Under the Radar Yankees Prospects: Adonis Rosa
Yanks Go Yard is combing through the New York Yankees minor league system in search of hidden gems in this ongoing series. Today, we look at pitcher Adonis Rosa.
The New York Yankees 2016 minor league season was so full of superb minor league pitching performances that it is easy to overlook the efforts of Adonis Rosa. Splitting his time between short-season Staten Island and the Low-A Charleston Riverdogs this year, Rosa set himself apart from the organization’s stable of intriguing low-level arms and is a definite “sleeper” prospect going into 2017.
The 21-year-old righty began this year in the New York-Penn League, allowing just five earned runs 34 IP (1.32 ERA) while striking out 20.6% of the batters he faced and walking just 5.3%. That performance earned him a mid-July promotion to full-season ball, where he continued to have success during his month and a half in the Riverdogs rotation.
Rosa made eight starts for Charleson, pitching to a 2.86 ERA in 44 IP. He saw his K rate jump up to 24.7% during his Sally League stint while his rate of free passes shrank to an even more minuscule 4.3%.
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This success hasn’t come out of nowhere either. After being signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2013, Rosa dominated the Dominican Summer League the following year, putting up a 1.62 ERA in 39 IP, mostly out of the bullpen. He moved to the rotation full-time for the Pulaski Yankees in 2015, compiling a 3.93 ERA in 55 IP (11 GS).
The reason Rosa doesn’t get more love from prospect evaluators is his small stature and somewhat generic repertoire. Listed at 6’1 160 lbs, Rosa will likely need to add some muscle if his body is to stand up to the rigors of a full season as a starter. Thus far, his heaviest workload has been the 78 frames he threw this season. The lack of height also limits his ceiling in the eyes of many scouts.
While Rosa doesn’t have any plus offerings, he does have excellent control and never walks anyone. He mixes his three pitches well. His fastball and change already look like MLB-quality offerings and he’s also made great strides with a curve this year.
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Patrick Teale of Pinstripes Plus (subscription required) recently listed Adonis Rosa’s 2016 campaign as one of the most underrated in the system and noted his similarity to Jonathan Holder, who made his debut this September in the big league bullpen. Hopefully, Rosa can keep up this success as he makes the jump to High-A Tampa in 2017.