|Eddie Rosario missed|
seven weeks of 2012
after breaking a facial
bone but still hit .296
with 12 homers for
Rosario — fourth-round pick out of Puerto Rico in 2010, turned 21 in September — is a left-handed line drive machine who has displayed some power in the lower minors. Last winter, Baseball America rated him the system's No. 3 prospect; this winter he's No. 7.
Here's the issue: Although Rosario hit 21 homers in 2011 in the Appy League, he's not seen as a true power hitter. Baseball America last week labeled him the "best hitter for average" in the Twins farm system, but predicted he'll level off at 10 to 15 homers a year at higher levels.
Rosario was signed as an outfielder, but he lacks the speed to play center field, and he may lack the power for an outfield corner. Plus the Twins are loaded with outfield prospects (of the six players BA lists ahead of Rosario, three are outfielders, and another outfielder is right behind him at No. 8).
And as a second baseman, a position the Twins started converting him to about 13 months ago, he's at best a work in progress.
BA's conclusion: Rosario will stay in the infield as he moves up to high Class A. He's a bit of a tweener if he has to go back to the outfield, so the Twins will give him every chance to remain at second base.
This makes sense to me. If he's an outfielder, he's of limited use to the Twins. If he has limited power, he's unlikely to be a regular corner outfielder. His bat profiles well for second base, but he has to be able to handle the position defensively, and he hasn't established that he can.
The Twins have struggled over the years to develop quality middle infielders, however. That is not encouraging.