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The best Mets position prospects I saw this year: #5 Amed Rosario

The countdown of the best Mets prospects we saw in 2013 continues as we kick off our top five position players with Kingsport shortstop, Amed Rosario.

Disclaimer (because someone will ask why a player I didn't see isn't on this list): This is a ranking of the best Mets prospects I saw in person this year. This is not a comprehensive Mets prospect list. I did not see Las Vegas, St. Lucie or the GCL team this year. If a player is not on the list, it is most likely because I did not see him. Otherwise, all rankings are consistent with how I would order the players within the Mets system. Oh yeah, and I am not a scout.

5. Amed Rosario, SS

6'2", 170

Bats/Throws: R/R

Age: (as of Opening Day 2014) 18.4

Acquired: International Free Agent, 2012

2013: 226 PA, .241/.279/.358, 43 K, 11 BB for Kingsport (R)

Date(s) seen: 8/10/13 @ Greeneville Astros

8/13/13 vs. Princeton Rays

The short of it: Rosario is sashimi-grade raw and was overmatched in the Appy League, but given his age and physical profile, I could see...wait, Baseball America said what?

The long of it: Let's get this out of the way first: Of course I read the BA report on Rosario. No, I don't agree with it. No, I'm not changing my mind because of it. I may be wrong, but I'm okay with being wrong. Now as for what I saw w/r/t Rosario: First, the swing is going to be a problem. I could see how it can generate some power, especially in BP, but the hand path is so bad that I can't see him consistently barreling balls in games. He drops his hands at the beginning of the swing, and then circles them back and up during his load. In order to create his uppercut, he has to collapse his backside, which results in him getting on top of balls a bunch (when he actually makes contact). He also uses a toe tap and a bit of a jab step for timing, but this hinders more than it helps. It tends to make for an early weight transfer and saps whatever whippy power his upper body can generate. I expected him to be raw and overmatched by the college arms in the Appy, and he was, but the swing will need major work if he's to even be an average hit guy at higher levels. I didn't see a major league shortstop here either. His actions are very stiff and mechanical, and he tends to let balls play him. He has enough arm for the position, and moves okay. He's one of the few even average runners playing short in the Mets system, but I think his body will force him off the position at higher levels. He had trouble with the speed of the game even at this level. I do think there is some power potential here, but this was an aggressive assignment for the seventeen-year-old. The fact that he handled it as well as he did speaks well of him, but I still don't see 1.7 million dollars in major league tools here.

The projection: Average leftfielder or third baseman (this is a blind guess)

Risk Factor: Extreme. A lot of present-day 2s and 3s on the scouting report. Major questions about the swing and whether offensive profile will support a move down the defensive spectrum. No track record in full-season ball, and perilously raw at present.

What’s next: The Alderson FO has been far more aggressive with Rosario than they have with any other prospect in the system. Still, he needs more seasoning in short-season ball, so I expect him to open 2014 with Brooklyn. Doesn't hurt that the Mets like to send their hot new prospects there as well.

What I'll be looking for in 2014: For Rosario to start to translate his raw physical tools into in-game baseball skills. It's going to be a process.