• May

    HHP: Garabez Rosa Prospect History

    by skanar


    Rosa was an international signing, at the age of 17. Here's his performance in the Orioles' minor league system so far, listing only leagues with at least 150 PAs in a season, and the predicted chances of making the majors, MLB success, and stardom given that year's results.

    Age League PA   Triple/         OPS   K%    Prospect?      MLB/Succ/Star
    17  DOSL   225  .275/.290/.375  .665  19.6%  -----           ------
    18  GCL    192  .330/.339/.470  .809  13.5%  YES         43.0%/16.4%/9.8%
    19  NYPL   239  .218/.263/.391  .654  30.1%  NO (Ks)         ------
    20  SAL    478  .251/.271/.362  .632  23.8%  NO (OPS)        ------
    21  SAL    257  .262/.278/.369  .647  22.2%  NO (OPS, Ks)    ------
    21  CARL   187  .212/.225/.296  .521  25.1%  NO (OPS)        ------
    22  CARL   389  .245/.272/.358  .630  22.4%  YES         16.6%/3.9%/0.3%
    23  EL     477  .276/.291/.374  .665  16.1%  YES         30.8%/2.3%/0.0%
    24  EL      80  .373/.392/.547  .939  16.3%  YES*        68.4%/17.7%/7.7%* 
    *Sample size too small! Needs 150 PAs for a single league-year to be valid.


    Rosa was OK in the Dominican League; I can't quantify performances at that level. He displayed moderate pop, acceptable for a middle infielder, good contact, very low walk rate and a lot of Ks. In the GCL, he had similar results with a bit more power and much better BABIP luck; as a result, he had a strong .809 OPS which gave him a reasonable chance to be successful (very few GCL 18 year olds have chances over 20-25%), and even a decent chance at future stardom. However, he was never able to get the same level of contact, and with a low walk rate, only moderate (.100-.160 ISO) power and lots of Ks, wouldn't have qualified as a prospect per me at any point over the next three years. He was usually close to, but below, the cutoff.

    In 2012, he had all the usual issues, but a slightly improved contact rate and a slightly reduced K rate brought him just over the age-22 Carolina League prospect cutoff (.620 OPS). He profiled as pretty marginal, with just a slight chance at ever being productive. The story repeated itself next season: just enough production to qualify as a prospect with a small chance of ultimate success. Notably, his strikeout rate fell quite a bit in the Eastern League, and he had his highest batting average since his great year in the GCL.

    This year, nothing has really changed as a hitter. He still doesn't walk, and the power is up just a bit (.174 ISO), which is a little high but not out of Rosa's ordinary. His BABIP is way up, and the usual response to this profile is: small sample size that will correct itself soon enough. The one ray of sunshine is that his K rate has stayed at the same (relatively) low level as last season. Rosa will be a real prospect if and only if he has managed to turn some of his Ks into balls in play, falling for a few extra hits thanks to speed. With this reduced K rate, a line of .300/.320/.430 might not be an unreasonable target.

    I've provided a projection based on Rosa's current OPS this season, but these will only hold valid if he maintains his current level of production all year. Any projection of success chances for a player with fewer than 150 PAs has no validity at all - those numbers are just for illustration. If Rosa can keep it up, he'll be a real prospect, though not a great one, since he's a bit old. You should probably push his chances up a few percent thanks to his position; the projection system does not take his middle-infield defense into account.

    Overall, I think Rosa remains a marginal prospect, but one worth watching. If his K rate stays down and his BABIP stays up, he has a solid chance to be a MLB success, generating a few WAR over a career as a utilityman or spot starter, with the ability to play SS in a pinch or 2B/3B well. I think the most likely interpretation right now is that we are seeing a SSS-driven, BABIP surge, and Rosa will fall back to his usual strikeout-plagued self. Still, an unusual spike of good performance is notable, and we'll see if it keeps up.

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