Twenty one year old Eddie Rosario is with the Minnesota Twins in Big League camp this spring so he can get some extra work in before playing in the World Baseball Classic with his native Puerto Rico. Rosario, who has not played above Low-A baseball, has made appearances in both of the Twins Spring Training games and he played in an intra-squad game prior to Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays.
In Saturday’s Spring Training opener, Rosario was 1 for 3 with single and on Sunday he was 2 for 2 with an RBI and a walk. Offensively, things seem to going well for the youngster, despite his lack of experience against high-profile talent.
Defensively, things have been a little rockier for Rosario. A converted outfielder, Rosario has only one full season of play at second base, and this winter played outfield for his club in the Puerto Rican Winter League. Jumping back into the infield Rosario likely has a few cobwebs to knock out. In Saturday’s game Rosario missed an opportunity to throw out the lead runner at the plate when he was unsure where to go with the ball immediately after fielding it in the fifth. On Sunday, Rosario misplayed a ground ball and was charged with an error on what should have been the first out in an inning where the Twins eventually gave up 3 runs. When asked about the poor defensive play of the Twins in Sunday’s game, Ron Gardenhire said, “We’re seeing a lot of stuff you can talk about and hopefully make them better at the end.”
When Puerto Rico begins pool play in the WBC on March 8, Rosario will be back in the outfield, so he will have to transition back to second base when he rejoins the Twins. Rosario’s future with the Twins will be largely based on his ability to play passable defense at second base, as the Twins outfield is packed fill of high end prospects and Rosario’s bat plays much better at second base because he does not have the requisite power to compete with a typical corner outfielder.
At the conclusion of the World Baseball Classic Rosario will likely return to Minor League camp, but for now he certainly seems like he is enjoying his time with the Big Leaguers and while he is not listed in the starting line up for Monday’s game against the Pirates he will likely be making an appearance after the first few innings.