The Mets are at least toying with the idea of moving Amed Rosario to center field, writes Tim Healey of Newsday. Rosario’s 2019 struggles at shortstop have been well-documented and the club has a noticeable opening in center field, with Brandon Nimmo sidelined indefinitely and Juan Lagares struggling mightily as his replacement.
Whether you prefer traditional or advanced metrics, the message on Rosario has been clear: this year, he has been a negative at shortstop. His 11 errors are tied for the most in the National League, and he has accumulated -13 DRS, the worst mark among qualified shortstops.
For his part, Rosario has said that he is open to such a move, per Healey. Though he hasn’t played the position in his professional career, it’s not uncommon for middle infielders to transition to center field. The Diamondbacks’ Ketel Marte, a former shortstop, is one such example, with Dee Gordon of the Mariners setting a less promising precedent.
As a prospect, Rosario was touted for his quickness, hands, and footwork at short, all of which were indicators that he had the ingredients to stay at the position in the long-term. Of course, no one is saying that Rosario is a lost cause yet—he’s still just 23 years old and there’s no reason to believe the tools that made him a top prospect have suddenly vanished. Quality shortstops are hard to find, so there’s no doubt that the Mets would like Rosario to prove himself worthy of the starting job.
At the same time, though, if the organization is intent on contending in the near future, it may be in its best interests to give the youngster a chance in center field, another premium, up-the-middle position. The new position would allow Rosario to provide value to his club without putting too much pressure on his bat—with a career .685 OPS, Rosario hasn’t shown that his offense is enough to carry his profile.
The Mets have already experimented with several infielders getting outfield reps: Jeff McNeil, J.D. Davis, and Dominic Smith have all received extended looks in corner outfield spots, providing versatility that manager Mickey Callaway asserts has “made us a better team.” Indeed, the aforementioned trio have all provided valuable offensive production, with Davis and Smith receiving regular playing time despite not starting everyday, which can be attributed in part to their ability to play a couple of spots in the event of injuries or resting starters.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that the Mets will follow through with such a move, and playing center field likely wouldn’t preclude Rosario from seeing time at shortstop moving forward. However, the current circumstances make it seem that now is as good a time as ever to challenge a talented young player in hopes that a position change could unlock a defensive breakthrough for a former top prospect.
To be sure, in the event that Rosario makes the switch, the Mets will need someone to take over for him as the everyday shortstop, which is no small task. Adeiny Hechavarria is perhaps the most likely replacement, with Luis Guillorme bearing mention as well, though neither has played well enough to force Callaway’s hand. Notably, the Mets’ farm system features a promising shortstop, Andres Gimenez, ranked as its number one prospect. However, he is still just 20 years old and has posted mediocre numbers at Double-A Binghamton. Certainly, it’s a situation worth monitoring as the Mets’ frustrating season continues.
I’m all for it Gimenez can take over SS in a few years sign Iglesias this offseason and move Amed to CF
Robin Yount, Billy Hamilton and Craig Biggio also moved to CF.
No you didn’t just put Billy Hamilton in the same example with Craig Biggio, and Robin Yount.
Biggio only played 255 games in CF
That’s 255 more than Rosario.
And there was a reason he only played 255 times out there in a 20 year career. You figure it out, or I can paint you a picture using connect the dots.
Don’t think Yount and Biggio belong up there with Hamilton, heh?
Mookie Betts went from 2b to CF before settling in RF.
They already have an elite defensive SS in Hechevarria, and his offensive production is actually quite similar to that of Rosario.
Can’t hurt to try him out there, but usually this happens when you acquire someone or have a prospect knocking at the door. He’s 23. Might just be a slump.
It’s a slump when it’s like a week or two. He’s performing just as bad as to last season too.
That was true when the Mets signed him, so i don’t think it’s a deterrent now
#ticketsales my man.
Seattle Mariners East.
YES. DO. IT!
Davis or McNeil at SS.
They’re considering a move to get a better defender at SS, not a worse one. It’s hard to be worse than Rosario right now, but Davis is literally a statue.
Now he can BLOW at two positions!!!
Come get him!
The Mets have like 8 plus-SS prospects on the farm, someone has to move
Yep, and Fangraphs rated Rosario’s FV at 65. Funny thing about prospects…
The rating of Rosario has nothing to do with the other 3 top SS prospects they have. If Rosario isn’t playing great D out there it’s a great position to shuffle considering their depth. And Hech sitting around.
Mauricio looks to have more upside than Gimenez
Syracuse, move him to Syracuse. He’s got a bWAR of 0.00 so far this year and a career obp of .292.
Casey Stengel, if he was still here, when asked about Amed’s potential, might have said “In 5 years, he has a great chance of being 28 years old”.
He’s basically been a poor man’s version of Eduardo Nunez.
Remember not too long ago the Marlins wanted Rosario and Nimmo for Realmuto and people thought they were nuts? Personally, I really Rosario, his tools, the head on his shoulders, attitude and effort. Why doesn’t anyone start questioning the coaching? If a player with his tool set fails to improve but the effort is there, maybe it’s not the player? How many teams have data analysis people in coaching positions who have never played the game? I blame the coaching in this particular instance.
So, what exactly are his weaknesses? Decision making? Mechanics? Ability? Focus? Seriously, if the Mets were 10 games over, this is a non issue. His performance at the plate and on the bases is improving consistently. Is the problem his throws or his glove? Is there ONE player on defense improving? I just don’t think there is an emphasis on this part of the game anymore. Too many shifts and players out of position. The days of Larry Bowa, Ozzie Smith and Omar Vizquel playing every day for 10+ years are long gone.
He’s a poor fielder and hits 8% below league average.
Of 26 qualifiers at the position, he’s #24.
Compare him to the guy across town who is 13 months younger than him.
Those are his weaknesses.
McNeil cannot be any worse there. Rosario is literally the worst defensive SS in MLB and it isn’t close. Switch him to CF and McNeil to SS until they get a real one
Will moving him to CF improve his awful offensive production?
Maybe they feel the fans will compare him to Lagares and feel he is a huge upgrade?
You might be onto something
A 92 OPS+ plays in CF with a plus glove. Rosario has all the skills for a plus CF.
Unlike moving weak armed Dee Gordon to CF I think this could end up being a positive move.
I think that in two years the SS will be Ronny Mauricio DR.
Ronny is 2022 best case. Pushing him to AA in 2020 would be very aggressive, and if he doesn’t play AA in 2020, you shouldn’t count on him playing AAAA (with the Mets) in 2021.
mateobaseball, i agree 100%
Don’t change his position, just tell him to play really, really deep and not try to throw anyone out at first on a ground ball. That was easy.
If you are an Octogenarian, you might have a job waiting for you on the Mets coaching staff.
I was born in the fifties. I’m too young to be their pitching coach. But I did just invent the position of longstop. Now I just have to work up the analytics.
Somewhere Fred Wilpon is reading your comments and saying to himself, “I’m going to keep my eye on this kid!”.
OR they could bring up Rajai Davis from AAA and send Rosario down…
That’d be unbelievably dumb
Leave the kid alone. Just bring back Reyes to mentor him obviously Its Cano’s fault!
LOL, Only the Mets…
Don’t the Mets now have Danny Espinoza at AAA? He can play short in his sleep.
I love these articles — if a guy gets picked up by a club and is hitting .257 — suddenly that offensive number isn’t so bad. But since it’s a negative article, .257 is suddenly an horrific BA. .257 for a SS isn’t horrible — it’s his fielding percentage that isn’t so great. They shoulda kept Reinheimer–he can play SS in his sleep and he was never given the opportunity for his bat to come around. He wasn’t a “bench” guy, but a starter. It’s amazing what guys can (and can’t) do when given an opportunity.
That 5th paragraph starts with essentially a run-on sentence. Yikes. Too many clauses.
I was at the game yesterday. Rosario was I incredible in bp. He hit 7 home runs into the same section in right center, bunted, line drives up the middle…The kid has serious hit skills. Rosario isn’t the problem. Cano was pathetic again. Pop up after pop up in batting practice then goes 0-5 ina game that featured 35 hits! Why is this schmuck batting 3rd? Two steak attempts and both balls end up in enter field. Pop up to short right and he is back pedaling 40 yards instead of turning and going. Another poorly executed throw to first across his body when he had time to get his feet set for an error. I can see why Seattle insisted he be part of the trade. 20 runs scored yesterday and Cano goes 0-5! Calloway needs to sack up and bench this loser. Start McNeil at 2b, find a real right fielder, leave Conforto in center and Smith in left. Bench Lagares and Cano, ship out Matz to the Yankees for Frazier, get jd Davis more at bats. Switch Calloway back to pitching coach and bring in someone old school like Girardi to light a fire under some players.
Really wish there was an edit ability with this app. Steal attempts…
Hey Jim-Seattle was smart in taking advantage of the bi shot cool speaking Rookie GM who was panting at the mouth for having power to make deals.