KoK Prospect #13: Carlos Rosa


Carlos Rosa checks in at #13 on the 2010 Kings of Kauffman prospect list.

Who: Carlos Rosa
DOB: 9/21/1984  San Pedro de Macoris, DR
Position: RHP
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 185-210 (depending on source)
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Acquired: Latin FA 2001

~ Baseball America #13
~ Diamond Futures #19
~ Royals Review #21
~ The Royal Tower #16
~ John Sickels B-


2002GCL Royals (Rk)
2003AZL Royals (Rk)69.13.631.4010.
2004AZL Royals (Rk)11.04.912.0911.
Burlington (A)34.24.671.6710.
2006Burlington (A)138.22.531.
High Desert (A+)
2007Wilmington (A+)23.00.390.917.
Wichita (AA)97.04.361.499.
2008NW Arkansas45.01.200.826.
Omaha (AAA)
Kansas City (AL)3.12.700.908.10.08.1N/A
2009Omaha (AAA)71.04.561.428.
Kansas City (AL)10.23.381.

Carlos Rosa, knocking on the door of being a major league regular, has spent much of the last two seasons in AAA.  He transitioned from a starter to a reliever last season.  As is the case with prospects, past and present, in similar circumstances, these factors result in Rosa being undervalued on some prospect rankings.  In my book Rosa, at 25 years old, is still very much a prospect and plenty of upside remains locked inside his right arm.

As bad as last year’s Mike Jacobs trade turned out to be, it could have been much worse if the Florida Marlins hadn’t expressed concerns about the health of Rosa’s pitching arm.  Thankfully the Royals retained Carlos and after pitching as a starter for 99 of 108 minor league appearances, he spent the entire 2009 season as a reliever.  It took him a while to adjust to the role, but took some big steps during the second half of the season.  In May and June he pitched 26.2 innings with 18 BB and 29 SO and had FIPs of 5.55 and 5.07 in those two months.  From July to his late season call-up in September, he pitched 34.0 innings with 11 BB, 39 SO and a FIP that stayed under 3.00 the rest of the season.  He improved as the year progressed and learned to adjust his control to account for the extra velocity.  The end result was a very encouraging drop of his BB/9 from 5.0 (April-June) to 2.9 (July-September) while maintaining a strong and consistent SO/9 in the process.

On September 10th, he made his first of seven 2009 major league appearances.  Five of those outings were scoreless including his last three.  He’s had decent success at the major league level in very limited time over the last two seasons and hasn’t looked overmatched or overwhelmed.

Rosa still features one of the system’s best fastballs and his shift to the pen resulted in a jump in its velocity.  After topping out around 94 mph pitching in the rotation, he started touching 97 mph while sitting consistently in the mid-90s.  He also throws a slider which has some potential but gets termed as “decent” by John Sickels and “inconsistent” by Baseball America.  Rosa also features a changeup that remains a work in process.

As we hurtle toward opening day 2010, Carlos stands alone as the only rookie from the Royals farm system that has a chance to make the team.  This fact is more of an indictment of the lack of upper level talent in the system, but that shouldn’t stop Rosa from having a significant impact on the fortunes of the Kansas City Royals this season.  He projects to start out as a middle reliever and possibly shift to a set-up role as the year progresses.  Closer Joakim Soria is locked up and under team control through the 2014 season.  If Rosa can hold his own and develop into a lights-out 8th inning option, as I believe he can, the Royals will have a young tandem capable of holding down the 8th and 9th innings of games for the next five seasons.  After some of the bullpen messes we’ve witnessed over the last decade, such a turn of events would be a very welcome change of pace.

(Wally Fish is the lead blogger for Kings of Kauffman and FanSided’s MLB Director.  Subscribe to his RSS feed and add him on Twitter to follow him daily.)