Wilin Arismendy Rosario
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 1200 lb.
- Debut September 6, 2011
- Final Game October 4, 2015
- Born February 23, 1989 in Bonao, Monsenor Nouel D.R.
Wilin Rosario began 2010 in AA and made his major league debut in 2011.
Rosario was signed by scouts Rolando Fernandez and Felix Feliz for the Colorado Rockies 10 days before he turned 17. He hit .247/.309/.324 for the 2006 DSL Rockies in his pro debut, an unimpressive beginning. With the 2007 Casper Rockies, he eked out an even weaker line, 209/.283/.296, with 38 whiffs in 115 at-bats.
Returning to Casper (now the Casper Ghosts) in 2008, Rosario made major improvements. He hit .316/.371/.532 with 12 homers, 48 runs and 49 RBI in 66 games. He led Pioneer League backstops in fielding percentage (.994), putouts (462) and passed balls (14). Rosario ranked 7th in the Pioneer League in average and was three homers behind leader Luis Jimenez. Baseball America named him the loop's #1 prospect, followed by Cutter Dykstra, Will Smith, Dee Gordon and Jimenez.
The Rockies invited Rosario to major league spring training camp in 2009 at age 20 despite having never played in a full-season league. He hit .266/.297/.404 for the Modesto Nuts, unimpressive stats in a hitter's league. He missed 56 games due to injury. Baseball America still rated him Colorado's #4 prospect going into 2010 and their top catching prospect.
The youngest player in the Rockies' MLB spring training camp in 2010, Rosario was assigned to the Tulsa Drillers. In his first 51 games, he put up a batting line of .282/.337/.505 with 10 home runs, while throwing out 20 of 47 attempted base-stealers. That earned him a spot on the World team for the 2010 Futures Game. He started at catcher and hit 7th. He came up in the second inning with men on the corners and one out against Jeremy Hellickson. He hit into a run-scoring force to plate Carlos Peguero that brought the World within a run, 2-1, but they got no closer in a 9-1 loss as he got the lone RBI for his club. Facing Zach Wheeler in the fourth, Rosario lined to Dee Gordon at short. He was later replaced by Chun-Hsiu Chen. Rosario did very well defensively, picking off Brett Jackson and throwing out Mike Trout, the only player who tried to steal against him. He was back at Tulsa in 2011, and played 012 games, hitting .249 but with 15 doubles and 21 homers. He came up to Colorado late in the season and made his big league debut on September 6th. he played quite a bit during the last month, hitting .204 with 3 homers and 8 RBIs in 16 games.
Rosario made the Rockies' roster out of spring training in 2012 and ended being the team's regular catcher that season. He played 105 games and hit a solid .270 with 19 doubles and 28 homers, scoring 67 runs and collecting 71 RBIs. While statistics of Rockies hitters are sometimes inflated by playing at hitter-friendly Coors Field, he was genuinely productive, as demonstrated by his OPS+ of 109. He was named the catcher on the 2012 Topps All-Star Rookie Team after the season. In 2013, his average improved to .292 in 121 games, and he added 22 doubles and 21 homers, for another solid season at the plate. He scored 63 runs and drove in 79, maintaining an OPS+ of 104. However, there were some concerns about his defense behind the dish, because apart from his strong arm, he had led the National League in errors in 2012 and finished third in 2013, while leading the circuit in passed balls both years. In 2014, his playing time diminished slightly, as he played 106 games, with 96 as a catcher. He hit .267, but his power fell off noticeably, as he was down to 13 homers - although he did hit a career-high 25 doubles. His 46 runs and 54 RBIs were also significantly lower than in his first two seasons, and his OPS+ fell to 93.
The Rockies decided to acquire a more defensive-minded catcher for 2015, in the person of Nick Hundley. That relegated Rosario to a back-up role at the start of the year. He had only played one inning in the field, as a first baseman, when he got his first at-bat of the year in his team's third game, a pinch-hitting appearance against Francisco Rodriguez of the Milwaukee Brewers in the 10th inning of a 4-4 tie. He worked a full count before homering off the Brewers' closer, to give his team its third straight win to start the year.
- 2012 Topps All-Star Rookie Team
- 20-Home Run Seasons: 2 (2012 & 2013)
- 2010 Rockies Media Guide
- 2009-2010 Baseball Almanacs