Based on ZiPS projections, Amed Rosario is expected to finish 2023 with the following stats:
152 G, 637 PA, 12 HR, 15 SB, 4.4% BB%, 17.7% K%, .276/.309/.400, 101 wRC+, 2.8 fWAR
Read what our writers think, then vote in the poll below and drop your own opinions in the comments and on the Covering the Corner Discord.
Quincy Wheeler’s prediction: UNDER
I have three reasons I am choosing Amed Rosario to hit the under on his fWAR projection in 2022. First, fWAR is now connected to outs above average (OAA), a metric that does not like Rosario’s defense. While defensive runs saved saw him as six runs above average defensively, and ultimate zone rating saw him as 9.4 runs above average, OAA had Rosario worth -7 runs compared to an average major league shortstop. Amed’s biggest issue in OAA is that the metric sees him as very poor ranging to his left, an issue that seems unlikely to be helped by shift restrictions. Rosario made some changes to try to improve his defense in late 2021 but OAA still didn’t buy that he is a solid defender so I think defensive failures will continue to suppress his value in fWAR.
Second, over the past four years, Rosario has seen a consistently high number of breaking balls as two-strike pitches thrown down and away in the strike zone. 66% of the time that Rosario has had two strikes since 2019, he has seen a breaking ball down and away, where he’s had a .162 wOBA on them. In 2022, the percentage reached 70%. I expect pitchers to continue to exploit Rosario’s tendency to chase those pitches with two strikes and test his limits, which will suppress his value as a hitter unless he can manage to lay off more breaking balls down and away.
Finally, Amed is an extremely durable player but after 670 plate appearances last year, it seems likely he will not exceed that number of appearances in 2023. Whether because the team allows Gabriel Arias to give Rosario a few more days off as they try to evaluate what kind of player Arias will be for the future or because of the natural wear and tear on a body or because Tito realizes that Rosario is a much better hitter against left-handed pitching than right-handed pitching, I believe he will be closer to 600 than to 680 plate appearances.
Amed Rosario will be a valuable and productive member of the Cleveland Guardians and continue to set the example for effort and hustle in 2023 but I expect him to fall just short of his 2.8 fWAR projection.
Will Amed Rosario finish with an fWAR over or under 2.8?