The Minnesota Twins were 87-76 in 2009 and scored six runs in three games in the ALDS against the New York Yankees and were swept in three games. That earned them the right to pick 21st in the 2010 June Amateur draft. Yep, that is the year Bryce Harper was picked number one, Manny Machado was number three and Chris Sale was number 13. The Twins meanwhile selected Alex Wimmers at 21, Niko Goodrum at number 71, Pat Dean at 102, and Eddie Rosario with the 135th overall selection.
Seven years later Rosario appears to be the plum of the Twins selections in that draft. There is still a chance that Goodrum or Ryan O’Rourke or Logan Darnell will suddenly blossom but it looks more and more unlikely.
The Twins drafted Rosario as an outfielder out of Rafael Lopez Landron High School in Guayama, Puerto Rico at the age of 18 and Rosario started his professional career as an outfielder in the Gulf Coast League. Rosario’s career took a brief turn in 2012 when the Minnesota Twins were desperate for a second baseman and decided that Eddie Rosario might be just the guy to fill that hole. In the Fall of 2013 the Twins sent Rosario to sharpen his skills in the AFL but Rosario struggled and hit just .238 in 80 at bats. History shows us that Brian Dozier stepped in and laid claim to the second base role in Minnesota in 2013 and so the Twins started planning to transition Rosario back to the outfield in 2014.
In January of 2014 Eddie Rosario who was then the Twins number 5 prospect, found himself suspended for 50 games for his second failed drug test according to MLB. The suspension was for an undisclosed “drug of abuse,” such as marijuana or cocaine, as distinct from a performance-enhancing drug. The Twins sent Rosario to the AFL again in the Fall of 2014 so he could make up some of the at bats he missed due to his suspension and this time Rosario had 33 hits in 100 at bats and stole 10 bases in the process.
After starting the 2015 season in AAA Rochester where he hit a mediocre .242 in 23 games Rosario finally got the call he had been waiting for and he was on his way to Target Field. On May 6, 2015 Rosario made his big league debut at Target Field against the Oakland A’s in right field hitting in the eight spot. In his first at bat, as a matter of fact his very first pitch, he hit a home run becoming just the 29th player in major league history to accomplish that rare feat. Rosario played well and finished the 2015 season hitting .267 with 13 home runs and a league leading 15 triples in 122 games. In addition, Rosario was second in the league in outfield assists with 16.
The future looked bright for Eddie but 2016 rolled around and Rosario struggled both in the field and with his bat and by mid May his average sat at .200, with the ballclub losing game after game Rosario found a one-way ticket to AAA Rochester waiting for him in his locker. Rosario hit well in Rochester and found himself back at Target Field in early July and seemed to have his swagger back by hitting .305 in his final 60 games.
The question going on to 2017 is what Eddie Rosario are we going to see, the good Rosario or the seemingly dis-interested Rosario? I think people are in for a pleasant surprise. That 2010 draft is just a distant memory now but if Eddie Rosario gets it together the Minnesota Twins will have gotten something out of the draft. Come on Eddie, the Twins and their fans are counting on you.