In 2010, Rosario got drafted by the Twins (see Transactions below).
In 2011, Baseball America rated Eddie as the 21st-best prospect in the Twins' organization. They moved him up to third-best in the Minnesota farm system in the spring of 2012. He was at #7 in the offseason before 2013 spring camps opened.
They had him at 6th-best in the Twins' farm system in the winter before 2014 Spring Training. And he was at #10 in the spring of 2015.
In 2011, Rosario won Appy League co-player of the year honors. He led the league in runs (71), triples (nine), homers (21), total bases (181) and slugging (.670), while finishing second in hits (91), extra-base hits (39), and RBIs (60).
November 20, 2013: Eddie Rosario was suspended for 50 games after testing positive for a banned substance (marijuana, he admitted) for the second time. The suspension begins with the start of the 2014 season.
“It wasn’t the easiest thing for a young guy to handle,” Twins V.P. Mike Radcliff said. “He had to earn his way back with a lot of people, including his teammates, and it got into his head. But kids make mistakes. He dealt with it and he’s bouncing back.” Rosario is more mature and calmer; plus he's confident and a better teammate. (October 2014)
August 5, 2016: Eddie's parents had seen him play only once in the Majors. The outfielder made his big league debut on May 7, 2015, with his parents, Eddie and Maria, sitting in the stands at Target Field. Rosario came to the plate for the first time in the third inning and launched the first pitch he saw over the fence for a home run.
More than a year later, Eddie and Maria flew from their native Puerto Rico to St. Petersburg to see their son play for the second time. This time, they were in town for a full weekend series at Tropicana Field, and Rosario wasn't in the lineup for the first game against the Rays. In the seventh inning, though, manager Paul Molitor called on Eddie to pinch-hit. The first pitch Rosario saw this time was an 82 mph changeup. He was looking for something off-speed, and he sent this one over the right-center field fence. He rounded the bases and pointed to the crowd as he crossed home plate. His parents have now seen him twice. Both times, they've also seen a first-pitch home run.
"They see me again today," Rosario said, "the first pitch again."
Rosario's home run, his second pinch-hit homer of the season and third of his career, also provided the winning blow for Minnesota in its series-opening 6-2 win against Tampa Bay.
His parents will get to see him a few more times this weekend, and that bodes well for the Twins. After collecting six hits in three games against the Indians earlier this week, Rosario continued his hot streak. After his homer, he also singled and went around to score during the ninth.
"I was just hoping for a hit to maybe get even, and he gave me more than I could ask for," Molitor said. (D Wilson - MLB.com - August 7, 2016)
December 2016: Rosario committed to play for Puerto Rico in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
As Eddie stepped out of a black SUV onto familiar ground at his old high school in Puerto Rico on April 16, 2018, he was greeted by those who helped shape him as a youngster growing up in Puerto Rico.
Rosario visited Escuela Dr. Rafael Lopez Landron for the first time in seven years as part of Major League Baseball's "Players Going Home" initiative. He immediately gave a big hug to the school's principal, Edna Rodriguez Alvarez, who served as his English teacher in summer school. There was also his youth baseball coach, Alfredo Ortiz Martinez, who greeted Rosario with a leaping forearm bump before embracing each other.
It was quite the scene for Rosario, who was able to thank those who helped him reach the Major Leagues and also met with current students, including 75 who participated in a baseball clinic with Rosario at a local baseball field near the high school.
Those who knew Rosario best growing up could tell he had that special something, as he possessed more than just natural talent. He was a hard worker who remained coachable and respectful because he grew up in a tight-knit family with deep roots in Guayama, which is about 75 minutes south of San Juan.
"He was unique," said Martinez, who coached him on the Rangers from ages 4-12. "Since he was a little kid, you could tell he was going to be a big leaguer. He had a baseball sense. He was so disciplined. He was just a very nice kid. Whatever we told him, he'd go. The most important thing was his parents always supported him and were at every game."
Rosario's upbringing involved more than just baseball, as he pointed to the classrooms where he was taught English and Spanish as a high schooler. Rosario has worked hard at becoming a better English speaker and conducted interviews at the school in both languages, which impressed the school's principal. "It's great to see him," said Alvarez, who presented him with a commemorative plaque to mark the occasion. "Being able to watch him express himself in English, I was part of that. Everybody loves him."
Rosario had an optimism when talking to the students at the school, letting them know that achieving their goals is possible with hard work and they can look to him as an example of someone who came from the same area and achieved his ultimate dream of playing in the Majors.
"Maybe the guys think it's difficult to go to the Major Leagues, but I'm here to say, 'No,'" Rosario said. "Work, study and keep your dream. I'm doing it. I'm doing my dream and I want the young guys to know anything is possible." (Bollinger - mlb.com - 4/16/2018)
In 2018, Rosario was named the Most Valuable Twin by members of the Twin Cities chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
He was presented with the Calvin R. Griffith Award after hitting .288/.323/.479 with 24 homers, 31 doubles, and 77 RBIs in 138 games.
Offense: Rosario finished the 2020 season slashing .257/.316/.476. He started the year walking far more than he ever had in his career, but that predictably evened out a bit as the season wore on. Still, he managed a career-best walk and home-run rates of 8.2% and 5.6%. But the non-homer extra-base hits were gone, as Rosario’s extra-base rate was his lowest mark since 2016; he had only seven doubles in 231 plate appearances and zero triples on the season.
Clearly, Rosario’s ankle injury sapped his power in the latter half of 2019, and much of that pop returned in a mostly-healthy 2020 campaign. If the improved walk rate is for real and the lack of extra-base hits was a fluke, however, then Rosario may be in the midst of elevating his offensive game from average to above-average.
The problem is that Rosario is 29 years old and will easily make north of $10-11 million in his final year of arbitration. At his $7.75 million salary in 2020, Rosario wasn’t a bad deal. But things could quickly get out of control salary-wise unless he continues to refine his approach and add value via on-base percentage.
Defense: Rosario has generally been a decent enough leftfielder, at least in that he has never been considered a liability. Until 2019, that is. Largely due to his ankle injury, Rosario had a miserable campaign in left field, and there was concern as to whether or not he’d be able to hold down that position moving forward. After all, a below-average fielder can’t also turn in an on-base percentage of only .300.
Indeed, he was easily last among qualified leftfielders in Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) in 2018. Thankfully, Rosario tied for No. 4 among regular leftfielders in UZR in 2020, coming in behind only St. Louis’ Tyler O’Neill, Arizona’s David Peralta, and Kansas City’s Alex Gordon.
Rosario still has one of the better arms among leftfielders across Major League baseball, although his decision-making leaves something be desired more often than it probably should for a 29-year-old with six seasons under his belt.
Verdict: Rosario turned in a solid all-around season in 2020. Unfortunately, the offensive strides weren’t enough to help carry what was ultimately an entirely underwhelming Twins offensive unit.
The improved walk and home-run rates were great, and the lack of non-homer extra-base hits felt somewhat fluky. The defensive improvement was great, and he will likely be an average leftfielder for at least the next year or two as he’s still solidly in his prime.
Again, the problem with Rosario lies in the money he’ll be due in arbitration for the 2021 campaign. Compounding that issue for Eddie is the high volume of Twins prospects who can play left field. Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach, and Brent Rooker were all first-round picks in recent years, and they’re all corner outfielders.
If the Twins can get 75% of the production out of one (or more) of those players at a fraction of the cost next year, they’ll take it in a heartbeat. Plus, there’s the upside factor that all three of those players posses on some level, whereas Rosario’s realistic upside is basically limited to whether or not he’s able to take more walks in the middle stages of his career.
Unless the Twins are able to get Rosario back at a severely discounted rate, it seems unlikely that he’ll be back. And if that’s the case, then hopefully Eddie can latch on with a successful organization and continue what has been an extremely solid career to this point. (Ben Beecken - Nov 24, 2020)
If you look at Rosario's stats over the last few seasons, you see a pattern of consistency in his ability to get on base and hit for power. His batting average didn’t dip below .275 (.290, .288, .276) and his home run output didn’t dip below 20 (27, 24, 32) until the unusually shortened 2020 season. His hitting ability is still at the point it’s been over the last few seasons and fans should expect his bat to be a major contribution in 2021, wherever he ends up. (Andrew Cicco / January 16, 2021)
Dec 7, 2020: The Twins said that they would remain in discussions with Eddie after they non-tendered him at the deadline, but a reunion appears unlikely after Rosario posted a farewell message to Twins fans on Instagram.
"Today I would like to thank the Minnesota Twins organization for the opportunity they provided me with for 10 years," Rosario wrote alongside a highlight reel of his biggest moments with the Twins. "I will always be grateful to the organization, it was a privilege to wear the Twins uniform and to be part of so many learning experiences and lessons on the field, some challenging but very rewarding for my development as a baseball player."
Minnesota is the only organization that Rosario has ever known as a professional ballplayer. The club drafted him from his hometown of Guayama, Puerto Rico, in the fourth round of the 2010 draft. And he steadily rose through the system until he debuted with a homer in his first career plate appearance in 2015. Rosario quickly locked down the starting job in left field, where he made five consecutive Opening Day starts from 2016-2020. No other left fielder had earned that many Opening Day nods in club history. (DH Park - MLB.com - Dec 7, 2020)
Sept. 17, 2021: NLCS
It’s difficult to think of a more superstitious collection of athletes than professional baseball players. For a game with so much failure, players will take luck wherever they can find it. But sometimes, those superstitions pay off in a big way. Just ask Atlanta Braves outfielder Eddie Rosario.
The Braves took a 2-0 lead in the National League Championship Series against the Dodgers on Sunday night when Rosario ripped a walk-off, line-drive single that Corey Seager couldn’t handle beyond second base. It was Rosario’s fourth hit of the game, and it turned out that there was quite the story behind the bat he chose for the pivotal at-bat.
As Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen was getting warmed up to enter the game, Rosario returned to the clubhouse to retrieve the bat from his Sept. 19 cycle that he had saved as a trophy.
When Rosario returned with the bat, he only needed to see one pitch to end the game. (Andrew Joseph)
June 2010: Rosario signed with the Twins for $200,000 after being chose in the fourth round, out of high school in Guayama, Puerto Rico.
January 11, 2019: Eddie and the Twins avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one-year deal for $4.2 million.
January 10, 2020: Eddie and the Twins avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one-year deal.
Dec. 2, 2020: Eddie became a free agent.
Jan 29, 2021: The Indians and free-agent outfielder Eddie Rosario agreed to a one-year, $8 million deal.
- July 30, 2021: The Indians traded LF Eddie Rosario and cash to the Braves for 1B Pablo Sandoval.
|Birth City:||Guayama, P.R.|
|Draft:||Twins #4 - 2010 - Out of high school (Puerto Rico)|
Rosario has an impressive short swing and a polished, professional approach at the plate. He has slightly above average power from excellent bat speed. He makes a lot of contact and has a high batting average.
Eddie's batting stance reminds people of Bobby Abreu's stance. Though he holds his hands low during set-up, he flashes them quickly through the hitting zone, generating solid gap power from the left side.
Rosario has strong wrists that help provide for impressive bat speed, the ability to make adjustments and power to all fields. He is balanced at the plate and uses his hands well in his swing. He has excellent plate coverage and a real nice feel for hitting.
Eddie works counts, uses the whole field and catches up to quality fastballs. He has good plate coverage. But selectivity remains a problem.
Eddie didn't waste any time making an impact in his Major League debut. Starting two days after being called up from Triple-A Rochester, he homered on the first pitch he saw from A's lefthander Scott Kazmir. The homer gave Minnesota a 1-0 lead in the Twins' 13-0 win on May 6, 2015.
He became the first Twins player to homer on his first big league pitch and just the 29th player in Major League history to accomplish the feat.
"It was an awesome moment," Rosario said. "To have your first-bat and hit the first pitch for a home run. I was just trying to be aggressive."
Rosario had his parents, Eddie and Maria, in attendance for his debut, as they flew in from his native Puerto Rico. Molitor said that made it even more special for Rosario.
"To share it with family, that's what resonates with the emotion," Molitor said. "You think about where you came from and the people who helped you get here." (Bollinger - mlb.com - 5/6/2015)
Rosario is a smooth, pure hitter. He has quick hands through the ball and he generates power to all fields. Rosario has good speed, and his extra-base hits have included a liberal amount of gap doubles and an impressive number of triples. Rosario's quick wrists form the basis of his offensive thrust.
Rosario can hit at the top of the order because of his ability to recognize pitches and put the ball in play. His contact rate is outstanding, as is his knowledge of the strike zone. Rosario's eye-hand coordination and his above-average plate coverage allow him to wait back and drive the ball to all fields. He's a bit "active" in his hitting mechanics, with a low hand setup and an uppercut swing, but his approach works. (Pleskoff - mlb.com - 6/3/2015)
In 2015, Eddie led the Major Leagues with 15 triples, even though he spent the first month at Rochester. That was the highest triple total for an AL rookie since Joe DiMaggio had 15 in 1936.
June 3, 2018: Rosario hit THREE home runs against the Indians. The last, a two-run shot, was of the walk-off variety—helping the Twins to a 7-5 victory.
This was the second three-homer game of Rosario's career; he did it in June 2017 too. Amazingly enough, that was also the last time his family was cheering him on from the stands. He mentioned his family was in attendance during his postgame interview on that June date and then he talked about the strange coincidence:
MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger asked him about the moment: "It happened again. My family is here. It's special for me and it's more special for my family. I feel proud, good and happy with my family here."
Rosario's father, also named Eddie Rosario, said he predicted it from his seats: "That walk-off. I asked for it. As soon as it left the bat, I just said, 'Game over.' And a lot of things in Spanish. But it was great. I'm very glad with what he's doing right now. My emotions, I'm just excited. And the family is so happy right now. Heck of a game. Right now, he's very happy. His wife and his kids are here, and us. It's so much fun. He enjoys this a lot."
Let's see . . . If Eddie brought his family to every single game ... would he hit 436 dingers per season? (Matt Monagan - Cut4)
April 23, 2019: With his first-inning three-run home run, Eddie became the first Twins player to hit 10 homers before May 1.
2020 Season: Rosario slashed .277/.310/.478 over six seasons with Minnesota while posting an OPS+ of over 100 in five of those six. Although the Indians have Jordan Luplow, Bradley Zimmer, Josh Naylor, Jake Bauers and eventually Nolan Jones to choose from in left field, Rosario would be the best fit the team could find.
Cleveland has seen plenty of Rosario over his six years with the Twins, and the team will certainly welcome the idea of having his bat in the lineup as opposed to finding a way to pitch around him. In 45 games at Progressive Field, Rosario has hit .353 with a 1.031 OPS (his highest OPS in any road ballpark he visited at least seven times). Rosario’s 11 homers, 12 doubles and three triples in Cleveland are the most he’s had in any road ballpark, while his 25 RBIs trail only his 26 at Comerica Park in Detroit. (M Bell - MLB.com - Jan 29, 2021)
September 19, 2021: Eddie saw only five pitches while hitting for the cycle, the fewest number of pitches needed for a player to achieve the feat since at least 1990, per the Baseball-Reference database. The previous low over that span came when the Rockies' Neifi Perez saw eight pitches while hitting for the cycle on July 25, 1998.
Rosario hit an 0-1 double in the second, a first-pitch triple in the fifth, a first-pitch homer in the seventh and a first-pitch single in the ninth. “That’s quite a feat to do,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. “That’s a big deal for a hitter to hit for the cycle. Great accomplishment and congratulations to him.” (delos Santos - mlb.com)
- As of the start of the 2022 season, Eddie's career Major League stats were: .275 batting average, 133 home runs with 450 RBI in 3,040 at-bats.
- Eddie has the speed to run down balls in center field. And he has a strong arm that fits OK in right field. He comes in on balls hit his way better than he goes back on them.
After the 2011 season, Rosario was moved to second base during Instructional League. He has the athleticism and quickness to make it there. And he wants to do it, enjoying the challenge of playing in the infield.
During 2012 spring training, Paul Molitor and former Twins manager Tom Kelly helped Rosario with the transition. And Eddie has shown promise at second base. If he can make the adjustment work, his potentially plus bat fits even better at second, and he has the tools to be average defensively. In fact, he may be a better fit at second.
Eddie's hands, footwork, and arm may not be good enough for second base. He needs more work to become close to average, though he was improved at making the routine play by the end of 2013. He has the work ethic and athleticism to became playable, at least.
Rosario has put in long hours on defense and has made strides at second. He goes back on popups well, but his footwork, particularly around the bag, still needs work. His range has improved as he better understands positioning, and his arm is above-average for the keystone. (Spring 2014)
The Twins love the versatility Rosario displays. He is good at all three outfield spots.
Rosario profiles best as a left fielder, where his footwork and range are not the issues he faced when he was asked to play second base. He takes good outfield routes, seeing the ball well as it comes off the bat.
Rosario's arm is strong and accurate from all three positions. Since hitting is his best tool, he will likely face less stress and concern about his defense if he remains an outfielder. (Pleskoff - mlb.com - 6/3/2015)
In 2015, Rosario was named the Twins Defensive Player of the Year, while playing all three outfield positions.
Just ask Rafael Devers, J.D. Martinez, and the Red Sox how they feel about Eddie's throwing arm. Rosario has thrown out 48 baserunners from the outfield since his Major League debut in 2015. And the most notable recent example came at Fenway Park in Sept. 2019, when he perfectly played a carom off the Green Monster in the bottom of the ninth inning and fired a one-hop strike to the plate to retire Devers, the potential tying run, for the game's final out. Part of that has to do with Rosario's exemplary throwing arm, but much of it also has to do with his fearlessness and aggression in all aspects of his game.
"He’s not scared of anything," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said that night. "There's a lot of things happening at once, but when those moments come up, Eddie is looking for greatness. It doesn’t mean that you’re always going to get the job done. No one does. No one does that, but he’s prepared to do anything he has to do in those moments."
There isn't an arm strength leaderboard readily available via Statcast at the moment, but Rosario immediately lit up the traditional statistics in his rookie season, when his 16 outfield assists in a partial season ranked him second in the AL. More recently, his 9 assists in 2018 ranked fifth.
In a May 2019 article in The Athletic, Mark Simon used the outfield arm runs saved metric from Sports Info Solutions to rank Rosario's outfield arm fourth in the Majors, behind Ramón Laureano, Yasiel Puig, and Aaron Judge. (Park - mlb.com - 5/29/2020)
- From 2015 to 2019, Eddie played all three outfield positions. But in 2020 and the first half of 2021, he played left field exclusively. (Baseball-Reference.com - July 2021)
Eddie has average speed and displays good instincts on the bases as well as all other areas of the game. But he's not yet an efficient base-stealer.
He is adding polish to his running and stealing skills, learning technique. He gets caught too much when he tries to steal. (2017)
June 12-July 31, 2012: Rosario was on the D.L. after being struck in the face by a line drive, then had facial surgery on June 19.
Eddie was hit in the face during batting practice before Class A Beloit's game against Peoria. He was standing near third base when a ball struck by one of his teammates hit him above his lip but below his nose. He left the ballpark and was kept overnight at a nearby hospital for precautionary reasons.
The surgery inserted a metal plate above his upper lip, but as Twins general manager Terry Ryan pointed out, Rosario was lucky he didn't break his nose or lose any teeth.
"It was pregame and he was running the bases like they always do, and a guy smoked a line drive down the third-base line and the ball got on him a lot quicker than, probably, he thought," Ryan said. "It could've been a lot worse. But he'll have his procedure, but unfortunately we have to wait for the swelling to subside."
October 3, 2016: Eddie was activated from the DL.
March 8, 2018: During spring training, Rosario was sidelined with mild right triceps tendinitis.
June 27-July 16, 2019: Rosario was on the IL with a left ankle sprain.
Sept 13, 2020: Rosario suffered a scare when he exited a game during the eighth inning following a collision with Byron Buxton in left-center field. His left arm collided with Buxton's chest as they both converged on a fly ball, and Rosario remained doubled over before he was escorted off the field. Eddie was day-to-day with a left arm contusion.
July 5, 2021: Rosario appeared to be grimacing as he left the batter’s box in the second inning of the game, and he moved gingerly down the line before being removed. Francona said this seems like the same injury Rosario dealt with just a few days before, and that an IL stint is likely coming.
July 6-Aug 27, 2021: Rosario was on the IL with right abdominal strain.
Aug 4, 2021: Rosario has been taking batting practice the past few days and should begin a rehab assignment. The outfielder strained an abdominal muscle in July and was on the injured list when the Braves acquired him from Cleveland on July 30.