Amed Rosario has been a tale of two players this season. When he hits in the nine-hole, he is proving to be very effective, but when he hits just about anywhere else in the lineup, his offense is nowhere to be found.
Last night, was possibly Rosario’s best performance of the season, of course hitting ninth, as he went 3-for-4 with a double (hit the top part of the wall and bounced back into play), two RBI, and two runs which helped raise his season average to .261.
While Rosario hasn’t hit the ground running like some of the other top shortstop prospects over the last two seasons, if you enjoy betting on baseball, he’s still a pretty good bet to meet all those lofty expectations.
Coming into last night’s game, Rosario had all ten of his season’s RBI total out of the nine-hole with a .286 average in 84 at-bats. While he has hit in the sixth and seventh spots in the lineup as well, he was ineffective in both those spots of the order. In the sixth spot, he had a .250 average in eight at-bats and had a .087 average in the seventh spot in 23 at-bats.
So, as it can be gleaned by the stats themselves, where Rosario hits in the order appears to have a direct effect on his production. Mickey Callaway even admitted as much after his big night against the Toronto Blue Jays.
“Well, I think we kind of just committed to leaving him in the nine hole. There’s a few games when we felt like with the personnel we had, that the seven-hole was the place for him and it just wasn’t working out. And we just said, ‘You know what, we’re just going to stick him in the nine hole and let him go out there.’ It seems like ever since then, he’s just relaxed and done a really good job there.”
While the 22-year old Rosario is by no means a finished product on the offensive side of his game with a .273 OBP coming into last night’s contest, his aggressive approach at the plate appears to be much better suited for ninth spot in the order, with pitchers knowing they have to throw strikes to him unless they would rather face the top of the order.
As Rosario continues to develop he figures to be a cornerstone for the Mets at shortstop for years to come, and he should eventually grow into the team’s leadoff hitter while becoming a viable stolen base threat. He has been lauded as a potential five-tool player and his power tool is still expected to develop. In 2017, MLB Pipeline ranked Rosario as the No. 1 prospect in the game.