Five years ago, shortstop Amed Rosario earned the Mets' largest-ever international signing bonus, a $1.75 million figure -- and all the pressures that came along with it. After making his major league debut on Aug 1. -- and with 12 hits and two home runs already under his belt -- the Mets' rookie spoke with Marly Rivera about the pressure of being a top prospect, his struggles learning English, and learning from Jose Reyes.
Being the top prospect in baseball, do you feel pressure to revitalize a franchise that is going through such a tough time?
I really just want to thank God first for this opportunity and I just try to not put any pressure on myself. I try to give my best out there every day I am on the field and I leave the rest in God's hands. Let His will be done.
How important has it been for you the presence of a veteran player like Jose Reyes in this team?
For me it has been very important and I just have to thank him because he has always been there helping me and giving me the best advice. And I would say that more than a friend he's like a brother to me.
What does it mean for you to share this experience with Dominic Smith, since you're both so close?
I am so happy and grateful to God for the blessing that he gave him to be up here too, and even more because we are able to be together in this series. Every kid dreams of playing against New York, against the Yankees, and for me it is a pleasure and an honor.
You started playing at age 17, and then you went to the Brooklyn Cyclones, did that help make your transition to playing in the majors easier?
I would say yes because at that time I played with so many fans around me and with a bit pressure on me. It helped me so that I would be able to deal with things right now. It helped me a lot; I would say not only with the fans, but also with the press, because I always had media attention there. I'd say it helped me a hundred percent.
What does it mean for you to be considered the top prospect in all of baseball?
I feel grateful to God that he gave me that opportunity and I try to not put any pressure on myself. I'm just trying to have fun because this is a game.
What has been the most fun so far?
Well, I would say that the most fun has been the support that my teammates have given me. They have confidence in me and it feels like family.
Is this as good as you dreamed it could be?
Well, it's not like that. It's a dream that every child wants to see come true, but I didn't expect it to happen. I feel very grateful.
We always hear you talk about your faith in all your interviews, where does that conviction come from?
Well, I would say it comes from family and all the advice that my mom and my grandmother have given me. They have always been there for me. As I always say, faith is everything.
When you are in the clubhouse, how does your faith help you and how do you manage when your teammates are of a different faith or religion?
I really try to never make my teammates feel uncomfortable. All I do is try to talk to them and share things with them; give the very best of me.
How are you doing with learning to speak English?
Thank God, it's getting better. I won't go hungry, as people say (laughs).
What has been the most difficult part of adapting to moving from the Dominican Republic to the United States?
I would say the hardest thing at first was the food. Because if you don't learn (English), then you'll really go hungry. So I had to learn, and now I do get by.
There have been a lot of expectations in New York before your arrival ...
I am really excited to see all the support that fans have always given me, cheering me on every day. I feel very grateful.
What player did you grow up wanting to be like?
Well, I would say like Jose (Reyes), because I see myself as that kind of person, a leader, a good teammate, and I would say a captain.