif: -4.3
Acquired: Signed July 2nd, 2012 out of the Dominican Republic for a $1.75 million signing bonus.
Last Year: #2
2016 Statistics: 120 G, 479 AB, 65 R, 155 H, 24 2B, 13 3B, 5 HR, 71 RBI, 19 SB, .324/.374/.459
When the Mets signed Amed Rosario to a franchise record $1.75 million signing bonus, they knew they had something special and challenged him right away by assigning their new Dominican prospect stateside to begin his professional career. At just 17 years old,
Rosario held his own with the Kingsport Mets (RL) in 2013, where the average player was 3.5 years older than him. He batted .241/.279/.358 in 58 games for the K-Mets while collecting eight doubles, four triples and three homers and driving in 23 runs. It was a solid debut for their new teenage sensation who was wowing scouts with his defensive prowess at shortstop.
In 2014, Rosario continued his growth with the Brooklyn Cyclones (SS). Now 18, he saw his batting line grow to an impressive .289/.337/.380 in 68 games while playing mostly against other team’s top draft picks. He also showed off better base running skills with seven stolen bases while getting caught three times after only two steals and six caught stealing during his pro debut. Rosario was learning to steal and to recognize the strike zone, as his walks were up as well.
The Mets were so impressed by their young shortstop that they decided to have Rosario begin the 2015 season with the St. Lucie Mets (Adv-A) despite spending only a week at Low-A the previous season. He played 103 games for St. Lucie in his first full season as a pro and posted a decent stat line of .257/.307/.335 in the pitching friendly Florida State League. Rosario collected 20 doubles and five triples without hitting a home run and would also make his Double-A debut after a surprising late-season promotion, going 3-for-20 in five games including three in the playoffs. The average player at Binghamton was 5-5 years older than Rosario.
In his third full season as a pro, Rosario had his breakout offensive season in 2016. He started the season with the St. Lucie Mets, playing 66 games in High-A before he was promoted to Double-A again in June.
In St. Lucie, Rosario hit .309/.359/.442 with three home runs and 40 runs batted in. Rosario batted third and thrived in that role. In Double-A, Rosario had even more success, hitting .341/.392/.481 with the Binghamton Mets and he teamed up with fellow top prospect Dominic Smith to form a lethal 3-4 combination in the lineup. Rosario posted career highs in all major categories in 2016 and saw his stock rise in all the major prospect rankings.
This season was an exciting one for Rosario who began to tap into his vast potential. We saw the power in his bat as he hit five home runs, 24 doubles and tied for the minor league lead with 13 triples. Rosario has a quick swing, strong wrists and excellent hand-eye coordination which helps him hit the ball to all fields with authority. He learned to pull the ball for more power as four of his five home runs went to the pull side.
The only blip on the radar for Rosario this season, was the rise in his strikeout totals as the season drew to an end, striking out 34 times in his last 28 games. But in his defense, Rosario was the youngest player in the league and was now seeing a much better caliber of breaking stuff than he had at any point in his young career.
On the defensive side, Rosario has always had the talent to be a plus defender. He has quick hands, superb instincts and a great arm as he plays a near flawless shortstop.
Mike Mayer says:
Two biggest holes I see in Rosario’s game right now is staying back on ground balls and relying on his arm to throw runners out, that won’t fly all the time in the majors or even Triple-A. On the offensive side, he still gets a little long with his swing which is the reason for the high strikeout rate towards the end of the season.
These flaws for Rosario are minimal and won’t hold him back from being the Mets shortstop of the future long-term and possibly in the near future. With Asdrubal Cabrera playing in the WBC, we should get to see Rosario a fair amount with the major league club during spring training.
Rosario is the total package and a great prospect for Mets fans to look forward to. He could start in Binghamton, but I hope he will start in Las Vegas as the 51s every day shortstop. The Mets have said that Rosario could play some third to improve his versatility. It’s possible we will see the first glimpse of him in Citi Field during the 2017 season when rosters expand in September.