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Cats' Rosario is no second fiddle08/24/2013 12:33 AM ET
By Jonathan Raymond / MiLB.com
Double-A New Britain may already have one headlining attraction in the form of much-hyped Twins prospect Miguel Sano, but the Rock Cats definitely aren't a one-man act.
On Friday night, it was Eddie Rosario who put on a show.
The Twins No. 5 prospect went 5-for-5 with a homer, two doubles, four RBIs and a run scored in the Rock Cats' 7-6 loss at Bowie.
It was the second time in five games Rosario has driven in at least three runs. And he capped his first career five-hit night with an eighth-inning two-run single that briefly tied the game, 6-6.
"You know what, offensively he had a tremendous game. Two doubles a home run, four RBIs. The home run was great, the doubles are great, but for me it was driving in the two runs to tie the game against a lefty, that was his best at-bat," New Britain manager Jeff Smith said. "The one thing I think I noticed today with Eddie was a lot of it came down to pitch selection. He was very selective today, laid off some tough pitches, got into some counts where he could hit the ball hard.
"He's been working hard this past week with our hitting coach, Chad Allen, to stay consistent and work a little more on pitch selection. And tonight it paid off."
Rosario hasn't draw the same kind of attention as his teammate, Sano, but he's had arguably just as significant a rise.
The 21-year-old second baseman began the season with Class A Advanced For Myers -- like Sano -- and hit .329/.377/.527 with six homers, five triples, 13 doubles and 35 RBIs in 52 games.
Rosario stormed out of the gates after a promotion to the Eastern League, batting .307/.361/.458 in his first 41 games through the end of July. He'd been struggling some in August, hitting .197 in 19 games before breaking out Friday.
Even with that downturn, his outburst against the Baysox boosted his line in 61 games at Double-A to a respectable .287/.340/.429 with four homers, three triples, 17 doubles and 32 RBIs.
"The one thing I've seen with Eddie for a while, the one that sticks out with him, is how quick his hands are. He has tremendous hands and he can catch up to a good fastball," Smith said. "He's very aggressive and, basically, I think it's the bat speed and the hands that stand out.
"Take it one step further, I think it's being aggressive in the strike zone. I think he has his most successful nights when he's aggressive in the strike zone."
Smith added that over the course of watching Rosario in the half-season he's had him, it's clear how much progress the Puerto Rico native has made.
"I think the fun thing a manager gets to do in the course of having these players is really watch the game get slower for a young player," he explained. "Every time they move up a level, it gets really fast at first. And it's fun to watch the game get slower. For Eddie, offensively and defensively, as he continues on that path he's going to get better and better."
Daniel Ortiz also homered and Sano singled for the Rock Cats, who outhit Bowie, 14-7. But the Baysox drew four walks in the bottom of the ninth inning and walked off with the win.