All eyes were on Wilin Rosario when he was called up to the bigs last September. The Rockies have had a run of aging catchers lately, interspersed with occasional good work from Chris Iannetta, and it’s about time we had a really good catching prospect waiting in the wings. The key word with Rosario, though, is “prospect,” as in, he still is one. Rosario is unlikely to make the squad out of camp this season, not because he isn’t good, but because he isn’t ready. Enter Ramon Hernandez, signed as a free agent this offseason to hold Rosario’s place. Once the roster is trimmed to 25, there may not be room for Rosario on it.
However, I absolutely expect Rosario to be called up again, and this year it will almost certainly be before September. He needs to work on his batting stance a little bit and learn how to harness his power more effectively. Defensively, Rosario has a good arm but needs a little more work with his game-calling skills. He also mishandled a few more balls in the dirt than I’d have liked to see last year. Still, the potential is definitely there and with a bit more coaching he’ll certainly be ready.
Regardless of where he winds up in April, watch for Rosario to get a lot of work in Scottsdale, most likely more than Hernandez as he’s being evaluated. And we’ll surely be seeing his purple catcher’s mask back at Coors soon enough.