Eddie Rosario has become something of a fan favorite over his time with the big-league squad in Minnesota. However, that time may be coming to a close.
While Eddie earned his reputation on the overachieving 2017 team and was a lone bright spot on the 2018 team, his performance has gone the wrong way as he has entered his “prime”. Despite posting career bests in RBI and HR last year, a glaring lack of plate discipline led to an OPS+ that showed he was only 7% better than a league-average batter. So far this year, improved plate discipline (14 walks already vs. 22 all of last year) has failed to lead to improved performance, as his batting average and slugging percentage have fallen to his lowest since he first became a big-league regular. Rosario is an average hitter.
Some may point to Rosario’s notorious arm in left field or occasional web gem to suggest that he’s a good defender. This is simply not the case. While his many outfield assists have been impressive, they are outweighed by all of the times that his errant throws have allowed the other team to take extra bases. While he comes up with a sliding catch every now and then, he more often doesn’t get to balls that most left fielders would. On top of all this, just look at the last week and you’ll see he makes terrible base-running decisions at an unacceptable rate.
He was only worth 1.2 fWAR in 2019 (590 PA). Jake Cave produced 0.9 fWAR in only 228 PA, and may have cleared 1.2 had he been playing mainly left field (where he’s a good defender) rather than center (where he’s below-average). While the prospect of Cave being the everyday left-fielder is not very exciting either, basically all of the statistics suggest he would at the very least be able to match Rosario’s overall impact, and at a cheaper price. Furthermore, Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach, and Brent Rooker (who has performed nicely in limited action so far) could all be MLB-ready by mid-2021, and there’s going to be a roster crunch sooner rather than later. Rosario has one more year of team control left, but I would be surprised if he’s a Minnesota Twin for Opening Day of 2021. It’s been a wild ride, but it’s time to let Rosie go.
Time to move on in left field?
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