SF Giants Next 10 Prospect Rankings
38. Dilan Rosario
Highest Level: Rookie (AZL)
Acquired: Draft (2019)
Future-Value Grade: 35
While I wanted to rank Dilan Rosario above Fitzgerald, he’s still too far away from his ceiling to justify jumping a much more developed prospect. Perhaps even moreso than Fitzgerald, Rosario was buried in last year’s deep classes at shortstop and out of Puerto Rico. Still, the Giants were willing to give him an above-slot signing bonus in the sixth-round to forego his comitment to the University of Southern California.
It’s always difficult to project high school shortstops defensively because so much physical maturation still has to occur. However, Rosario was considered one of the best bets of the high school class. Furthermore, at the plate, Rosario had shown a consistent ability to make contact and generate line drive power.
Still 17 on draft day, Rosario will be a teenager into June of next year. Young for his class with an advanced defensive and offensive profile, how did Rosario fall so far? Well, there’s one simple answer: power. Some scouts thought he lacked the ability to drive the ball and might not even project to have 30-grade power potential.
Rosario’s sample of professional plate appearances remains quite small, but the early returns are both positive and confusing. In 47 games at the Arizona Rookie-League last season, Rosario generated 16 extra-base hits, including 5 home runs. However, he struck out in over 35% of his plate appearances. Neither of those square away with his pre-draft scouting reports.
It’s not implausible that Rosario had been working on a swing change to help him drive the ball more consistently leading up to the draft and saw some strong early returns. If that was the case, he’s hopefully well positiond to cut down on his strikeouts as it becomes more routine. For now, his pro performance remains somewhat of a mystery without explanation.
There’s still legitimate everyday shortstop upside and something even higher if his power tool has more projection than many thought. Nevertheless, as with many of the prospects on this list, there’s just too many unknowns to rank him much higher.