Prospect of the Day: Wilin Rosario, C, Colorado Rockies
The Colorado Rockies top position-player prospect is catcher Wilin Rosario, currently playing for Double-A Tulsa in the Texas League. Rosario hurt his knee last August, requiring surgery, and it was uncertain how the injury would impact his game.
So far, things are going well. 22 years old, Rosario was signed as a free agent from the Dominican in 2006. He hit .285/.342/.552 with 19 homers in 270 at-bats for Tulsa last year before the injury, while also showing strong defensive skills. His numbers through 14 games this year are very similar: .289/.347/.667 with four homers thus far, along with a 4/7 BB/K in 45 at-bats. Basically, he's picked up right where he left off, showing power and decent contact ability.
Rosario has a good arm and is mobile behind the plate, but there was some concern about how the knee injury would impact his play. He's been fully healthy this spring, catching 13 of his 14 games, playing errorless ball so far. He's caught 26% of runners, which is below the 41% standard he set last year, although the sample is still small obviously. Overall, however, his play has been good enough to confirm reports that the knee was properly rehabbed and doesn't present a long-term issue.
If he continues to hit like this, a promotion to Triple-A will follow this summer, and he could reach Colorado at some point. He has the skills and tools to be an everyday catcher in the majors. I rated him as a strong Grade B prospect pre-season, ranked Number 28 on my hitting prospect list in the 2011 Baseball Prospect Book.