The Baltimore Orioles have a number of minor leaguers who had strong seasons, most notably Austin Hays. But it’s someone else who was a league MVP, and deserves to be a major leaguer in 2018.
The Baltimore Orioles have a number of minor leaguers who had strong seasons, most notably Baltimore Orioles have a number of minor leaguers who had strong seasons, most notably Austin Hays. But it’s someone else who was a league MVP, and deserves to be a major leaguer in 2018.
If you were looking for the MVP of the AA Eastern League for 2017, you would have a number of options. Francisco Mejia, catcher in the Cleveland Indians’ organization and their top prospect would be one player.
Maybe Christin Stewart, who led the league in home runs and is the fifth-best prospect in the Detroit Tigers system.
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No, it wasn’t either of those players or any of the other highly touted prospects in the league.
Garabez Rosa, 27, a utility player for the Bowie Baysox, AA affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, was the Eastern League 2017 MVP. This is the second year in a row that Rosa was on the Eastern League All-League team as a utility player.
Rosa led the Eastern League in batting average at .310, in hits with 162, runs batted in with 91, was second in total bases at 232. Rosa was also tied for second in runs scored with 75, with teammate D.J. Stewart leading the league.
Rosa, a right-hander, hit .297 vs. RHP and .340 vs. LHP in 2017. He also hit .373 with two outs and runners in scoring position. Rosa also did it all defensively, playing first base, second base, third base, left field, center field and right field for the Baysox.
Rosa is a career .279 hitter in AA for the Baltimore Orioles, but only a .218 hitter at AAA Norfolk, all be it in only 90 plate appearances. He had a total of 10 errors in 2017, primarily in the outfield and at first base. He had 20 errors in 2016 with Bowie, mostly at second base.
Now, all of this is to get to a point. I believe that Rosa should be the Baltimore Orioles’ utility player in 2018.
Ryan Flaherty is out of options, will be a free agent, and not worth retaining. First, he doesn’t really play enough to keep a utility guy on the team. Second, the Baltimore Orioles have improved their defense that having a utility player isn’t as important as it used to be.
The outfield will feature Adam Jones, Trey Mancini and then a question mark. Joey Rickard, Anthony Santander, Austin Hays will all be options, and all could be on the roster. The infield also looks set with Chris Davis, Jonathan Schoop, Tim Beckham and Manny Machado. Add in Mark Trumbo and two catchers, and there is only one more spot here.
Sure, you could have a player like Johnny Giavotella here, or Robert Andino, or bring a free agent. But, why bring in someone for a utility position? The Orioles have the perfect utility player who is already in their system and can fill in anywhere.
They also would be able to save money with Rosa, who would likely receive the veteran’s minimum. And, if they would decide to send him back to the minors, he would be willing to accept the assignment. I mean, he has already spent ten years in the minors.
Sure, it makes for a good story for Rosa to be in the major leagues in 2018, but in a lot of ways, it also makes sense for the Orioles as a team financially, when it comes to building a roster and showing that players who succeed in the minors will be rewarded.
Garabez Rosa is a well-deserving 2017 Eastern League MVP. Count me as one who believes his 2018 should see him at Camden Yards.