Mets Amed Rosario: Fantasy sleeper or bust in 2018?

After much anticipation, Amed Rosario made his debut for the Mets last season. But, the results were both good and bad, leaving owners to wonder if he could be a fantasy sleeper or bust next season?

Unlike their crosstown rivals, the Mets have been noticeably quiet this offseason. They did hire a new skipper, yet the roster has largely been untouched. Predictably, fans and fantasy owners alike are a tad confused at the lack of moves, but it is hard to predict the Mets’ front office decisions year to year. However, Amed Rosario is an intriguing fantasy case.

After debuting to mixed reviews, is Rosario more of a sleeper or bust candidate?

Mets’ fans had been clamoring for Rosario’s debut for the last two seasons. The dynamic Dominican youngster posted a .328/7 HR/58 RBI/.833 OPS line at AAA, forcing the Mets to make a move.

They responded by finally promoting him in Aug., where he finished with a  .248/4 HR/10 RBI/7 SB/.665 OPS line over 165 at-bats. All in all, a small sample size, but owners were able to get a look at what to expect from heading forward.

Let us first get the negatives out of the way. Rosario swings at everything. He posted a laughable 1.8% BB rate, while only making contact 67% of the time. His 49 K to only 3 BB ratio was one of the worst in the majors, at his tendency to chase everything is not a new issue.

He has vowed in the offseason to tighten up his zone, but it will be a tough habit to break for a guy that has never walked more than 40 times during five-year minor league career.

Rosario will need to grow into his frame to flirt with the notion of 15 HR. He hit four last season at the MLB level on the heels of posting a career-high seven homers in the hitter-friendly PCL.

Speed wise, Rosario looks the part of a stolen base threat. In the minors, he has not amassed a ton of SB numbers, yet does have a 19 SB campaign under his belt. There is no reason to think he can not get to the 15 SB mark next season with a season worth of at-bats.

With the power not there yet, and the AVG not going to be a strong suit at least in the short-term, Rosario’s SB and counting stats will have to buoy his fantasy value.

While that does paint a bleak picture, when Rosario did make contact, he posted solid contact rates. He ended last season with 20% LD, 51% GB, 29% FB, 56% Med, and 24% Hard rates. 

His LD and Med contact rates are encouraging. For a guy that lacks power, it is not a surprise to see his GB rate over 50%, but he lacks the top end speed to make up for that high of a rate as well. He did improve his FB rate as the season went on though, and if he can build it 30%, the XBH will be there.

Rosario also showed the ability to handle lefties well, .297/2 HR/.829 OPS, which is always encouraging to see from a rookie. If he can get his numbers versus righties, .234 AVG/.617 OPS, up to league average, he will see an across the board improvement.

In terms of being a bust or sleeper, Rosario just has too many flaws at this point to make him a sleeper candidate. He is still extremely young and talented, but he needs to refine his offensive approach more before being trusted. He is better left on the waiver wire to start 2018.