Cleveland Indians: Amed Rosario deserves more recognition for August
For those around the Cleveland Indians, there’s been no question that Amed Rosario has been coming into his own this season. He had a slow start to the year, slashing just .179/.257/.299 over the first month of the regular season. However, he started to turn it around in May and it all culminated with perhaps the best month of August across all of baseball.
We’ll start where in ended, in the last game of the month, when Rosario did something in a Cleveland uniform that hasn’t been done since Grady Sizemore. Rosario not only hit an inside the park home run against Kansas City, he also added a traditional home run in the same game. That alone would be enough to raise eyebrows, but Rosario went 5-for-5 in the contest with five RBI to post one of the more impressive offensive outputs of the season for Cleveland.
So that’s one game, but what about the rest of the month? Well, Rosario put up just insane numbers that ranked among baseball’s best. Playing in 26 games during the month of August, Rosario slashed an incredible .372/.397/.584 for the month, including a .988 OPS. Of those stats, the most impressive has to be his .372 average that ranked fourth in the game in August.
Those numbers are a bit off the charts for any player, but while a bit inflated they do a decent job of representing Rosario’s season. In May he hit above .300 as well at .307 and just barely missed the mark in June at .299. Even his “down month” of July saw him clock in at .250, which isn’t awful.
The strong numbers go beyond just the slash line for Rosario. He finished up with an MLB-high 42 hits, eight doubles, two triples (which tied for third in baseball for the month), four home runs and 20 RBI. Oddly enough, only the hits and triples led the team and he was still tied with Jose Ramirez for triples. This means two things.
First, Cleveland’s offense started to turn it around in August. For a player that had such a strong month like Rosario did to not really lead the team in many categories means production was coming from multiple players. Second, Rosario was consistently among the best on the team for every stat, which is exactly what you want to see at the top of the order.
The high average and multitude of RBI are the best signs for Rosario given where he is batting in the order. Think back to the 90’s teams that had Kenny Lofton leading off and Omar Vizquel second. Lofton’s job was to get on base and find a way to second. Then, all Vizquel had to do was put the ball in the gap, or just in the outfield, and boom, Cleveland would have a 1-0 lead to start the game.
Myles Straw is starting to show that Lofton-ability in finding a way to second base. Now, Rosario is showing that high average from the two-spot that will translate into RBI and 1-0 leads early in games.
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The biggest question mark for Rosario is his defensive ability. It’s great that August was such a bright spot in his game and he deserves more credit for that success than he’s getting. But Cleveland has a surge of middle infielders coming up the pipe and Rosario needs to prove he can play short well if he wants to stay there.
Luckily, that’s started to come around for Rosario as well. Since the All-Star break, Rosario has just one error and it came on Aug. 1. It seems like consistently playing short has helped his glove come around and pairing that with his confidence at the plate and Rosario is looking like the top prospect he was once touted to be.
There’s no question that Rosario had a slower start to the season, but his incredible August numbers paired with growing consistency in the field is making it seem like he could be a mainstay in Cleveland’s lineup moving forward. If he can keep this going through the end of the season, that alone should be enough to stir up some optimism heading into the 2022 season.