Legends On Deck

Exclusive Prospect Interview: SS Amed Rosario – Mets

(Photo By Chris McShane)

Don’t be surprised, be ready — Amed Rosario will be a household name for all Mets fans. Rosario tops the charts in the organization, as he is the 3rd ranked prospect in the system. I took the time to speak to Rosario about his life before he became a professional athlete and his journey through the beautiful game of baseball.

The incredibly talented shortstop was born and raised in the Dominican Republic. Santo Domingo will always be his home; it’s a place where he can really reflect on his childhood and reconnect with family and loved ones.

“Life was always normal, at least it felt that way. I was focused on school and baseball. Besides family, nothing else mattered. I would practice all morning and in the evenings I’d be focused on studying. I graduated from school at 16 and after that, baseball became my sole focus. I wanted to be the best player and teammate I could be. Manny Ramirez was my favorite player. I tried everything to play like he did, he played with such finesse.” Rosario said.

Though he never became an outfielder, Rosario began the route that his idol, Ramirez, did – he signed a contract with the New York Mets in 2012 and since then he hasn’t looked back.

“Signing with the Mets was a big accomplishment. It was a joyful moment in my life; I knew  I was taking major strides towards accomplishing my dreams. My family was very proud as well. Being my parents’ only son it made them extremely happy to see that all that hard work had begun to pay off. They knew and understood the struggles day in and day out of trying to go play professional baseball, but they were always supportive.”

Unlike most international signings, Rosario skipped the Dominican Summer League and played his first season with the Kingsport Mets in Rookie Ball. He spoke on his transition from the Dominican Republic to the United States.

“The transition was tough; it was hard in the beginning. I was always around people from my culture or even more generally speaking people who spoke in my native language. So my major adjustment was definitely language – it began as a big barrier to overcome but I knew that learning English would well pay off. If not, I wouldn’t even be able to go out and order food. But I do my best to practice every day and I’m thankful for my teammates who have helped me get accustomed here and helped me learn English. Another rough part is being so far from my family. Whenever anything goes wrong or things aren’t going as planned, I think of them. They are the first ones to help. It’s sad sometimes but I just keep my head up because I know they’re always with me as I chase my dream. I’m grateful for my teammates to who have been there as a second family to me.”

Since his beginnings in Rookie Ball, he has weaved through levels of the organization. He finds himself now in 2016 as the starting shortstop for the St. Lucie Mets – the Mets Class A Advanced Affiliate. But before this season, he got a chance to play in Spring Training with the big leaguers. Dreams were no longer that, it was reality. It was a minor glimpse, but one that he cherishes deeply.

“When I first got there and saw the big leaguers in the same club house as me, it was humbling. All I could say was ‘wow’. It was a learning experience. I had guys like Juan Lagares and Wilmer Flores who really helped me come into my own. They always looked for me and made sure I was on the right track. Each day there I made sure I was more focused than ever. I kept my same daily routines that I built in the Dominican Republic. I’d get to the stadium, go to the cage and take some batting practice, take ground balls and after it all I’d mentally prepare. I’d listen to music in the clubhouse and focus on the game.”

Fast-forward to today, Amed Rosario has shined this season. He has been named an All-Star in the Florida State League and will play in the All-Star Game on June 18th in Fort Myers, FL. He’s batting .310 with 3 HRs and a team leading 38 RBIs. Rosario hopes to continue his hot start in the latter half of the season.

Steven Cardona

Steven Cardona

Steven is an undergraduate student at the University of South Florida who lives in Naples, Florida. At USF, he is studying Business Management. He has an immense love and passion for the game of baseball. He worked with the Fort Myers Miracle in 2014 as a Public Relations intern. In 2016, he continued his work experiences within America's pastime with the New York Mets as an American Culture Instructor at the Mets Academy in the Dominican Republic.
Steven Cardona