Scoring all of their runs after the seventh inning, the New Britain Rock Cats secured a come-from-behind, then come-from-ahead victory over Akron on Saturday. In the deciding 11th inning, it was two of the newest members of the team that led New Britain to the win.
Second baseman Eddie Rosario collected three hits, scored twice, and drove in a pair while also swiping his first bag since being promoted to Double-A earlier this month. Slugging third baseman Miguel Sano also scored twice and drove in two with a triple among his two-for-six day.
Much like the rest of their teammates, Rosario and Sano were largely held in check through the first seven innings as Akron starter Toru Murata scattered five hits across seven shutout frames. Once the Aeros turned to the bullpen, however, New Britain’s bats came alive. After going a combined 1-for-six with a double play during the first seven innings, Rosario and Sano collected a total of four hits in their next six turns, including the two-run triple by Sano that effectively sealed the game for the Rock Cats.
Sano and Rosario have been paired throughout their pro careers and both have established themselves as a part of the upper-echelon of prospects, not only in a talented Minnesota Twins farm system, but in all of baseball.
Sano was the talk of the Florida State League during a red-hot month of April. He carried that over into a first half that saw him pound 16 home runs and collect 48 RBI while posting a .330/.424/.655 line in the pitcher-friendly league. Rosario, who looks like a child when standing next to Sano, produced an equally impressive line of .329/.377/.527 at Ft. Myers this year. Now promoted to Double-A together, the dynamic duo is close enough that Minnesota fans can begin to envision a lineup that includes both of their elite prospects playing at Target Field.
Though he got off to a slow start in the Eastern League, Sano has come to life over his past four contests, collecting five hits (a triple and two home runs) and posting a .333/.412/.867 line. He turned 20-years-old just last month and his ceiling as a hitter is nearly off the charts.
Rosario gets it done with a short line-drive stroke from the left side of the plate, but has plenty enough pop to find the gaps regularly and use his speed to take extra bags. A fourth-round pick out a Puerto Rican high school in 2010, Rosario has hit at every level thus far. He’ll turn 22 in late September, but is still young for his level. Rosario has had some contact issues since getting promoted, with 11 strikeouts in his nine games played in New Britain, but that’s not an issue he’s had in the past so it’s probably a matter of making the adjustment to a more advanced league.