This is another installment in our series grading the individual performances of the key members of the 2019 Minnesota Twins. Each player will receive a classic grade on the scale of A through F, based on their hitting, fielding, and whatever else the author wants to consider. Check out our other previous installments in the related section below. Today, I’ll be reviewing outfielder Eddie Rosario’s season.
Coming out of the 2018 campaign, Eddie Rosario was near the top of the team leader board in many offensive metrics. He tied for the top spot in batting average (.288), lead the team in homers (24) and RBI (77), and was second in slugging (.479) and OPS (.803). After the Minnesota Twins signed extensions with Jorge Polanco and Max Kepler during Spring Training, it seemed that Rosario was next in line for an extension as well.
Fast-forward to today, and after this season, Rosie ranked fourth on the team in batting average (.276) and bombas (32), lead the team in RBI (109), and around the middle of the back in slugging (.500) and OPS (.800). In the year of the juiced ball, it looks like Rosario didn’t catch on like most others did. Sure, he did hit more home runs than last year, and his RBI total shot up incredibly from being in the clean-up spot in the order for 127 of his 138 games. Compare that to 2018, where he collected only 41 RBI in the second slot of the order for 76 games. Our very own Matt analyzed Rosario’s decrease in OBP the past few seasons that’s somewhat countered by his power, yet still ranked at the bottom of the qualifying Twins players this season. Now Rosario has been discussed as a legitimate trade piece for Minnesota this off-season.
Rosario’s defense in the outfield has been in question as of late. Most times he was in left field (124 games) this year, but also saw 11 games in right field and three games in center. Looking at Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) from FanGraphs, Rosie’s UZR took a deep dive from 3.1 in 2018 to -5.6 in 2019. Looking at Baseball-Reference’s Total Zone Fielding Runs Above Average (abbreviated as Rtz), Rosario was fifth worst in the majors with 12 runs below average this season.
Although there’s no doubt that Rosario contributed to the Bomba Squad this year at the plate, comparing his numbers to last year shows that Rosario was essentially stagnant regarding his offense in 2019. His defense, albeit near the top of the leader board in outfield assists (8) yet also towards the top in errors (5), does not leave much to be desired after this season. Maybe the Twins are best to hold off on any thoughts of extending him until after 2020.
Overall Grade: B-
What grade would you give Eddie Rosario’s 2019 season?
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