Amed Rosario has made steady improvement since making his MLB debut back in 2017. That season he put up a 76 OPS+ in 170 PA. The following year his OPS+ rose to an 88 and last year it was 102, a really nice number for a 23-year-old shortstop. Over his final 372 PA, Rosario slashed .322/.353/.453, albeit with a .369 BABIP.

It’s a splendid thing to have a pre-arb shortsop hitting better than league average. Still, one can’t help shake the feeling that he’s been a disappointment to date. By the time he was called up to the majors, Rosario was generally considered one of the game’s top prospects. And while we’ve seen guys like Ronald Acuna Jr. (130 OPS+ in his first 1,202 PA) and Juan Soto (140 OPS+ in his first 1,153 PA) excel right away at an even younger age, we’ve had to live with some growing pains with Rosario.

Former manager Mickey Callaway, in his first camp with the Mets in 2018, compared Rosario to Francisco Lindor, who was coming off back-to-back All-Star seasons with the Indians, where Callaway was the pitching coach. Now with five years in the majors, Lindor has a lifetime 119 OPS+

Can Rosario continue his steady climb and catapult himself into Lindor territory in 2020? Let’s see what the computer models forecast. We have a new projection available at FanGraps, as THE BAT joins the others available. Here’s what they project:

ATC – 614 PA, .274/.313/.415, 14 HR, 64 RBIs
Marcel – 587 PA, .274/.316/.424, 14 HR, 61 RBIs
Steamer – 625 PA, .275/.318/.423, 15 HR, 68 RBIs
THE BAT – 658 PA, .269/.309/.399, 13 HR, 63 RBIs
ZiPS – 638 PA, .274/.313/.421, 14 HR, 64 RBIs

Regardless of whether you agree with the computer models or not, it’s safe to say that none of them are anticipating a breakout season for Rosario. Our new projection has the most bearish outlook for Rosario, yet it’s not like it’s far removed from the others. And not one of them has him matching last year’s .755 OPS, which seems almost unfathomable for a player who’s still in his pre-prime years.

On the strength of last year’s strong finish, Rosario ended 2019 with a .338 BABIP. The computer models all see a drop of 15-20 points in the category. And they don’t have him compensating with either an increase in BB% or a power surge. For what it’s worth, Rosario had a 4.0 BB% and a .131 ISO in his strong play to finish the season. So his closing stretch was caused mostly be that super-high BABIP.

In minor league stops where he had at least 200 PA, Rosario’s high in BB% was 8.0 and a .140 ISO was his best mark. Let’s compare that to Lindor. While in the minors, Lindor’s top BB% was 15.4 and a .118 ISO was his top mark, in seasons with at least 200 PA. Yet in his last three seasons in the majors, Lindor has posted the following ISOs: .232, .242 and .234 last season.

In his age-24 season – what Rosario will be in 2020 – Lindor saw his ISO jump from .134 to .232 – a leap of 98 points. It’s one tiny data point but it shows Rosario’s best chance for success. And it runs counter to what proponents of batting Rosario at the top of the order should want to hear. If Rosario is going to become an impact guy, he’s going to need to do it via slugging, not on-base percentage. It’s easier to develop power than it is to make big gains in getting on base via BB and HBP.

So, here’s my totally biased forecast for Rosario:

630 PA
.265/.310/.440
20 HR
71 RBIs

In my opinion, the breakout won’t happen in 2020, either. But he shows the power that will make it happen when the hits come.

You’ll have more credibility if you chime in now with what you think Rosario will do this year. Next up to undergo the forecast microscope will be Steven Matz.

10 comments on “Mets 2020 projections: Amed Rosario

  • Peter

    I think much depends on where he winds up batting in the order. So with that being said here goes.
    PA 600 BA .280/340/480
    HR 17 RBI’s 85
    These numbers are based on Rosario
    batting near the top of the line up.

  • Boomboom

    Bullish on rosey.

    .280/.335/.475
    18 HR
    80 RBIs
    20 sb s
    10 Errors

  • MattyMets

    648 PA
    .284/.315/.435
    16 HR
    67 RBIs

    I like him batting leadoff against lefties, 8th against righties. Nimmo flip-flopping with him, as long as Brandon shows he can hit lefties. If not, Marisnick get more playing time.

    • Brian Joura

      Nimmo doesn’t need to prove he can hit LHP – he’s got a lifetime .783 OPS against southpaws. Meanwhile, Marisnick has just a .701 OPS against lefties.

  • JimO

    I’m pretty close to Matty Met.

    Rosario gets:

    650 PAs
    .286/.318/.432
    15 HRs
    62 RBIs
    22 SBs

  • MYM6986

    I really believe that even hitting last year’s numbers would be sufficient for the Mets starting shortstop. After all, he is no Arod with the bat. While I know this comparison was about hitting, I would be much more interested in his continued defensive strides which will work to save runs from crossing the plate. I am not looking for him to be spectacular, but I am looking for him to make every single routine play that comes his way. And with some good coaching he could get a little bit better at balls up the middle or deep in the hole towards third-base. Since it is likely he will be heading towards the bottom of the lineup his bat is a little less critical to the overall success of the team.

    • Brian Joura

      I should have addressed defense in TFA.

      My feeling is that Rosario is pretty good going to his left. He’s not so hot going in the hole. It makes me wonder if he wouldn’t be better defensively at 3B.

      Also, saw a blurb on MetsBlog today where a rival evaluator (is that what we’re calling scouts now?)” said, “Andres Gimenez is already a better fielding shortstop than Amed Rosario.” Now, I don’t place much value in anonymous quotes outside of investigative pieces. Not saying I agree with this take. But it’s out there…

  • footballhead

    I am intrigued with the thought of Rosario at 3B and let one of the two ‘G’ men handle the SS position. Perhaps next year (2021) that will happen once(if) Cano fall flat again this year. I find it interesting that all the projections have Rosario with inferior numbers then what he produced in 2019. You all know something I don’t?

    AB 625 H 180 AVG .288 HR 20 RBI 79 SB 26 with about a dozen triples and +100 runs scored.

  • TexasGusCC

    For over a year, I’ve felt Rosario mirrors Bogaerts’ career path without the help of a short left field. Hence, in his third full year:

    All-Star appearance
    .322/.381/.479
    19 HRs
    106 Runs
    88 RBIs
    31 Steals
    9 Errors

  • Metsense

    I have stated in past that we should have patience with Rosario’s development. It took Jose Reyes 1254 PA’s before he broke out with a 115 OPS+. Rosario has 1417 PA’s and had a second half that was good. Is he going to have a break out season? My observations is that Rosario does not have the talent that Reyes had. Therefore he won’t have a break out season but have a nice average season.
    PA 643
    270/305/432
    HR 15
    RBI 68

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