New York Mets fans understandably have a right to be angry all the time.
A big-market franchise that has played little brother to the Yankees for most of its existence is being run like a franchise in Fargo, North Dakota by clueless owners and an agent-turned-general-manager.
The Mets have seemingly been rebuilding every other year since 1990. They refuse to pursue big stars consistently to make the team better and mismanage their players so horribly that they become serviceable members/borderline stars on other teams.
Just look at Justin Turner and Daniel Murphy. Heck, even Travis d’Arnaud is ripping it up with the Tampa Bay Rays right now.
So here the Mets are, languishing near the 10-games-under-.500 mark once again as we near the dog days of summer as they hang on to a sliver of postseason hopes for dear life.
As baseball fosters the illusion of hope, though, there are things for the organization to be excited about — mostly in the form of NL Rookie of the Year favorite Pete Alonso and the hitting machine that is Jeff McNeil.
Even Dominic Smith has shown flashes of being the top offensive prospect the Mets expected two years ago as he’s developed into a productive bat off the bench.
That acceptance and optimism for younger Mets stars abruptly stops with Amed Rosario, however.
A faction of the Mets fan base seems to be fed up with the 23-year-old who was the organization’s No. 1 prospect as recently as 2017.
But what are they expecting from the young shortstop?
There are going to be growing pains, which have been apparent over his first three MLB seasons. His defense has not been sterling and his bat has taken some time to develop.
Yet an impatient fan base hears the words “top prospect” and expects 25-to-30 home runs and 90 RBI the moment he’s called up.
That’s not how this works most of the time.
Rosario’s first two years were concerning with a .255 batting average and 13 home runs in exactly 200 games. There’s no denying that.
However, he’s starting to put everything together in 2019 at least from an offensive standpoint.
He’s been red-hot at the plate as of late, slashing .364/.403/.561 in his previous 18 games before Wednesday night’s tilt with the San Diego Padres.
In just 97 games this year, Rosario already set a career-high with 11 home runs while his batting average was nearly 20 points higher at .274. His on-base percentage is also reaching new peaks at .314.
Forget the words “top prospect” for a moment because most of the time they set unrealistic expectations around young players. If you have a 23-year-old starting shortstop who is on pace to hit .275 with 18 home runs and 77 RBI in just his second full MLB season, you wouldn’t take that?
He’s only going to get better, too, as long as he can develop a bit more composure at the dish.
If you’re concerned about his glove, the Mets might have to move him away from shortstop, anyway. The organization’s next top prospect is also a shortstop in Andres Gimenez who is a much better defender.
While he’s groomed to make the jump to the majors in the next few years, the Mets could start transitioning Rosario to center field seeing as they don’t have a legitimate one now. They did so with Juan Lagares and he developed into one of the best defensive outfielders in baseball, however his bat has lagged amidst constant injury issues.
It’s hard to preach patience in New York, but hold the phone before writing off Rosario.