5/16/18

Erica Lay - Amed Rosario: Five Tool Player?

15 comments


In August of 2017, Baseball Prospectus called Amed Rosario a “true five-tool prospect”. The five tools commonly associated with baseball are:

Speed
Average
Power
Fielding
Arm Strength

It’s easy to see that Rosario has plus tools on the defensive side. But from what we’ve seen so far, it’s harder to see that plus ability on the offensive side.

At times, Rosario looks overmatched at the plate. It got me thinking about other Mets with similar offensive styles and how they stacked up their first year in the majors. 

I pulled up some stats for Mets with a similar skill set – speedy hitters that you could envision in the leadoff spot, despite a lack of plate discipline. The three that came to mind were Mookie Wilson, Lenny Dykstra and Jose Reyes. As I was looking at the numbers, a few things stood out:

Strikeouts

Name
Age
G
PA
AB
SO
K%
Amed Rosario
21-22
81
293
280
78
26%
Mookie Wilson
24
27
119
105
19
15%
Lenny Dykstra
22
83
273
236
24
8%
Jose Reyes
20
69
292
274
36
12%

Rosario’s K rate is almost double the next closest on the list – 26% vs. Mookie Wilson’s 15%. In fairness, Wilson had less than half the plate appearances of Rosario.

Walks

Name
Age
G
PA
AB
BB
BB%
Amed Rosario
21-22
81
293
280
7
2%
Mookie Wilson
24
27
119
105
12
10%
Lenny Dykstra
22
83
273
236
30
10%
Jose Reyes
20
69
292
274
13
4%

Rosario has the fewest walks despite having the most plate appearances. Accordingly, his walk rate is the lowest of the group. I always thought of Wilson as the ultimate free swinger. Surprisingly, he had almost double the number of walks that Rosario has in less than half the plate appearances.

OBP

Name
Age
G
PA
AB
OBP
lgOBP
Amed Rosario
21-22
81
293
280
0.271
0.326
Mookie Wilson
24
27
119
105
0.325
0.325
Lenny Dykstra
22
83
273
236
0.338
0.327
Jose Reyes
20
69
292
274
0.334
0.336

As expected, given his high K rate and low walk rate, Rosario has the lowest OBP by more than 50 points. While the others on this list were all right around the league average, Rosario’s OBP is significantly below league average.

BA vs BABIP

Name
Age
G
PA
AB
BA
BABIP
Amed Rosario
21-22
81
293
280
0.246
0.327
Mookie Wilson
24
27
119
105
0.248
0.302
Lenny Dykstra
22
83
273
236
0.254
0.277
Jose Reyes
20
69
292
274
0.307
0.335

Rosario’s BABIP isn’t alarmingly high or low, but I found it very interesting that despite having the second highest BABIP on this list, he has the lowest batting average.

Now, what does it all mean? It’s hard to say given the small sample size, but if we take a closer look, we’ll see that the overall walk and K rates for Wilson, Dykstra and Reyes didn’t change too much over the course of their careers, with the exception of Wilson’s steep drop in walk rate:

Name
BB% - 1st Year
BB% - Career
K% - 1st Year
K% - Career
Amed Rosario
2%
TBD
26%
TBD
Mookie Wilson
10%
5%
15%
15%
Lenny Dykstra
10%
12%
8%
9%
Jose Reyes
4%
7%
12%
11%


Name
BA - 1st Year
BA - Career
OBP - 1st Year
OBP - Career
Amed Rosario
0.246
TBD
0.271
TBD
Mookie Wilson
0.248
0.274
0.325
0.314
Lenny Dykstra
0.254
0.285
0.338
0.375
Jose Reyes
0.307
0.285
0.334
0.336

Reyes and Dykstra were able to increase their walk rate without a large increase in K rate. Both went on to become above average major leaguers. Wilson, whose walk rate dropped and whose K rate stayed the same, was a good player but spent a majority of his career in a platoon role.

When it comes to power, Rosario’s SLG% is higher than everyone on this list except Reyes, although it’s still well below league average. This is expected as power typically develops last.

Name
SLG
lgSLG
Amed Rosario
0.364
0.419
Mookie Wilson
0.352
0.382
Lenny Dykstra
0.331
0.386
Jose Reyes
0.434
0.425

So, is Rosario a five-tool player? That’s yet to be determined. The raw talent is there. Everything hinges on his ability to increase his on-base skills, whether via hits or walks (or, more likely, some combination of the two).

If Rosario can increase his on-base skills, he’ll be in a better position to capitalize on his plus speed. He’s shown good gap power to the opposite field and I expect the power will continue to develop over the next few years, especially if he’s able to cut down on his strikeouts. A 2% walk rate is unsustainable, especially when paired with a K rate of 26%.

If he can increase his OBP, it’s not unreasonable to think he could be a player similar to Reyes – maybe not quite as dynamic on the basepaths, but an above average defender with good speed and pop. Learning how to utilize his speed by bunting for base hits could also help elevate his game.

If he’s unable to control the strike zone and increase his OBP, he may end up an above average defender without enough offense to justify a full time role.

Although he’s looked overmatched at times, he’s also shown flashes of being the player we hope for – last night’s game is a prime example. Rosario has the talent. Hopefully he has the ability to develop that talent, and we have the ability to be patient enough to let it happen.

15 comments:

Mack Ade said...

I have to ask you Erica...

Are you Chris Soto in drag?

Chris used to write great stuff like this and it is great to see this much detail to analyzing our guys.

Keep up the great work.

Reese Kaplan said...

What concerns me more than the plate discipline which should improve with experience is that the defense is not what was advertised and the baserunning has been pretty much non-existent. For a kid barely 22 I'm not throwing in the towel, but if I'm a SS in the pipeline I have to be having a Schadenfreude moment watching Rosario struggle.

Mack Ade said...

Reese -

I have watched Amed playing SS closely since he has come up. I watch with old infield playing eyes.

I think he is trying too hard. He is starting to loosen up a little and let his God given talent take over. Most of his mistakes have been stupid decisions.

Thomas Brennan said...

There ought to be 6 tools...the 699th being pitch selection. Tons of room to impove.

Great analysis, Erica. Keep them coming.

Eddie Corona said...

OMG Erika
I am in love... Just kidding... I have always had a Bromance with Reese since I seem to always agree with him...
But your first few posts have been wonderful...
and I see your questioning Rosario with stats behind it.
I had the eye test and I have always felt he didn't have the look of star... we all pray I am wrong...

Thomas Brennan said...

Eddie, Guillorme may not have Rosario's physical skills - but he gets on base well.

Mike Freire said...

NIce work, Erica......I am a huge fan of statistics and the story that they tell.

Thomas Brennan said...

Yanks are now favored to win the world series. The Mets are favored to finish the season.

Anonymous said...

Tom and Reese:

I don't know about your Atelophobia (the fear of being assigned too long of books to read in English class, like Shakespeare's "Atelo" or your "Sigmund Freud Theory of Relatives" in Biology) but I can say this quite simply...The Mets need to play a little better than last night. Okay? (LOL)

Now, having said all the above (oh boy) here's a few out of the cornfield ideas that just went nanosecond across my skull like a meteorite. Is this team really ready to make the Playoffs in 2018 or are we all deluding ourselves. Or should it be "diluting ourselves" as perhaps in many cases. You decide.

Okay then...
So where are these NY Mets maybe needing to shore up a little bit more? For one, the cheerleaders could be a tad bit better!

For starters, we have like what five or six catchers on this team and with no power hitting ones in the MiLB pipeline close to here, that I am aware of anyway? Maybe at Low A Ball, but not sure. So...

Idea 1: Tom Murphy (Alb.Isotopes/Rockies AAA). Tom is from New York, age 27, .289 career MiLB stats, .485 SLG%, has had four out of the six seasons he has played MiLB where he has hit around 20 HR's. Colorado is the parent club to these Isotopes, and the Rockies need a 2B and maybe a more significant pitcher as well.

Mets' pitching hasn't been quite what was anticipated, although no team's ever really is, let's face it. It's too easy to over-estimate your pitching staff because every team loves what they break camp with. And we have to remember here too, that it is only mid-May not September later season. Things can always turn around and get far better quickly.

Idea 2: Baltimore is a team in need, sadly "bone picking status", need major SOS/ABBA style. Outfield help, and also another pitcher or two of worth and value. They have a catcher though in Austin Wynns, age 27. In 2017, Austin hit .281, 10 HR, .336 OBP. They also have a decent lefty in Donnie Hart, age 27, in 2017 amassed 30 in 37 attempt saves, 2.43 ERA, 1.15 WHIP.

At AA Baysox they have a 23 year old round one starter (get this) Hunter Harvey (are you ready for this?) a righty 6'3", 2.77 career ERA, with a 1.14 WHIP and 204 strikeouts in 165 innings. And then also at Baysox, a lefty reliever Paul Fry. In 2018 Paul has a 3-0 record, 28 strikeouts in 19 innings with a 1.11 WHIP.

Maybe something in the above worth the read. But keep it short Shakespeare!

Anonymous said...

Mack Ade:

I think your observations on Amed are right on the money. We need Mr. and Mrs. Met to go over to the dugout and give Amed a huge bear hug.

Amed Rosario is blessed with abundant talent. And once he has grown in his land legs here at Citi Field and relaxed, I think we will all begin to see the real man inside number 1.

I like this young player.

Anonymous said...

Maybe after a significant "rain delay" and depending on the starter in the game before the deluge hit, the Mets should warm up a second starter to complete it and not send the initial starter back out?

It seems to mess things up for the initial starter too often.

Anonymous said...

For all you MATT (Man About Tinsel Town) Harvey bashers thinking he was playing a game here and not giving 100%. Matt was equally bad last night with Cincy.

Nice try on the theory anyway guys! Go Fish!

Anonymous said...

I think Luis Guillorme has to play more too. He isn't like an every single night ESPN Highlight reel. Instead, Luis just gets the job done and with consistency on offense and defense.

I like that a lot!

Thomas Brennan said...

Many outstanding thoughts from Anonymous - Robert Frost agreed with me on the LOL.

This team needs Jennry Mejia back - it hasn't been the same since he left.

Erica Lay said...

@Mack - Haha. I'll have to keep you guessing.

@Reese - I agree that his defense and base running haven't been as stellar as advertised but, after watching Cabrera butcher SS last season, I'm all in on Amed's D. Also, I think he's bringing his offense out onto the field with him. He seemed to better defensively earlier in the year when he was having more success as the plate. As for the base running - I'm hoping that once he actually get's on base, this will pickup.

@Eddie - Haha. Thank you. I hope he can turn things around and be the star we're all hoping for. So far, it's not there.

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