Reese Kaplan -- Looking at 2019 -- SS Options


The development of Amed Rosario hasn’t been anything to rival Gleyber Torres, Corey Seager or any of the other highly touted shortstop prospects.  At times he’s looked overmatched at the plate, flailing wildly at pitches out of the strike zone.  His defense has been a work in progress and his baserunning has been almost non-existent.  Many where whispering, stating or shouting he was another failed and overhyped prospect in the mold of Alex Escobar and others who never reached their potential.

Well, if the dumpster fire of the 2018 season taught us anything, don’t make snap judgments.  After all, how many of us had written off Brandon Nimmo as yet another Sandy Alderson draft choice failure?  Be honest…not a single one of us could raise their hand and say they actually foresaw him threatening to hit 20 HRs and delivering top-of-the-league OBP and a .505 slugging percentage?  Be honest…

With that on-the-job-training success story in mind, I don’t foresee the Mets abandoning the Amed Rosario experiment until youngsters in the farm system like Andres Gimenez and Ronny Mauricio ascend up the ladder.  Think of him as a bridge to the future.  If he develops, that’s great.  If not, he can certainly hold the fort until the reinforcements are deemed ready. 

This past Tuesday during the ignominious major league debut of Drew Gagnon, the lone bright spot of the otherwise forgettable evening was the breakthrough game of Amed Rosario.  He went 3-4 with a pair of triples.  That game alone gave a glimpse into the kind of exciting offensive player people had expected to see.

Are there other options?  Well, many of the 2B prospects like Gavin Cecchini and Luis Guillorme are considerations but they have not yet demonstrated the offensive potential at the major or minor league levels to suggest they are ready to supplant the young Rosario.  Wilmer Flores’ defensive liabilities have made his shortstop days a thing of the past.

How about outside the organization?

Well, the one unheralded possibility is the Tigers’ Jose Iglesias who is a stellar fielder and a steady if unspectacular hitter, .270 for his career with limited power.  He isn’t a speed burner either and already earns $6.5 million.  However, at age 29 and highly athletic, he would be a decent if boring get.

The elephant in the room, of course, is Manny Machado.  He’s only 26 years old and likely going to be seeking a Stantonesque contract…can you see the Mets being serious players for a $300 million deal?  Remember, this team is one who wouldn’t even venture into the $80 million Lorenzo Cain sweepstakes, so get that dream out of your head.  It’s not happening.

So, I’m thinking that Amed Rosario is the solution for 2019.  Whether or not he’s a long term answer is still anyone’s guess.  However, with Gimenez at A+ and Mauricio at Rookie ball, Rosario’s going to have ample opportunity to show what he can do.  Not everyone hits the ground running.  Keep Brandon Nimmo in mind as an example of what happens with patience and ongoing development. 


Tom Brennan said...

Brandon Nimmo wins the Overachiever Award, at least when the cadre of pundits' opinions in early 2017 on Nimmo are considered.

Rosario is learning on the job - I think he can still be very good, but there needs to be a way in the minors to get guys like Amed more MLB ready quicker.

Guillorme did not hit in his debut, but he fanned about 3 times compared to Smith's 26 in slightly more ABs. I still think Luis can be a good utility guy.

I think that Gimenez could be ready in late 2019, with hopefully another 550 plate appearances between now and then and some bulking up. If not then, early 2020.

I am saddened that Cecchini is still out, as it is turning into a lost season for him.

Mack Ade said...

Reese/Tom -

Good morning.

First, to Amed...

I like what I am seeing the past 10 games and, hopefully, he is getting both his bat and glove straightened out. His remaining the starting shortstop next year will be determined by what he does the remaining of this year.

That being said, a sub-par Rosario in 2019 might be better than an under producing Guillorme.

My team in 2019 has one of these guys on short and the other as a utility piece. I just don't know right now which one is which.

Oh yeah... I wouldn't spend any big money on this position for the future, You have Gimenez folloed by Mauricio in the pipeline, two of your top five chips.

We are fine at SS even if 2019 still looks to be a little shaky.

Eddie Corona said...

Anyone remember the breakout year of Juan Legares... the one where we felt we signed him to a steal of a contract for a speedster gold glove center fielder who looked like he has emerged as a hitter...
Yeah I may be a glass half empty guy but when you see a player you either see a star or not... Nimmo does not scream star...
and I want to be wrong... so let’s see him finish the season as he started and do it again next season...
conforto’s call up season and last season before his career threatening injury was impressive... screamed star...
still waiting for that
As for Rosario he is so lucky that the team is awful otherwise he would be though of as D Smith... I can only pray he is DIDi in development... a big time late bloomer... but his defensive issues are not physical they are mental... will he mature in all aspects he has a full season to figure that out

Mack Ade said...

Eddie -

You are correct about Rosario's defensive woes.

He is by far the best defender of that position in years for the Mets. Something has just gone terribly wrong here.

Gary Seagren said...

I felt warm and fuzzy last night watching the All-Star game and seeing all the players we didn't sigh or draft so thanks Sandy & company for 8 wonderful years. 2015 was a trill but he totally lucked into that which is very unMet like. I get everyone has hits and misses but the past eight years with one late season run and coupled with last off season disaster signing's and a major change is surely warranted.

Mike Freire said...

Agree, Reese.......it's not like we will be making a playoff appearance in the next season or two. We may as well see what Amed has to offer in an extended
audition, if you will.

Mac said...

I would think Machado moved to SS to cash in. As long as he cashes in with contract, I cant see him objecting to 3B. 7year 200m, sounds reasonable for a 26 year old. We have no 3B in the pipeline, so it make sense from that perspective.

Mack's Mets © 2012