Twins prospect Eddie Rosario is hitting .409 in the Arizona Fall League and I haven’t seen a word about him. I know the AFL season has just started and the Salt River Rafters have only played six games (going 5-1) and Rosario has played in five of those games. Small sample size I know, but the man is on fire in Arizona.
The 23 year-old from Puerto Rico with the sweet left-handed swing has been playing left field Rafters and follows Byron Buxton (who hits lead-off) in the Rafters batting order. Yesterday’s game was the first time since play began that Rosario has not gotten two hits in a game. Rosario has nine hits in 22 at bats with two runs scored and five RBI to go along with his four stolen bases in as many attempts. Todate Rosario has only one extra base hit, a double but he has a slick .391 on-base percentage.
Rosario put himself in the Twins doghouse when he had to sit out the first two months of 2014 on a 50-game suspension for a second violation of Major League Baseball’s drug-of-abuse policy. Had this suspension not occurred, it is very likely that Rosario would have made an appearance in a Twins uniform at Target field this past season.
As it turned out, after his suspension Rosario started the season in Ft. Myers where he hit .300 albeit in just 30 at bats before being bumped up to New Britain. Rosario struggled at New Britain both on and off the field. Rock Cats manager Jeff Smith benched Rosario in late July for four games for what Brad Steil the Twins director of minor league operations called “just a team situation.” Rosario, who continues to play second base while spending time in the outfield hit only .237 in 316 at bats, scored 40 times and hit eight home runs and knocked in 36 while stealing eight bases in 12 tries. Rosario has never hit below .284 in any season prior to 2014 has a lifetime batting average of .294. It was a bad year for Rosario all around but he seems to have caught a second wind in Arizona this fall.
The Twins didn’t call Rosario up to the big leagues for a cup of September coffee and maybe Rosario got the message loud and clear. I sure hope so because this man can hit the ball and he has some pop in his bat as he showed in 2011 when he hit 21 round trippers for Elizabethton and 12 in Beloit in 2012 in just 392 at bats.
Rosario was the Twins fourth round (135th pick over all) in 2010 and signed for about $200,000. Baseball America had him rated as the Twins sixth best prospect after the 2013 season. BA also had Rosario rated as the Twins best hitter for average in 2011 and 2012. There is a spot for Rosario with the Twins next season but he needs to wake up and smell the roses or his dream of wearing a Twins uniform in Minnesota will fade quickly. I sure hope that the Minnesota Twins organization does not give up on Eddie Rosario because down the road this man can help the Twins, he just needs some help staying on the right road.