Updated by Joe D. at 1:25 PM on 3/28
An astounding revelation by Andy Martino of the Daily News today, and repeated by Matt Cerrone from the mountaintop that is MetsBlog.
This may came as a shock to all of you, but apparently Ruben Tejada is not the Mets shortstop of the future. I’ll give you a few minutes to get up from the floor and compose yourselves.
But seriously, if anyone thought that Tejada was anything other than the shortstop of the present, you may want to reserve a spot at the exclusive Bellevue Resort and Health Spa.
I mean come on people, this is not rocket science.
You can read some real analysis and insight about the future of the Mets shortstop position below. Or you can check out some other fine original Metsmerized pieces on our shortstops of the future here:
- Mets SS Prospect Gavin Cecchini, More Than Meets The Eye
- Prospect Pulse: Analyzing Mets Shortstop Prospect Philip Evans
The Other Shortstop Of The Future: German Ahmed Rosario
I know, from many people on and outside this site, that many Met fans aren’t that content with Gavin Cecchini, no matter how much I argue for him. Turns out, he’s not the only Mets Minor League shortstop getting a lot of attention in Spring Training. In fact, the Mets are humming with praise for German Ahmed Rosario.
As I was walking through the backfields on Sunday, trying to get the scoop on players, I started to ask around about Rosario and was very pleased with the enthusiasm about the International signee coming from people in the Mets front office as well as his coaches.
While watching Gavin Cecchini at the plate, there was Rosario waiting for his turn to bat against the St. Louis Cardinals’ farmhands.
I talked to one of his coaches, and the conversation went like this.
“Hey, I’d like to ask you about your shortstop.”
“Who Cecchini? No, I get it, you want to hear about Rosario.”
“Rosario was signed at the July 2nd deadline last year as a shortstop out of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. He signed for a record $1.75 million dollars, and looks as though he’s worth every penny. He is the Mets 20th ranked prospect, according to MLB.com, but he’s only that low due to his lack of experience.”
I asked the coach what he meant:
“He’s a great kid, and he reminds me of Juan Gonzalez with the swing. He can hit for power, but is still very far away.”
I asked a team official about Rosario as well, and he told me, “We like Rosario a lot, he can run, he can hit, and he can hit for power. He’s also very smart too. His father is a Judge in the Dominican Republic.”
Baseball America adds the following to that particular backstory:
“Rosario graduated from high school and his father, who has been a lawyer and a judge, was influential in the signing. He has two sisters who live in New York, one of whom a law school graduate, while the other is currently in law school.”
When asked if he could be compared to a player like Alen Hanson of the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Mets official told me, “We don’t know yet, we can’t make comparisons because it’s way too early to tell.”
Even though the quote is unhelpful, I get the feeling that they believe the sky’s the limit for Rosario.
Asking about his next assignment, the official wasted no time:
“Gulf Coast League, he’s so far away, and we’re going to have him here to keep a close eye on him, and help coach him the best we can.”
* * * * * * * *
If you weren’t content with those quotes from Mets personnel, look at the Future scouting grades Jonathon Mayo gave German Rosario:
Scouting Grades* (present/future): Hit: 3/6 | Power: 3/6 | Run: 5/5 | Arm: 6/6 | Field: 5/6 | Overall: 3/6
For Reference on hitting and power:
6 Hitting is a .285 – .300 average hitter.
6 Power is usually around 22 to 29 home runs.
His fielding is already average, and projects to be above average, so he will make some flashy plays, but he probably won’t be a plus fielder.
He is only rated as a ‘3’ because he is far away, with his ETA supposedly around 2017.
As you can see from the photos, Rosario is a skinny kid, especially for a possible power hitter, but he is only 17 years old. He has a lot of time left to grow, and fill out. Small as he is, his swing already generates power, and will that will only get batter as he gets older. As I watched his fielding, I could notice that he was more than capable of making the routine plays, which is great at his age. As he develops, even his fielding will become better.
There is only one thing I want to caution everyone on: International Free Agents are a roll of the dice.
It’s easy to get excited with players like Rosario, but like many famous top bonus babies, there are far more that fail than players that succeed. Think of one-time phenom Michael Ynoa, the top signing at the time by the Oakland A’s, who has now disappeared off the map, or more recently, Elvis Sanchez, who the Mets have neglected to talk about for years.
Either way, the Gulf Coast League will be his first test, and if all goes well, we will have another exciting shortstop besides Cecchini, and even Phillip Evans, on our hands coming up through the pipeline over the next few years.
I took a video of German Ahmed Rosario during one of his at-bats, though I’l warn you that the wind was pretty fierce, so lower the volume before you hit play.
I hope you enjoyed learning more about one of our lesser known prospects who you’ll be hearing more about now that he is stateside.
Thoughts from Joe D.
Teddy, you have been an incredible addition to the MMO community. I used to think I knew what an analysis piece was until you and Mitch joined MMO as our Minor League Analysts. You do a great job of delivering hard to get info and provide such keen insights rather than the usual regurgitated info or Captain Obvious clichès. The two of you have set the bar very high for everyone else and I’m grateful that you chose to join our site and provide our passionate readers your professional views based on your real experiences in and around the game.
As for Rosario, I’ll admit I thought it was a confusing move after giving Phil Evans so much more over slot in 2011, and then drafting Cecchini with their top pick last June. But you’ve changed how I feel about this since getting to know you. The offensive minded shortstops are the rarest finds in baseball and when you have a chance to add one to your system, you just do it. Even if it means leaving a much needed outfielder on the board.